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  1. #1
    Advanced BHUZzer lilya's Avatar
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    I got kicked out of a gig! Refund?

    This has a long back story, so please bear with me.

    When I was five months pregnant, a woman hired me to dance at her friend's bachelorette party. Last week, she called to see if I could dance at her friend's 30th birthday party at an upscale bar in Boston. So far, so good. I quoted her my usual price for bellygrams (which is $50 above what appears on my website, because it haven't updated it in ages). She agreed without any argument. I emailed her a contract and asked her to send me emailed confirmation that she'd read the contract and agreed to the terms. I never heard back about the contract, but she did call the next day to confirm the gig. Whatever, I thought, she didn't bail on me last time so I'll let the contract slide.

    Saturday night, just as I was stepping out the door to go to the gig, she called and said that everything was running half an hour late. Would this be a problem? I had another place to be that evening, so I told her that it absolutely couldn't run any later than 10:30, and that I would have to charge her extra as indicated in my contract ($25 for 15 minutes of wait time). She said fine.

    I showed up a bit early, got changed, got paid (with a tip included!) and waited for the DJ to arrive so I could give him my music. He, too, was running late (by about 3 hours!). As I was waiting in an out of the way spot, a HUGE hulking guy came up to me, introduced himself as the general manager, and said I couldn't dance. I thought he was kidding.

    When I figured out he was serious and asked for a reason ("It's too late now to change the music," he said) I told him to go talk to the woman who had hired me. Apparently he told HER that he "couldn't allow that kind of dancing here." That left me speechless. The poor woman had cleared my show with the manager, and the DJ, and now that I'd actually arrived (wearing FAR more than the waitresses, may I add) I was being told that I couldn't dance.

    The woman who had hired me brought the birthday girl out to where I was waiting to get some pictures, and I accompanied her back to the bar to dance a bit to the music that was on (I figured if the manager was actually objecting to the music then he couldn't possibly mind if I just grooved along to the junk they were playing). Apparently it WASN'T the music, it was me, because I had been out by the bar for about 30 seconds before being confronted by the manager and told to go change.

    So: the upshot of this is that I feel bad. This woman - a return customer - paid a premium for me to come dance, and then I wasn't allowed to perform! I feel like I should give her a refund, or at least some kind of acknowledgment that I appreciate her repeat business and I'm sorry the manager was a jerk. WWBDD?


  2. #2
    Mega BHUZzer SamarDahab's Avatar
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    Re: I got kicked out of a gig! Refund?

    I would think that she deserves a partial refund but you don't have to.

    That's a sad story. I'm always shocked by these situations. What did he think you were going to do? Strip and give lap dances. That's such a shame


  3. #3
    Advanced BHUZzer mariyah13's Avatar
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    Re: I got kicked out of a gig! Refund?

    Ugh,. I wouldn't really be sure what to do in this situation either. Maybe offer a partial refund as a gesture? But the thing is that none of it was your fault.
    If I were her and had cleared the show with management beforehand and they pulled this at the last minute, I would be seriously complaining to the venue. ,m::

    It's no help now but I know a couple of dancers who've arrived for a gig and suddenly had their "appropriateness" questioned. They both ended up dancing with their galabeya/cover-up on over their costume, with a veil tied on the hips.


  4. #4
    Master BHUZzer sabrinabellydancer's Avatar
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    Re: I got kicked out of a gig! Refund?

    it is too bad for the woman who hired you that she didn't get to have you do the show. however, i don't know any other professionals who would schedule and give so much time to a client and then give a partial refund. you time was spent on her event.
    a plumber or electrician certainly wouldn't give a refund on their hourly rate if the building owner refused to let them do their job.

    perhaps offer her some type of deal on the next show she books if you are feeling charitable. it is not your fault they wouldn't let you dance. you should not suffer the penalty. you held up your end of the bargain.


  5. #5
    Ultimate BHUZzer MahiraRaqs's Avatar
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    Re: I got kicked out of a gig! Refund?

    If I were the lady who hired you I'd ask the place for a refund. If she cleared it with the manager ahead of time and someone else said you couldn't dance after she'd cleared it and paid for it then they owe her the money. IMO.


  6. #6
    Ultimate BHUZzer MahiraRaqs's Avatar
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    Re: I got kicked out of a gig! Refund?

    Quote Originally Posted by mariyah13 View Post
    I know a couple of dancers who've arrived for a gig and suddenly had their "appropriateness" questioned. They both ended up dancing with their galabeya/cover-up on over their costume, with a veil tied on the hips.
    It's sad that this kind of thing happens, but this was a good idea. Quick thinking on their part.


  7. #7
    Mega BHUZzer TribalDancer's Avatar
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    Re: I got kicked out of a gig! Refund?

