The Case for a Cancellation Agent
Let me clear your calendar professionally
By Kevin Curtin,
10:00AM, Tue. Jun. 23, 2020
As the shifting tectonic plates of a global pandemic fracture the music industry into a scattered, ravaged rubble of its former self, innovation remains the only way forward. That’s why I’m announcing the creation of a never-before-seen role in the business: the cancellation agent.
“Is that like a booking agent?” you ask.
No. It’s actually the exact opposite. My job is to make your existing bookings vanish.
Perhaps you recently accepted a concert offer because you believed COVID-19 a diminishing concern. Now, after witnessing a huge spike in local infections, you’re worried about inviting fans into a potentially unsafe situation. You don’t want to go blubbering to the booker about how you’re not the type to leave anyone high and dry, but maybe the show should have gone on virtually.
NO worries. I’ll make that call for you. And I’ll make it sound cool.
“Hi, this is Destination Cherry’s cancellation agent. I have an exciting cancellation to tell you about ... Their performance at your event! It has been great working with you, and we’ll keep you in mind for future cancellations!”
Like a booking agent, I will be taking 10%, but solely out of your unemployment check.
I know, I know. If I had started this business in February, I’d be a millionaire. Still, I think there’s a lot of meat on the bone. Fall, in particular, looks to be a hot time for cancellations.
When that festival your band got scheduled to play an afternoon set at finally throws in the towel, I’ll get your name on the top line of their cancellation announcement. I might even be able to pull some strings and get your name in the mix if they cancel ACL Fest. Only a professional like myself can get you canceled from a gig you were never booked on.
I’m also fine with being the bad guy. If some promoter comes at you do a Tuesday night livestream, just tell them, “Please consult our cancellation agent, because demand’s been out the door.” And my work extends beyond live music; I’ll cancel your merch order, your studio session, Instagram interfaces.
I’m hoping to discuss this practice extensively at a South by Southwest panel next March. Wait – never mind. I’m cancelling.