If you want to avoid getting taken advantage of in the music industry, you need to get everything in writing and have contracts for the important stuff. Yes, playing shows is part of the important stuff and you should have a payment agreement contract set up with the venue each and every time that you play to make sure that you get paid the amount that you agreed upon. Here are a few things that you should include in your booking contract.
Getting Paid – You need to figure out how much you are going to be getting paid for your performance. If you require an upfront deposit of a certain percent, you need to make that clear. You also need to make the venue aware of who exactly they are going to pay. Make sure if you are a band and you have one person designated to handling the money, that you spell their name correctly when you put it in writing. Make sure you also note if you want to be paid be cash or check.
How Long You’re Supposed To Play – Your set time depends on how many songs you are allowed/supposed to play. You need to have a clear understanding of how long you are supposed to play for the payment you will be getting. You also need to get in writing (if you are playing a long set) if you are allowed to take a break every so often, you need to determine how long that break is and how often you will be getting one.
Additional Requirements – Will the venue provide you food and drinks or at least a discount? If so, will it cover everyone in your band? You will also want to ask if you can have a guest list and how many people the venue will allow you to put on it. You don’t want a reporter getting to the door because you said it was ok, and they realize they have to pay to get in. That’s not cool to any party involved.
What Happens If It Is Canceled – You need to determine what happens in the event that either you need to cancel or the venue needs to cancel the event. If they venue cancels, will you still get paid the full amount, a percentage or nothing at all? Come up with a date that either party needs to cancel by before they have to pay out or pay back any money owed.
It’s always best to cover yourself so you don’t get caught by surprise at the end of the night when you just sold out a venue. You deserve the money that is coming to you.