    We always think of the best things to do and say after these occasions, so know that I wouldn't have the wherewithall to have said this in the moment either...but if we had a replay, I would say this to the manager:

    M: "We don't allow that kind of dancing here"
    S: pulling self up to fullest height Sir, I don't know what sort of misinformation you have about my performance, but I assure you that my dance is perfectly appropriate. It is based on a cultural dance, performed among family and friends. Whatever dirty idea you have in YOUR mind is entirely inaccurate.
    M: mumble mumble
    S: (continuing to fantasize she could think to say all this) Now if you'll excuse me, the woman who hired me is waiting. And you can see for yourself how incorrect your disgusting assumptions are. haughtily tossing hair over shoulder as I take the stage


  8. #8
    Mega BHUZzer SamarDahab's Avatar
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    Re: I got kicked out of a gig! Refund?

    Quote Originally Posted by sabrinabellydancer View Post
    it is too bad for the woman who hired you that she didn't get to have you do the show. however, i don't know any other professionals who would schedule and give so much time to a client and then give a partial refund. you time was spent on her event.
    a plumber or electrician certainly wouldn't give a refund on their hourly rate if the building owner refused to let them do their job.

    perhaps offer her some type of deal on the next show she books if you are feeling charitable. it is not your fault they wouldn't let you dance. you should not suffer the penalty. you held up your end of the bargain.
    That is a better idea Sabrina. I guess I would just feel so bad for the lady. But you are right, no way would the plumber refund whatever you had given him.

    Quote Originally Posted by TribalDancer View Post
    We always think of the best things to do and say after these occasions, so know that I wouldn't have the wherewithall to have said this in the moment either...but if we had a replay, I would say this to the manager:

    M: "We don't allow that kind of dancing here"
    S: pulling self up to fullest height Sir, I don't know what sort of misinformation you have about my performance, but I assure you that my dance is perfectly appropriate. It is based on a cultural dance, performed among family and friends. Whatever dirty idea you have in YOUR mind is entirely inaccurate.
    M: mumble mumble
    S: (continuing to fantasize she could think to say all this) Now if you'll excuse me, the woman who hired me is waiting. And you can see for yourself how incorrect your disgusting assumptions are. haughtily tossing hair over shoulder as I take the stage
    that would be great.


  9. #9
    Master BHUZzer nasila's Avatar
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    Re: I got kicked out of a gig! Refund?

    I agree with Mara-Michelle; the venue should reimburse the client ideally (of course if you would have mentioned that while you were still there, they just might have let you dance). If not, can you offer your client some sort of credit? Offer to do another gig for just a minimal "booking fee" or something?


  10. #10
    Ultimate BHUZzer tahiradancer's Avatar
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    Re: I got kicked out of a gig! Refund?

    I have had a couple of last minute cancellations due to managers suddenly having issues with having a belly dancer. Mind you, in one case they didn't have any problems with the tarot reader, the juggler or the magician, but the belly dancer. . .

    I kept the deposit.

    {{{HUGS}}}


  11. #11
    Just Starting! Jahema's Avatar
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    Re: I got kicked out of a gig! Refund?

    Quote Originally Posted by nasila View Post
    I agree with Mara-Michelle; the venue should reimburse the client ideally (of course if you would have mentioned that while you were still there, they just might have let you dance). If not, can you offer your client some sort of credit? Offer to do another gig for just a minimal "booking fee" or something?


    Hi all,

    I'm new here, and yes I do agree the venue management is the one with the problem and they should be the ones re-inbursing, perhaps a very small refund ... but the dancer should never pay for something she is not resposible for.


  12. #12
    Kimahri
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    Re: I got kicked out of a gig! Refund?

    You did nothing wrong and held up your end of the agreement--any refund (partial or otherwise) is between the client and the venue to work out. A future gig at a discount is still taking money out of your pocket.

    It sucks and I would feel bad for the client too but it isn't your responsibility to make it right.

    ~~Kimahri


  13. #13
    Mega BHUZzer SamarDahab's Avatar
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    Re: I got kicked out of a gig! Refund?

    Kimahri's right too. After all, the next performance would still take preparation, travel, make up, costume etc.
    Wow I have completely changed my opinion. That's what Bhuz is for tho, making you think about it.


  14. #14
    A journey of ten thousand miles begins with a single post. Lauren_'s Avatar
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    Re: I got kicked out of a gig! Refund?

    Quote Originally Posted by mahira-michelle View Post
    If I were the lady who hired you I'd ask the place for a refund. If she cleared it with the manager ahead of time and someone else said you couldn't dance after she'd cleared it and paid for it then they owe her the money. IMO.
    I agree with this 100%


  15. #15
    kamilia
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    Re: I got kicked out of a gig! Refund?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kimahri View Post
    You did nothing wrong and held up your end of the agreement--any refund (partial or otherwise) is between the client and the venue to work out. A future gig at a discount is still taking money out of your pocket.

