Issues with Venue and contract and cancelled show

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Latest post Wed, Jun 4 2014 12:52 PM by ca19lawyer2. 7 replies.
  • Mon, Jun 2 2014 6:44 PM

    Issues with Venue and contract and cancelled show

    We are a tribute band(celebrity impersonator) in Michigan.  We booked a show with the owner of a non-profit theatre. The show was booked 3 months in advance. The venue owner promised via email & multiple times to mail back our simple contract and a $100 deposit.  In the meantime he advertised our show on his website correctly,  BUT was selling tickets that had the wrong date on them. I brought it to his attention as soon as possible. His website is run by another party and it took about 4 weeks for him to change the date on the credit card ticket sales. Again he promised (via email) to have the contract and $100 deposit to me. Five days before the performance he emails me to cancel the show due to lack of ticket sales for the correct date. He promises to send me (via email) the $100 deposit for our troubles.  Now he refuses to do anything.  Can I take him to small claims court, and if so what can I ask for damages? Just the $100 deposit or the entire fee $1000 for the performance? Keeping in mind he is a non-profit theatre. I do have screen shots of his website advertising our band and his emails as well.

  • Mon, Jun 2 2014 6:59 PM In reply to

    • DPH
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    Re: Issues with Venue and contract and cancelled show

    Tribute Band:
    simple contract and a $100 deposit.

    How simple is your contract and what does it say regarding cancellation of dates?  You could probably sue for the entire amount and take your chances with the judge.  Small claims is informal and inexpensive so it shouldn't cost you much.  Even if you win, what are the chances that you could collect?  What are your actual losses?  Did you turn down other work for this engagement?

     

     

     

    "Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience."  -  Mark Twain

     

  • Mon, Jun 2 2014 7:24 PM In reply to

    Re: Issues with Venue and contract and cancelled show

    The contract is very simple. $100 to reserve the date, and $900 more due the night of the performance. The band will refund the deposit if we have to cancel. The band will keep the deposit if the venue cancels.   The owner of the venue never signed or mailed the contract or the deposit. I emailed him 3 times over the course of two months. His excuse was the same each time. --So sorry, its sitting here on my desk, will have it out in tomorrows mail--  Like I said in my ealier post, he advertised the show on multiple websites, in a local newspaper,  and with flyers for over two months. He was doing advanced ticket sales via credit card/internet, but he had the incorrect show date on that ticket website. He messed up.   I have two emails from him saying he will send the $100 for our troubles after he cancelled the show. Now he refuses to do anything. YES, I could have taken something else for that date.

  • Mon, Jun 2 2014 8:14 PM In reply to

    Re: Issues with Venue and contract and cancelled show

    I think you can successfully sue for the $100 but I doubt that you'll succeed for the $1000, although you can certainly try.

    You really need to learn how to operate like a business.

    What you should have done was go see this guy personally and get the contract signed and the $100 deposit on the spot or, at least, sent him written notice that there was no gig if he didn't get the contract and the money to you within a week.

    That he was advertising the show and that his outfit was non-profit is both irrelevant.

    You blew it by waiting and assuming he was going to come through. Don't make that mistake again.

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • Tue, Jun 3 2014 11:36 AM In reply to

    Re: Issues with Venue and contract and cancelled show

    Tribute Band:
    Can I take him to small claims court

    Of course you can.  Did you really think the answer might be no?

     

    Tribute Band:
    can I ask for damages? Just the $100 deposit or the entire fee $1000 for the performance?

    First of all, it's not completely clear that you had an enforceable contract with the theater (whose non-profit status is completely irrelevant, BTW).  It appears no written contact existed.  You might have had a verbal contract, but, again, it's not clear.  Needless to say, in the future, it would be wise to make clear to any potential venue that you will not consider yourself obligated to perform until the written contract is signed and the deposit is received.

    If we assume an enforceable contract existed, your damages depend in part of the terms of the contract, which also aren't clear.  However, in a situation like this damages would typically be what you expected to earn under the contract less any expenses you saved as a result of the other party's breach.

  • Tue, Jun 3 2014 12:25 PM In reply to

    Re: Issues with Venue and contract and cancelled show

    Thanks for all the help. Much appreciated.  Answers to a few questions: why didn't I go there in person and get the contract signed: it was over an hour drive to the venue. Each time I phoned or emailed the owner was apologenic and said he will have it out in tomorrow's mail. They also were advertising the show on their end so I couldn't imagine he would cancel like he did.  Thankfully I saved all of his emails.  

    Should I send this owner one more polite email asking for the $100 deposit fee he promised,  and inform him I will go to court for the full contract amount if he doesn't follow through?

  • Tue, Jun 3 2014 2:47 PM In reply to

    Re: Issues with Venue and contract and cancelled show

    Tribute Band:
    why didn't I go there in person and get the contract signed: it was over an hour drive to the venue

    If any hour away is not convenient for you to get the business in person, then don't do business an hour away. Or this will keep happening. 

    Tribute Band:
    Should I send this owner one more polite email asking for the $100 deposit fee he promised,  and inform him I will go to court for the full contract amount if he doesn't follow through?

    Good idea.

    But I suggest you attach a copy of the completed (but not filed) small claims complaint form and give him a deadline date for the money to be in your hand.

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • Wed, Jun 4 2014 12:52 PM In reply to

    Re: Issues with Venue and contract and cancelled show

    Sure.  Why not?

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