Live Performances the Booking Agreement

Most bands play live. Whether you play webcam xxxs infrequently or are regular club veterans, you should always consider drawing up a written contract or booking agreement when playing live. A contract can be very simple and does not have to be filled with legal provisions.  It could simply state that the club agrees to pay your band $250 to perform one a certain date at a certain time and then is signed by both parties.  That would be a binding agreement, but considering that some performances will require a bit more detail there are some things that need to be considered and added into a Booking agreement.
At a minimum, a contract needs to have the following elements; it needs to be in writing and it needs to be signed by both parties agreeing to the terms of the agreement.  Does this mean that each and every individual member of your band has to sign this agreement?  No only one signature is required as each band member has the authority to bind the entire band in a partnership.
The following terms must be in the contract to be enforceable. First, it must specify the requirements of the band. This will include the date, time and length of performance. It is important to clarify how long the band will have to play to get paid. This can be expressed in terms of hours ("Band will play for three hours") or sets ("Band will play three 45 minute sets"). By spelling out the terms and conditions expected of each party will avoid disputes during the night of the show.
The second thing a performance contract must contain is the manner of compensation for the band. This can be a guarantee ("Club will pay Band $400"), an incentive (Club will pay Band 50% of the door") or some combination thereof (Club guarantees Band $150 plus 25% of the door"). Also include in the contract when your band will get paid, for instance, 50% prior to your band performing and the balance plus any percentage if any due upon completion of engagement. If you are to receive a percentage of the door, have someone you trust oversee the drop count that will help determine the settlement at the end of the night.
Let’s say that your band is going to perform in a club that is located in another city or state.  A simple contract like the one described above many not be adequate enough that a more detailed contract is required. Additional provisions will need to be added like is the band going to use house sound and lights?  Or if you as a band will provide sound and lights if none if available or will the club pay to have the sound and lights brought into the club.  If your band is going to be selling merchandise does the club take a percentage of the sales?  If so the terms should be spelled out on the contract of if the club says the band can keep all monies earned then it should be stated that the band is to receive 100% of the merchandise sold.
If you are performing in a city that is away from home, you might want to incorporate a rider that spells out the power requirements that are necessary.  Detail what equipment you are carrying and what sort of power and hookup will be required to run them.  Indicate what kind of promotion and advertising that is requested or expected of the club to do on your bands behalf before the date is played and any hospitality requirements the band may need as you are traveling to another city.
A contract confirms in writing the mutual understanding and agreement between two parties. There is no reneging or changing the terms after the show has performed when you have it in writing. A written contract also shows that the band takes their performance and business seriously. Finally, a contract is important to enforcing your rights if a club owner refuses to pay you. For all of these reasons, a written booking agreement is highly recommended.

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