    It sucks and I would feel bad for the client too but it isn't your responsibility to make it right.

    ~~Kimahri
    There are so many good points here. I think keeping this client might involve just commiserating with her about how screwed up the management is there. I don't think not offering a refund could be conceived as cold or heartless; if it is, I wonder what other problems a dancer might run into with this client later...

    I also want to add that the dancing is always pretty incidental compared to what it takes a performer to actually get to the place, ready to do his or her thing. It's been said here before, but maybe that should be part of a contract. It probably just ties into rules regarding cancellation.


  16. #16
    Mega BHUZzer aazura's Avatar
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    Re: I got kicked out of a gig! Refund?

    Lilya, I'm so sorry this happened to you! Has the woman asked for a refund or are you just thinking about offering her one? I agree with Kimahri, though I know I too would feel bad for the woman.


  17. #17
    Master BHUZzer zamora's Avatar
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    Re: I got kicked out of a gig! Refund?

    we always tell the client to clear our appearance with MANAGMENT ON DUTY AT THE TIME OF BOOKING
    yep, the day guy say's, "ok" .you get there that night, and that guy says no.
    once i asked for it in writting.it really helped.
    also, if the client finds out a venue will not allow it, they move to another place so we can dance.keep a "dance friendly " list handy!


  18. #18
    Master BHUZzer tattood1's Avatar
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    Re: I got kicked out of a gig! Refund?

    getting kicked out of public gigs is common. it often has more to do with an outside thing coming into a place that wants total control of the situation.

    as for who was contacted or not in places that can have day/night managers so what. the manager that night said "no".

    you can don't owe a refund. tina
    Last edited by tattood1; 01-22-2008 at 07:59 PM.


  19. #19
    Master BHUZzer Adishakti's Avatar
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    Re: I got kicked out of a gig! Refund?

    Wow. Well, first off - you do NOT owe her a refund. The problem is between the lady who booked you and the management. Still, sometimes we have to do things simply because it's the nice thing to do...if we want to sleep at night.

    I would speak to the lady who hired you and suggest she call the management and get her money back. If he says no - I'd call the press. No kidding - I bet they'd gobble it up and it could be positive (and free) advertising for you. It'd be a great opportunity to eloquently explain to the public where our dance comes from, its purpose and appropriateness.

    To me, it's not about the money but instead, being treated respectfully as a professional. As if we all have nothing better to do than spend hours selecting and burning music, preparing shows, making costume alterations, etc, etc... to have some ignorant fool turn us away.

    I'd squash that man, but now I'm probably being a bad influence. ;-)

    Anyhow, I know that's probably a bit much for some folk... if you're not up for any of that? Well, I'd give the poor lady a refund (minus the deposit). It wasn't her fault anymore than it was yours.
    Last edited by Adishakti; 01-22-2008 at 03:57 PM.


  20. #20
    Master BHUZzer Monica's Avatar
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    Re: I got kicked out of a gig! Refund?

    I am in agreement with the folks who say no refund. You showed up, were prepared to work, and through no fault of your own were turned away. For all anyone knows you turned down another gig that night.

    If I wanted to follow up with the client, I might offer to write letter explaining what happened if she decided to ask the venue for compensation. Something to make it very clear that I am not refunding her money, but that also shows I am being helpful.

    I am so sorry that happened to you!


  21. #21
    Advanced BHUZzer lilya's Avatar
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    Re: I got kicked out of a gig! Refund?

    Thanks for all the responses! I really do feel bad about keeping all the money - I ran into the woman who booked me in the restroom after the non-show, and was honest with her. I told her, "This has never happened to me before, and I'm not sure what to do. Would you like a partial refund?" She kind of evaded the question, and turned the conversation to complaining about the manager. I did offer to do a subsequent gig for her at a discounted rate - mainly because she was ALREADY a repeat customer, and I felt bad about the whole affair!

    Adishakti, I wish I had the knowledge/balls to out the manager to the press. I don't feel like I can do this, since I was so flustered at the time that I didn't even bother to get his name, nor did I ever really get out of him why he didn't want me to dance. I will suggest to the woman that she take it up with the management.

    In retrospect, what I should have done was take the whole party out into the hotel lobby and performed my set there. But I never think of these things at the moment!


  22. #22
    tamrahennatx
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    Re: I got kicked out of a gig! Refund?

    Quote Originally Posted by lilya View Post
    Thanks for all the responses! I really do feel bad about keeping all the money - I ran into the woman who booked me in the restroom after the non-show, and was honest with her. I told her, "This has never happened to me before, and I'm not sure what to do. Would you like a partial refund?" She kind of evaded the question, and turned the conversation to complaining about the manager. I did offer to do a subsequent gig for her at a discounted rate - mainly because she was ALREADY a repeat customer, and I felt bad about the whole affair!

