Waylander Tour Cancellation Statement
Earlier this month Waylander embarked on a tour across Europe however the tour turned out to be very short lived with the band returning home just a couple of days later. Various reasons at the time were speculated however the band have now made a formal statement.
“There are some different tales on why we abandoned the tour, here is the real story. Basically, our ‘Tour Organiser’ and ‘Promoter’ seemed to be running some kind of bizarre con. By the end of the first day we realised this, and none of us felt safe trusting our well being to his schizophrenic notions of care.
Before we began the tour we were assured that certain essentials were taken care of. Namely: travel arrangements, accommodation, food & drink, venues, adequate backline, ticket sales, and promotion. These are standard arrangements for any tour, and of course, we were lied to about them being in place.
We were promised a van and driver to take the band, plus gear, to our accommodation. Upon arrival, no van appeared, and we were led across Warsaw via various buses and trams. OK, no problem, these things happen. We honestly didn’t mind. But that was just the beginning of a lengthy farce.
We are still uncertain whether any accommodation had actually been pre-arranged, or if it was just arranged during our haphazard trek through Warsaw (with all band gear). We seemed to hop from street to street, bus to tram, and into different hotels until our ‘Promoter’ finally found a place that would have us. After 30+ hours awake and travelling through the night from Ireland, we were not amused. But, we felt, we are here now. Let’s settle.
Then we immediately discovered that we had to pay for the accommodation ourselves (this had supposedly been sorted, remember), and probably paid our Organiser’s room too. This was to become a main theme for our stay: That nothing was properly arranged (if at all) and we had to pay for everything as events progressed. It soon became very apparent that we were personally paying for our Tour Organiser to do anything he seemed to fancy, from buying himself beers, and Vietnamese meals, to deciding that our band owed Venues money (more on that later). It seemed like a classic scam. Of course, all the other things we were promised (80 pre-sale tickets at the first gig, 100 beers, food, transport, adequate backline, minimum 200 euros per gig, etc) never appeared or took place.
We were constantly told (often crazy) excuses e.g. ‘the microwave exploded, so there is no food’ or ‘the 100 beers I promised were waiting…we cannot have them because of the venue owner’. Or, we were simply ignored. Very frustrating. Many of the excuses made no sense, and we soon realised we would be told anything to simply keep things going forward. We started to doubt his sanity when he went to closed bars and screamed / shouted at them to open. He brought us to an off licence where he jumped the counter, and started serving us himself – to the complete shock of the staff. Ok, we’re Irish and fond of a drink. We even like our crazy characters, but at this point, even we knew something wasn’t right. He helped himself to beers, which of course we had to pay for.
So, time our first gig. He told us that the tram in front of us would take us straight to the venue so we got on. Once on the tram he got upset that there were more than 3 other people on it and dragged us all off. Four trams, three buses and a 20 minute walk later, we finally arrive at the venue. Meanwhile we had to pay for an expensive taxi to transport our gear and singer to the venue. That wouldn’t’ be the first time either. At the venue, we discovered the backline is wrong. We have to drop some songs because there aren’t enough cymbal stands. He then proceeds to try and strike a deal with us about releasing various vinyl albums. He told us we had many thousands of album sales in Poland, a fact he conveniently forgot later when explaining the poor turnout (which he said was because nobody knows us…not because he did no real promotion).
Of course, so little promotion had taken place. We’ve been in the game long enough to know that full well. We suspect a one-shot on FaceBook of his friends is all he did, because the only people to come were the support band and a handful of their fans. 2 Waylander fans did come, and apologised for the turnout (not their fault) and plainly told us there had been no promotion. The 80 pre-sold tickets turned out to be lies, of course. And as for the 200 euros per gig…
As we went onstage we are cheerily told ‘it’s not the number of people that comes, but the quality of the people that counts’. Well, after the gig, apparently quantity mattered too because suddenly there was ‘a problem’. Surprise, surprise, we suddenly owed the Venue a considerable amount of money because ‘not enough people came’. After being sickened by the farce so far, we simply refused. Enough was enough. This is not how business is done with bands and venues, any real promoter would have the finance already sorted with the venue and paid in advance. We were told we would be paid, and instead we are to pay. Again, just more lies and scamming. Eventually he returned to say that he had struck a great deal with the venue, and now we only had to pay 70 zlotys to the venue. There was a lot of friction at this point. Clearly this was how the rest of the tour was going to progress. We had to return to our accommodation and decide if it was possible to continue the tour without this guy.
Finally, he orders us a taxi and then promptly disappears into the nearby park without telling the taxi driver where we were staying. We were left to work out how to return to the hostel ourselves. This involved showing our hostel keyrings to a taxi driver, who didn’t speak English, but thankfully worked out a way to find the place. Typically, there wasn’t room in the taxi for the full band, plus gear. So 2 of us had to wander the streets of Warsaw, still in blue warpaint, at 1am, and relying on the phone / google directions of the other band members to get back. Hours later, these 2 arrive to find an angry hostel owner, and a laughing Tour Organiser – who insisted he had tried phoning to help (even when he didn’t have the phone number). He was now with a girl that he had picked up in the venue, and was finding this all very funny. We can appreciate absurd circumstances, and even take a joke. But this wasn’t funny. It was the end of the tour: Could we really entrust ourselves to work under the wing of such a person throughout Europe? It was a sad decision to make, but it was already becoming clear. It appears our fans, and even his own arrangements simply didn’t matter to this guy. It’s like he just wanted to play at promoting, without doing any work, and living some false notion of being special. Truth or lies, he would say anything to keep the ball rolling. And it was down to us and our fans to pay for it.
After that, he drank through the night with some friends of his at the hostel. We considered our options regarding the tour. We had spent too much money on surviving the first day, and on serious costs, like our flights. Re-arranging travel, accommodation, at such sudden short notice was simply impossible. There was no way we could make it work. It was funny to him. It deeply upset us because we wanted so much to play for our fans and friends.
Even if the van magically appeared the next day, we could not trust our equipment or personal welfare to this guy. We suspect that there would be more ‘problems’ at venues that ‘need money’. There would be more accommodation to pay for, not to mention his whimsical appetites, and probably that of his friend the ‘driver’, his girlfriend… and whoever else he fancied. Backlines, etc did not factor into his planning. His idea of a plan actually frightens us.
We had to travel from Warsaw to Budapest, and re-arrange our flights. This meant waiting in Warsaw for 11 hours, a 12 hour overnight train to Budapest, followed by a 10 hour wait in Budapest airport. We finally arrived home in Ireland 2 days later at 4am with little sleep, and a tour in ashes. We apologise to everyone that was affected by this, we hope you can see why we had little choice but to pull out.
Once again, we are very sorry things turned out like this and wanted nothing less that upset any fans.