Since when did it become okay to let people down with less than 24 hours notice?

I am currently administrating and overseeing a two week dance festival in Edinburgh which gives artists space to develop ideas. Space which at any other time would cost a minimum of £10 per hour and that most artists deem invaluable as they produce work with little or no funding. Space which many artists are hungry to use.

Therefore, it saddens me greatly when I receive an email informing me that the artist who was committed to use the space tomorrow has had to pull out as they have been asked to cover a shift at work. They only committed to using the space over a month ago but apparently £6 per hour serving tables is a more promising opportunity.

So for now I am busy chasing up artists who were keen to use the space to see if by some miracle one of them has kept a Saturday free and can make the most of the opportunity. If not this valuable space will gather cobwebs tomorrow as many artists will pay over the odds during the week to rehearse new material.

The most enraging fact about this is that at present I was supposed to be contacting venues to arrange new performance opportunities for unfunded local artists and instead I am scrabbling to fill the provision that has already been made for them. It makes me wonder if it is worth offering opportunities for others or whether it would be better to simply pursue my own creative aims.

If artists cannot be trusted to make the effort at this base level it is no wonder dance practitioners aren't given more opportunites to prove themselves in a funded arts world. PLEASE if you can't be bothered just don't get involved in the first place.