First Cancelation because of Corona Virus

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djtaso

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Apr 4, 2017
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Got my first cancellation today for May 30th. The only guidance we have from our Governor (Washington State) is a stay at home order until May 4th. It sucks because it was at a pretty cool venue in a wine cellar under ground and a referral from a wedding coordinator in a small resort town in WA.

I decided to refund the retainer and wished them the best and hope that they can have a celebration when this is over and of course include my services. It's only $300, I keep all retainers in a seperate account until the event is over, so not a big deal. I think that is the way to go in this scenerio and in my own situation.
Are they not postponing? I personally haven’t had one wedding cancel. If they are postponing why don’t u say you’ll apply it to their future date?
 

djtaso

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Just as an update... Ive had all my March, April and June weddings and sweet 16’s postpone. May still has a few holding out seeing what will happen. All but one rescheduled for summer and fall of 2020. Their willing to take the chance as they don’t wanna push it till later if they don’t have to. Only one pushed for 2021 as they really wanted a spring wedding.

July hasn’t had any postponements but had2 ask about my policies since their concern is more with guests flying in and if there will be restrictions.

Overall I haven’t had any major negative effects from this, assuming this doesn’t go deeper than June. I’ll just have an extremely busy July-November (sept and oct have every Friday-Sunday booked)
 

RobDawg

Active DJ
Jan 21, 2019
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Are they not postponing? I personally haven’t had one wedding cancel. If they are postponing why don’t u say you’ll apply it to their future date?
They are cancelling. If they end up scheduling a party or something, they're still going to get married this Summer, they'll reach out. As someone who is now sitting on $2500 in Delta flight credits because of trip cancellations I'm reluctant to hold on to someone's money for a service they may never use.
 
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DJ Ricky B

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Mar 9, 2015
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Just as an update... Ive had all my March, April and June weddings and sweet 16’s postpone. May still has a few holding out seeing what will happen. All but one rescheduled for summer and fall of 2020. Their willing to take the chance as they don’t wanna push it till later if they don’t have to. Only one pushed for 2021 as they really wanted a spring wedding.

July hasn’t had any postponements but had2 ask about my policies since their concern is more with guests flying in and if there will be restrictions.

Overall I haven’t had any major negative effects from this, assuming this doesn’t go deeper than June. I’ll just have an extremely busy July-November (sept and oct have every Friday-Sunday booked)
At a minimum, the post ponements have taken away available dates later in the year that you could have booked an event. Also, your income stream has been delayed. It's like delaying thousands of dollars in income by months.

Fortunately, I have a job at the moment. If I did not, there is no way I could make it...well there is...I would basically be taking my IRA out, take the penalty and live off of it for the time being. I can't believe they would induce this shut down into July though. ...It seems Trump is pushing for shut downs to end ASAP....Stock market went up in part thanks to Trump talking about opening up the economy, and "SIGNS" that the pandemic is starting to flatten the curve. I don't think Trump will wait into June, and very doubtful he will wait into July with all of this...However, I know many governors will wait as long as it takes and I can see many governors refusing to open when Trump wants to. ...Maybe a lot of political bickering to come on how to open things back up in the coming 3 to 5 weeks.

There is also a lot of talk that A LOT of small businesses won't be opening back up if these shut downs last into June/July. They can't take a 3 month hit of being closed. ...Even with the SBA loans available out there.
 

djtaso

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They are cancelling. If they end up scheduling a party or something, they're still going to get married this Summer, they'll reach out. As someone who is now sitting on $2500 in Delta flight credits because of trip cancellations I'm reluctant to hold on to someone's money for a service they may never use.
I'm just surprised... no venue has given couples the option to cancel but rather only focus on postponements... in fact since most of these events were less than 1-3 months out, most couples have already paid at least 50-75% of their bill to the venue, which is non refundable... transferrable... but not refundable... so very very few couples are even thinking of cancelling and giving up so much money. Of course, that's just the venues... most other vendors have the same policy. I know some proms of mine are even considering doing proms on a tuesday or in july because of the amount of money that they're about to take a loss on if they cancel outright.
 

djtaso

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At a minimum, the post ponements have taken away available dates later in the year that you could have booked an event. Also, your income stream has been delayed. It's like delaying thousands of dollars in income by months.

Fortunately, I have a job at the moment. If I did not, there is no way I could make it...well there is...I would basically be taking my IRA out, take the penalty and live off of it for the time being.
Not for me... I only do 70 events a year... I had already reached that goal with 3/4 weekends in Nov wide open and 2/4 in December wide open. I also had lots of july august availability and some September openings to accommodate my parties. Delayed income... yes... but no significant expenses other than the house, which I've built a healthy reserve for as a result of habitual saving. Again, were all in different personal situations. I also am continuously investing and have not sold any stocks.

Fyi they've loosened rules for taking out of IRAs if you do find yourself in this situation.
 

TES3S

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Sep 18, 2016
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Los Angeles, CA
Taso, you have been lucky. Almost all of mine are scheduling for 2021, not 2020. They are moving to 2021 for lots of reasons, not all by choice. I know some venues not even allowing to rebook for 2020, which makes no sense but none the less, most are rebooking for 2021.