    Adishakti, I wish I had the knowledge/balls to out the manager to the press. I don't feel like I can do this, since I was so flustered at the time that I didn't even bother to get his name, nor did I ever really get out of him why he didn't want me to dance. I will suggest to the woman that she take it up with the management.

    In retrospect, what I should have done was take the whole party out into the hotel lobby and performed my set there. But I never think of these things at the moment!
    Someone from the party should have demanded that you be allowed to perform. They were the customers, and as such, should have thrown the requisite fit until they were satisfied, including contacting the manager that agreed to the performance and the owner of the establishment (here's hoping that the hulking guy wasn't the owner!)


  23. #23
    Ultimate BHUZzer laura 2's Avatar
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    Re: I got kicked out of a gig! Refund?

    I posted a similar story a few months ago - a repeat customer hired me to dance at his friend's retirement party, which was a private function thrown by the friend's employer. The president of the company refused to let me dance after just being told about my arrival - he never even saw me or talked to me, just sent a minion out to the lobby to tell me I needed to leave pronto.

    I did not give the client a refund, even though I too felt bad for him. I told him that I had to consider it a cancellation within 24 hours, which per my contract means I get paid in full. We're always talking about how the actual dancing is often the shortest part of a gig - it's the stage makeup, getting dressed, burning a set and driving there that takes the most time, and we have to be compensated for that even if the dancing itself doesn't happen.

    My favorite comment from my old thread, which I am so going to use if this ever happens again, was courtesy of Donna Diva. "Sir, I've been thrown out of MUCH better places than this!". ..l;,


  24. #24
    Official BHUZzer Amaryllis's Avatar
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    Re: I got kicked out of a gig! Refund?

    Quote Originally Posted by mahira-michelle View Post
    If I were the lady who hired you I'd ask the place for a refund. If she cleared it with the manager ahead of time and someone else said you couldn't dance after she'd cleared it and paid for it then they owe her the money. IMO.
    I agree...I haven't ever gotten "kicked out" of a gig...usually I get the "Ohh, a belly dancer" as the managers drool over themselves - gross. I would call your client and talk to her about getting a refund from the restaurant/bar. Having gone through this experience, you should consider adding a paragraph to your contract that states that the person contracting you must have an okay from the locale/venue and that if a problem arises and you are unable to fulfill you contractual obligations, that no refund will be given. That way, you are covered and it takes the weight off your shoulders...after all, why should you refund when you where there, ready to perform?!


  25. #25
    Established BHUZzer Uulady's Avatar
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    Re: I got kicked out of a gig! Refund?

    Gosh, I'm going to have to disagree. If the woman is a repeat customer I think I would give a small partial refund. A small hit now financially shows good will and I think smoothing things over with a repeat customer is a good investment in future bookings. Just my .02.


  26. #26
    Ultimate BHUZzer ssipes's Avatar
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    Re: I got kicked out of a gig! Refund?

    You did give her the tip back, right?


  27. #27
    Official BHUZzer MirandaPhoenix's Avatar
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    Re: I got kicked out of a gig! Refund?

    My ex-husband and I owned and operated a small business for many years, and from a customer-relations viewpoint, what you did was exactly the right thing to do. Since she refused your offer of a partial refund, I'd go even a step further and discount her next gig automatically (tell her why you're doing it when she calls, of course).

    It's just good business practice to work with customers when something is not the fault of either of you.

    My 2 cents. :)

    Miranda


  28. #28
    Ultimate BHUZzer mish_mish's Avatar
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    Re: I got kicked out of a gig! Refund?

    I agree. I think, due to nuttiness on the part of the venue, your customer lost out. Because she's a repeat customer who sounds cool, I'd give her a freebie, just to keep her business.


  29. #29
    Advanced BHUZzer salomestar's Avatar
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    Re: I got kicked out of a gig! Refund?

    This happened to me too once!

    I could belive the manager when he was saying to me "There are kids here, I can't let you dance that". As if I was a striper! I was so pissed, how can anybody be so ignorant! ,m::
    I tried to convince him for like half an hour that there is nothing wrong with belly dance. I felt so bad for my client, didnt know what to do and in the end told her to give me half of what I asked.

    Since then I always tell my clients to make sure to contact the restaurant and ask if its ok to have a naughty naughty belly dancer around!.w.:


  30. #30
    Ultimate BHUZzer artemisia_danst's Avatar
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    Re: I got kicked out of a gig! Refund?

    this is just instinct: but i would probably offer to dance at another party/time for free? i'm not sure? a short suprprise gram at the birthday girls job, whatever, something as a suprise, working it out with the woman who hired you.
    that' sprobably doing to much, but i dont know. wow. wouldnt know how to deal with this one either.
    part refund yes, possibly.

    most of all: i'd feel like throwing a scene and punching the manager. i would be livid/boiling, at being treated that way.


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