Jan 31, 2023

A Quick Overview of Live Performance Contracts

A Quick Overview of Live Performance Contracts

Performers perform. It’s in the job title, but they don’t do it for free. Performers from all around the world, whether musicians, comedians, magicians, or anything in between, are experts in their field and deserve compensation when they perform. The details of this compensation can get tricky and vary case by case, and it all comes together in a live performance contract. Continue reading to get a quick overview and understanding of live performance contracts.

What Is a Live Performance Contract?

Contracts are essential to any business, but some outsiders don’t understand why performers and artists need them. Even if a performer is a solo act, they are a business and must operate as such. That means they must draft a live performance contract to ensure they get fair deals, adequate compensation, and legal protection. These contracts stipulate that the performer agrees to provide entertainment for the client, but it goes deeper into specifying what kind of entertainment. Without a contract, the client could ask the performer to do something entirely out of their wheelhouse.

Performance Financials

Contracts outline rules regarding the performance and time spent performing and will also go into further detail about the performers’ engagement fee. The performer can specify in the contract how they want the client to pay them as well as overtime rates. The performer can further detail interest and late fees when the client doesn’t pay them on time. Putting information like this in writing is crucial, so the performer has legal recourse if the client chooses not to pay them.

Additional Requirements

There are many more components that the performer and client must agree on. The client will have specific times for arrival and set up at the venue that the performer must agree to, but they can negotiate and come to times that work for both parties. Additional parts of the contract cover variables such as:

  • Performer requirements (technical and hospitality riders)
  • Security
  • Damaged equipment
  • Venue recording
  • Cancellation agreements
  • Indemnity

These different stipulations come together so the performer and the client can agree and know exactly what they’re getting into. However, small performers can have difficulty negotiating these contracts with more prominent clients who may bully them into accepting their terms and conditions.

Understanding these live performance contracts is essential if you’re in the industry and want to start performing yourself. It’s a competitive field to enter, especially when you’re new. If that’s you, don’t hesitate to contact us at Schiller DuCanto & Fleck. We are the premier entertainment attorneys in Chicago and can help you get the contract that works for you!

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