How Many Chances Are Too Many Chances? A. Main / J. McDermid

NHC MUSIC has a duty of care to the musicians and artists it supports. We pride ourselves on not only shining a light on the ethical, hard working, and fair venues and promoters out there, but we also try to illuminate the worst deals too. Recently. over the course of a few weeks, we have had a slew of complaint emails to the page regarding a particular pair of venues refusing to properly some artists, and even staff members. Excuses are given. Emails are ignored, and personal details are then posted online for all to see (which in itself is a really unprofessional thing to do). It's not really good to be honest, so we talked to a few folk from closer to the source to find out more information... and there was a lot of it.

In our own opinion, from what we know, we would advise bands and musicians not to work with them until these problems are sorted one way or another, unless you may find yourself chasing your pay through a small claims court too. NHC MUSIC isnot interested in harming anyone's reputations unnecessarily, but when people feel like they are being conned, and we have artists we work with and trust emailing us some rather unsavoury stories, then we need to bring it to the attention of others, and you can make up your own judgement. Below is a bit of writing from someone we work with, who lives locally to the source of the story, and whose opinion we trust greatly, and after that there are some links you should take a look at too, then really ask yourself, how many chances should people get?


So, how many chances are too many chances?

It’s a question we have all asked ourselves. The answer is of course dependent on the situation. People make mistakes. ‘To err is human; to forgive, divine’.
There is no one size fits all answer.
However a sensible rule of thumb could be that while there is no limit to how often we should forgive, we should also consider if our forgiveness, or the offering of multiple chances, is personally and socially damaging.
If we jump from the Alexander Pope quote to that of Edmund Burke which is ‘The Only Thing Necessary for the Triumph of Evil is that Good Men Do Nothing’ then it ably illustrates how forgiveness can be similar to doing nothing.
Our turning a blind eye to a problem, or rationalizing it, benefits no one.
It could be legitimately argued that our passive acceptance of wrongdoing actually contributes to negative issues being revisited time and time again. We fashion this rod for our own backs.

A good example of this is an issue that has been thrown up in the local Ayrshire press which has a connection to the world of live music and entertainment.

Some may be aware of it while others will be in the dark, but a quick overview is that a venue opened in Irvine, and since then it has stumbled from one disaster to another. Multiple members of staff had been left unpaid for shifts they had completed resulting in them going to the press, others had left and written their loss off, allegations were also made of threats being the response to ex staff looking to be paid, customers complained that events didn’t offer what was advertised, and the latest is that a comedian felt it necessary to take the enterprise to the small claims court looking for payment for an event that had been delivered.

The issues in there totality are a concern, but we really should ask ourselves why they exist at all.
How many chances are going to be offered to this business?
Especially when the proprietors could not be described as victims of misfortune when a quick internet search shows that this is not the first time that they have drawn the attention of the press.
The first was from 2014 when trails of unpaid landlords were left in their wake. Within the article it also mentions that another business venture floundered amidst allegations of them being fraudsters.
That’s two counts with it being the norm that with three you are out.
Fast forward to the near present and there was a move to Ayrshire and a very short hit and run tenure of a bar called The Harbour Lights, and then shortly after the shutters went up on that they resurfaced with some complaints that the licensing board were not playing fair by granting them one for what would ultimately become Lyrics.

And now, as laid out above, here we are with the dominoes falling one by one and the collateral damage being widely talked about on social media.
Couldn’t the current raft of complaints be considered as the third count too? Surely the well of chances has run dry? Or maybe not!

Which then bring us back to the original point of asking how many chances are too many chances? Once bitten, twice shy is the saying, but in this case it seems that we are leaving ourselves to going back for more after being rabidly bitten again and again.

It would be very easy to misconstrue what is written here as a personal attack. That there is more to highlighting what is transpiring than it just being an example of how we ultimately don’t do ourselves any favours by providing unlimited free passes to people who may not be deserving of them, but this story is transferable to so much in life, and especially in the music industry at so many levels.
It’s not as if this is the first time that this subject has been touched on. The matter of the public offering support to businesses large and small that are least deserving of it has been raised more often than most of us would care to count.
From Ticketmaster and their secondary ticket sites to small venues in smallish towns it is really all the same issue.
If we want better then we must look to make it so.
We can do this by simply working with those who are a positive force in life. Gravitate to those who are fair in their business dealings, to those who have sterling reputations for treating others with respect.
By doing this we build their business and make them a success, and then that is seen as how to succeed. Everyone then wins. Even those who are able to see the errors of their ways are not excluded from starting again, but only if they do see the error of their ways.

Alex Main