Are you saying that most of your events booked for 2020 are booked by March-- meaning you take no more business at your max number of events, which has almost already happened for you? I typically book all the way tough October, even for the current year as that is when the holiday and corporate stuff begins to book. (that's when I reach my max number of events). If so, that's amazing, and kina crazy!

If my clients moved their date to this 2020, it would only be a small hit as I am still giving up fall and winter dates, but still giving up plenty of dates, and you're not?
 
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TES3S

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Sep 18, 2016
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Also, I have updated my contract for cancelations, stating in short that if rebooked to another date, it has to be within one year of the original date, or pay penalty, which I set rathe high so it discourages them.
 

djtaso

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Taso, you have been lucky. Almost all of mine are scheduling for 2021, not 2020. They are moving to 2021 for lots of reasons, not all by choice. I know some venues not even allowing to rebook for 2020, which makes no sense but none the less, most are rebooking for 2021.

Are you saying that most of your events booked for 2020 are booked by March-- meaning you take no more business at your max number of events, which has almost already happened for you? I typically book all the way tough October, even for the current year as that is when the holiday and corporate stuff begins to book. (that's when I reach my max number of events). If so, that's amazing, and kina crazy!

If my clients moved their date to this 2020, it would only be a small hit as I am still giving up fall and winter dates, but still giving up plenty of dates, and you're not?
Yes typically I have most of entire year booked around this time... for 2019 I hit my 70 event mark by May 2nd... but I pushed that to 75 events to accomodate some repeat clients. As I do more and more weddings, I'm getting booked further in advance. I don't do corporate events, nor do I do many holiday events. Also, because many of my clients are referrals, they know to call and book right away.
 
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TES3S

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Yes typically I have most of entire year booked around this time... for 2019 I hit my 70 event mark by May 2nd... but I pushed that to 75 events to accomodate some repeat clients. As I do more and more weddings, I'm getting booked further in advance. I don't do corporate events, nor do I do many holiday events. Also, because many of my clients are repeats, they know to call and book right away.
I primarily do weddings too, and my couples on average, book me 8 months in advance, which means some book earlier, and some later. But, they are not repeat customers, lol. Are you DJing second marriages? :)
 

djtaso

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I primarily do weddings too, and my couples on average, book me 8 months in advance, which means some book earlier, and some later. But, they are not repeat customers, lol. Are you DJing second marriages? :)
lol I had to edit that to say referrals. Although, many are repeat for sweet 16's, proms, and multiple weddings amongst the same family. One family I must have done 8 weddings for over the course of 5 years between siblings and cousins.
 
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TES3S

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Sep 18, 2016
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I book quite a bit of November and December weddings so I am not close to having those dates filled by March of the current year as my average is 8 month lead time. Honestly, to be mostly booked up by March is incredible, so I'll tip my hat to you. Even most of the top wedding DJs in my area (Los Angeles) that do 60-70 events a yr are not even close to booked for the current year at this time.

But, as I mentioned, I would still rather book 2020 (knowing I am giving up a few) as going into 2021 really takes a bite of out of potential income for nxt year since I am just moving the dates.

I am predicting a loss of $20-25k from all this, once said and done.
 
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DJ Ricky B

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Mar 9, 2015
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Well, I received an email while at work today. My April 25th couple has decided on a new date that I am not available. This wedding was booked through another DJ so he has already assigned a new DJ to them. It would have been a nice paying wedding, however, it was also my farthest drive..like 102 miles each way. So with this wedding not happening, I really don't have any FAR drive weddings this year over 70 miles away...at least at this point.


One of my brothers mentioned that I may be able to get some sort of partial unemployment pay for the loss in Gig Money this year, BUT I am doubting that since I do have a full time job as well, and before the pandemic, if you were employed, you couldn't collect any unemployment for your solo op business if you lost income.

I feel the rule is the same, but there could be a loop hole with the pandemic. Not sure it is worth trying to spend time obtaining, and frankly as long as I am employed and working I don't need any unemployment pay, but that could also chance in a month or 2 depending on how long this shut down lasts.
 

TES3S

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Sep 18, 2016
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Ya, I don't think you can get unemployment since you have another job, BUT you can apply for the $10,000 grant that is not owed back. That specifically is to make up for lost income to your small business.

The PPP Loan most likely will have a lot to be paid back, and I can not opt for that anyhow if I claim unemployment (I don't have another job).
 

BlueLineDJ

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Jan 25, 2015
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I was told to apply for unemployment by a leader of our local chamber of commerce. They said if you lost income due to the pandemic and that income is something you relied upon to sustain your means of living then you could, whether you had another full time job still in effect or not.
 

rickryan.com

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Dec 9, 2009
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Just had an interesting phone call. We had a Photog+DJ gig booked for last July, where the couple broke up and they cancelled the wedding. I'd collected $1350 deposit and told them they could re-use it, if they re-scheduled. Can't say that I've ever had this happen before but the couple apparently got back together and now they're re-engaged and planning a wedding for 7-14-2020 (a Tuesday). It's going to be a family-only event (handful of people) and they only need Photog and Uplighting (can't understand why but that's what MOB said). I'm also guessing it's only going to be a couple of hours instead of the 8 hours we normally contract for. At this point, my wife is really nervous about committing to anything until this shelter-in-place order is lifted. Not sure what we're going to offer but I doubt it's going to involve any more money coming our way.