Monday, December 6, 2010

Music Business/Law Tips - "Gig Contract" (Part 1)

For musical artists that perform in clubs, especially artists that intend to tour, the best form of protection is a "performance agreement" ("agreement") between the artist and the club. It is not always possible to get a club to sign an agreement. However, it is worth requesting. Having your own ready made agreement to present to the club will ensure some comfort that there is proper payment, etc. Such an agreement is imperative if the musician is traveling out of town for the gig.

A performance agreement should contain the following provisions:

- Place Of Show

- Date/Time And Length Of Show

- Wages - It is best to get a "guaranteed" fee agreed to in advance. This is generally paid 1/2 at some time prior to the show and and 1/2 at the gig. Sometimes there is a guarantee, plus a percentage (or else just a percentage alone). It is important to specify what the percentage is based on and how it is calculated. Is it a percentage of ticket sales? Is it a percentage of the door? Is it a percentage of the bar? Is it based on gross or net (after expenses) receipts? If the deal with the club is for a percentage of the door, put a friend at the door with a clicker counting people coming in. Stipulate in the agreement that there are no free entries for anyone (unless they are part of the music industry) if they are not on the guest list.

[part 2 next week]

Ben McLane Esq

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