Down for the Count and COVID-19
Above: Down for the Count taking a bow at our last gig before the first lockdown, on Sunday 15th March at The Royal Hippodrome Theatre, Eastbourne.
This article was last updated on 5th May 2021.
We know this is an uncertain time for everyone, and we just wanted to update our clients and fans to keep everyone fully informed.
Please don't hesitate to get in touch if your question isn't answered here.
What's your cancellation/refund policy for existing bookings?
This depends on the nature of your contract with us - there are various scenarios, such as whether you booked directly with Down for the Count or through an agency. It's best that you get in touch with us direct and we'll talk through the specifics of your booking with you.
Regardless of the above, we are being very flexible with rescheduling events. So far, we have been able to reschedule almost every booking which was due to take place during the pandemic to a future date which is suitable for all parties.
We are aware that some clients who have rescheduled once are currently considering whether or not they will need to reschedule for a second time. We are happy to do this as a gesture of goodwill, so just get in touch and we'll discuss the options.
What's your cancellation/refund policy for future bookings?
We understand that you might be concerned about booking a band with the current ongoing COVID-19 pandemic affecting large gatherings.
We ask for a non-refundable 40% retainer fee to secure bookings (which has been our policy since before the pandemic). If it transpires that you need to reschedule your booking because of government restrictions on gatherings, we are very happy to transfer the booking to another date and our contract with you will reflect this.
The only two provisions are that (1) the new date should be one on which the band is currently available (which, as we are a collective of 30 musicians, is rarely an issue), and (2) the new date should, if possible, be within 12 months of the original event date for us to guarantee the original fee (however, we’ll do our best to be flexible on this point).
If you have to cancel a booking outright, whether or not you'll receive a refund of the retainer fee depends on the government restrictions in place at the time the event was due to take place. We'd really encourage you to reschedule rather than cancel if at all possible.
We're happy to talk through all the options with you, and are committed to doing everything we can to make sure that your event is as close as possible to the way you dreamt it.
I have tickets to a public Down for the Count show - what's happening with them?
Almost all of our public performances are organised by a venue or a third-party "promoter", who is responsible for ticket sales. In most cases, the promoter and the venue are one and the same. If you have tickets for a Down for the Count show, we suggest you contact them first and ask them what their refund policy is - if you're struggling to get in touch with them, let us know as we're happy to do what we can to help.
The one public event which Down for the Count have been promoting ourselves pre-pandemic is our 15th Birthday Party, due to take place at The 100 Club on Friday 12th June 2020. This has been rescheduled to Friday 1st April 2022; all existing tickets will be valid for the new date and you don't need to contact us unless you would like to arrange for a refund.
When will you be performing at jazz clubs and theatres again?
We've been looking at new and innovative ways of performing in public - and we've begun a series of livestreams on our YouTube and Facebook channels. We're also looking for new ways of bringing you content online - stay tuned to our social media channels for more information!
What does the future look like for Down for the Count?
Down for the Count Ltd are in a reasonable financial position and there is no imminent threat to the company. In October 2020, we were humbled to be included in the first wave of funding from the government's Cultural Recovery Fund, administered by Arts Council England, recognising us as an "organisation of cultural significance"; and were equally delighted to be awarded a further grant in March 2022 for round two of the fund.
Because we do not operate out of a fixed premises we had not previously been eligible for most of the government business support that had been available, but we have been able to lower our overheads to ensure the ongoing financial stability of the company - and, with news of the award of this grant, we have no concerns about our financial health heading in to 2021, 2022 and beyond.
We are aware that many of the arts organisations we perform for (theatres, jazz clubs, festivals and dance organisations) are in a perilous financial situation and some have not been as fortunate as us to receive government support. We would urge you to do what you can to support your local venues to ensure they still exist after the current crisis is over - such as writing to your MP to ask them to support local arts organisations, and buying tickets for as many future shows as you can to support these venues.
What else have you been up to?
During the first months of the pandemic, our company director Mike Paul-Smith has largely been on furlough, coming out of furlough at certain times as necessary to serve the needs of our clients. At any time that Mike has been furloughed, a member of the Down for the Count team has been monitoring phone calls and emails - and this will continue from July onwards, when the furlough scheme becomes more flexible.
One of the projects that Mike has completed when not furloughed is our two Lockdown EPs, Lockdown for the Count and Still Locked Down for the Count - two EPs recorded entirely in isolation, raising money for the charities Mind and Refuge. Do check out the EP here and watch the videos on our YouTube channel.
Finally, we've been spending a lot of time thinking about the Black Lives Matter movement and what more we, as a company and individuals, can do to support the cause. We are fully aware that none of the music Down for the Count perform would exist were it not for black American musicians who created it in times of oppression. We're closely examining everything we do as a company to make sure we are respectful of this fact, and to make sure we're doing everything we can to promote and further the Black Lives Matter cause.
If you have any questions for us, please don't hesitate to get in touch and one of the Down for the Count team will be happy to help.