Hello band leaders and musicians,
I wanted to get something of a resource online as I know a lot of you are likely to have questions on the situation with bookings given the ongoing situation with Covid-19 in the UK.
As a starting point, please do follow the MU updates on Coronavirus/Covid-19 - it's a great resource for information and they offer sensible guidance and support for musicians. And if you're not already a member, now would be a great time to join as they have a brilliant value join for £1 offer.
Musicians Union Coronavirus Advice: here
Our Guidance To Clients
We've written an FAQs blog for our clients as a lot are contacting us regarding this issue - please take a read and let us know if you have any questions or thoughts on this here.
Contract Ts & Cs
You can view our contract booking terms and conditions here.
Force Majeure is covered in clause 10. The current status is certainly a Force Majeure and it will be the case that the Force Majeure clause will apply all the time government or local authority action restricts gatherings in some way.
It's also important to have in mind that 'epidemic' is listed as an example of a Force Majeure and with the latest government update being that measures will likely be in place for six months, it could, I think, be successfully argued that cancellations/postponements are due to a Force Majeure, regardless of when the event is due to take place in the next six months. It would be down to the cancelling party to prove the Force Majeure, but it's certainly my opinion that pursuing clients for cancellation fees for events due in the next six months will be fruitless if it ended up in a court and would cost you time and money. I also don't think it's fair or right to pursue a cancellation fee if the client is cancelling due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Force Majeure clause is intended for this sort of situation.
We will continue to encourage clients who have events April 2021 onwards to delay postponing - some will still take the decision based on their own situation, but we will do our best to encourage time being taken and to wait and see what the situation is nearer the time. I believe some venues are quite strong on this so that should help too.
In the event of postponements our focus will be to secure a rescheduled date wherever possible and we'd strongly recommend you support that too. We have now had a few clients looking to move their wedding to 2022. One thing you might want to think about with those is what your fees will be in 2022. If the plan is to increase them, I think it is appropriate to accommodate the reschedule but request the new booking be made on your 2022 prices (I don't think it would be unreasonable to do the same for peak 2021 dates - I'd keep increases modest though as if the client deems the increase unfair or greedy you could lose the work and risk negative PR).
23/9 update - ceremonies/receptions for up to 15 people can still take place in covid-secure venues (social distancing will be required and no dancing is allowed). With that in mind it may be worth thinking about what acoustic or lounge set you could offer if a client wanted to go-ahead and have something like that. We'll contact you if this may be a possibility for one of your bookings.
A positive is enquiries and bookings are still coming in for 2021 and starting to pick up for 2022. I think 2022 will be the busier year for weddings. And I'm keeping fingers crossed that if by early 2021 infection rates are low and a vaccine is on the horizon we will see a surge of bookings for summer 2021 and beyond.
We are hopeful the impact of rescheduling dates will be reduced on all of us by the likelihood that a lot of the popular wedding venues are already booked on peak dates in 2021 (with 2022 going the same way), so it's probable that rescheduled dates will fall on more off-peak dates. If one of your clients makes contact to discuss postponing or rescheduling a booking we will be in touch with you and will provide all the support we can to achieve an outcome that works for both parties.
We will contact you about every single booking that is being postponed, so you can judge things on a case-by-case basis.
The team have highlighted that some venues are giving clients as little as six hours to confirm a new date as the demand is so high, with that in mind, please regularly check for calls and emails and respond promptly. It would also be a great time to check your availability calendar is up-to-date.
Fulfilling Your Bookings
If you have any concerns about fulfilling events when they are allowed to take place again, please let us know at the absolute earliest opportunity.
If you have any questions or concerns about the impact of this outbreak please do get in touch. This is clearly a challenging time for anyone working within the events industry, but I do think it's important to stay focused on the fact that this is a temporary situation that will pass and we'll get back to regular working life at some point!
Take good care of yourselves and I look forward to catching up with you soon.
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