It ain't fun, I'll tell you that much.
There aren't many things more frustrating than working out travel plans for weeks, loading up all your gear, driving 5 and a half hours out of town and then showing up to a venue you thought you were playing at to find out some other band is scheduled to play instead.
Let me point out, by the way, that this was not an error on our part. Two other bands made the trip expecting to play this show, too. Apparently there was some miscommunication between someone somewhere and that led to the venue being double-booked. Neat.
So we were peeved, to put it lightly. Our promoter wasn't happy, either. We had been promoting this show for months and were being replaced by this Stevie Ray Vaughan cover band? (I should point out I have nothing against SRV or the band.)
Luckily, they still let us play after our 'replacement' band was done...but not until, like, 10:30 p.m.
So we all just chilled in the parking lot for 4 hours before our show could kick off. Some of us went to go get food and drinks. Some just sat there. Us? We just drove around for a bit and came back about an hour before the show started.
I was frustrated, but whatever. We were still getting to play, and it was going to be livestreamed, so I was fine. However, this is when I found out that all of the staff were super stuck-up.
They made my partner, who was there with the band helping with gear, pay to get in since he wasn't technically performing. Then the first band got on stage to soundcheck. They sounded great and got everything sorted, but the sound guy demanded they get off stage since the show didn't "start" for another 15 minutes. Is that necessary? Is the first band of the night being on stage really that detrimental?
The whole time it felt like management never really wanted us there at all. This could be attributed to the fact that everyone working there may not have expected to be working 2 back-to-back shows, so they were understandably upset. If that's the case, then my condolences to the employees. That's lame and should never happen.
The whole trip was a headache, but we ended up getting to play and killed it, regardless.
Miscommunications happen, and this kind of stuff can be endlessly frustrating for everyone involved. However, you push through it and make the most of the situation. It usually turns out alright and you've got a story to tell afterwards.