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creating your own booking agreement

Five things:

  1. Having a booking agreement can save you some serious headaches regarding the gig. It stinks if you get to the venue with a 5-meter extension cord and find that the power source is 60-meters away from the (also unexpected) outdoor site. And it’s happened to plenty of bands/ensembles with or without the agreement. The difference with the agreement is that you can point to it as a means to find a compromise or in tough circumstances to require payment if the venue does not meet their part of the agreement. And I’m not a lawyer.
  2. I’ll once again remind you that I’m not legally trained in any way. I’m not a lawyer and if you want a legally binding contract, you should consult with one. What I’m offering is a simple checklist that can also serve as a basic agreement between a musician and a gig venue. And I’m not a lawyer.
  3. There are other guides to creating your own musician booking contract on the web. I think you’ll find the basics of what you need for a gig checklist right here. If you don’t, please leave a comment and I’ll provide an expanded/updated definitive guide. And I’m not a lawyer.
  4. Having an agreement helps you to come across as a professional. You know you are. Show the venue by having it together. And I’m not a lawyer.
  5. This is a basic and generic guide. I can’t cover everything in a 500-word blog. And I’m not a lawyer. 😉

Basic Musician Booking Agreement

 Essential elements

  •  Your name (or the name of your band/act). An opportunity to identify yourself and your brand with the venue.
  • The venue or host name (may be an individual or organization, of course).
  • The venue address.
  • Date of the agreement.
  • Date with start and end times of the performance.
  • Payment:
    • what’s the amount of the payment?
    • how and when will it be paid?
    • do you need it to be in cash? Say so.
    • will there be a deposit and a remainder? give the amounts and dates that these are to be paid.
  • Power: Specify that you need reasonable access to grounded outlet(s) at the stage and console locations. Specify a distance under 30 feet / 10 meters.

Other considerations, especially for larger venues

  • Specify if you want the performance area (“stage”) to be protected from weather (precipitation and sunlight) in the case of outdoor venues.
  • State if you want recording, reproduction and transmission of the performance prohibited by the establishment.
  • Indicate that events beyond the control of either party allow that party to be excused from this agreement.
  • Merchandising? (Are you going to be allowed to sell CD’s, T-shirts, etc. at the venue?)
  • Acknowledgement of copyrights. i.e., you won’t infringe and if you do, the venue is indemnified (free-and-clear of any wrongdoing).
  • Sound system: who is providing it? If it’s the venue, specify the number of inputs and indicate whether the venue should provide direct boxes.
  • Parking: You will need a space to park. Also specify unloading of equipment in proximity to the performance site.
  • Security: Is it required by you for backstage access? You may need this to be an optional section of your agreement since it may be overkill for smaller venues.
  • Promotion: who will provide it? Again, this may be overkill for certain types of venue.
That’s just too much to keep track of, isn’t it? That’s why I’m providing this Performance Booking Agreement template (fill in the form) until you have time to consult with a lawyer and create your own.
Playful blessings,
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muz4now by Stan Stewart is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

2 thoughts on “creating your own booking agreement”

  1. Your article is excellent. Your writing style and solid information is interesting and smart. I agree with a lot of your views. Thank you for your dedication to quality content.

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