Skipping out on your bar tab is probably up there with stealing the tip jar and no one ought to understand this more than working bands, who spend a lot of time in venues and rely on them for… well, having a place to play.

But the publicans of Melbourne venue Grumpy’s were forced to call out a local band after they skipped out on their bar tab after playing a show at the venue. “Hey HeavyHeads, thanks heaps for bailing on your TAB at the bar yesterday,” they wrote on Facebook.

“I know you didn’t forget because I spoke to you moments before you all hopped in your ride and peeled off. This was a real dog act and I sincerely hope there’s some shitty karma in your future. Everyone else, you were great.”

The criticism prompted HeavyHeads frontman Joe to respond. The singer apologised and explained that it was in fact he who racked up the bar tab and decided to skip out on it, which was motivated by the fact that the gig was a “pay to play”.

“I’m not here to make any elaborate excuses, I simply got pissed off at the end when I found out it was pay to play and made the decision to bail,” he wrote. “It was a dick move and I’m here to offer my apologies and to ask the venue let us know how much it is and I’ll get the money to you.”

But as venue management informed the frontman, the venue and the promoter are not one and the same and by skipping out on the bill, he was only hurting the venue’s employees. “We receive no monetary gain except for that spent over the bar,” they wrote.

The venue even offered to “wear the cost” of the tab, but Joe was adamant. “Nah, Listen, I’m going to pay it, I genuinely feel awful about it, it ain’t something I do and I don’t really wanna be that guy, just got a mood on and bailed like a twat didn’t I!?” he wrote.

The moral of the story: think before you skip… or just don’t. Yeah, just don’t.

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