Harmony Central Forums
No announcement yet.

Written band agreements......


  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Written band agreements......

    Im looking for ideas or a template for a written band agreement.  What do you put in one?  How in depth do you have to be for a cover band?  Is this another word for ryder??  May do a long distance gig for us and a written agreement was mentioned...any thoughts appreciated.

    Jack of all trades....Master of none...

  • #2
    What sort of written agreement? A contract between you and the people hiring you for your services? What sort of gig is it? What are the things you verbally agreed to?


    • #3
      It's more of another word for "contract." Those cover things like length of performance, what's expected, compensation, etc.

      Your rider covers performance necessities from you to the venue; stage size, power, dressing rooms/ accomodations, no green M&Ms, piles of coke, QUALITY local micro-brews (no Bud Light or whatever they're trying to pass off as Killian's now), measurements of the hookers, and the color of the eyes and hair inside the Furry outfit who's holding the camcorder.

      Oh, and water bottles/ drink tickets.
      Music, music, I hear music
      Fitch Drums - The Blog for the Aspiring Non-Professional Drummer


      • race81
        race81 commented
        Editing a comment
        verbal agreements of time, place, cost, and length of performance....but said they wanted a written agreement. I have no problem with it, just never been asked for one before. Im figuring just a formal letter? with the above, or should some other things be mentioned.?

    • #4

      The written agreement you use will depend on the type of client you're working with.    My projects play a mix of local bar gigs and private events (i.e., weddings, corporate gigs, private party type events) - and typically use two types of agreements.

      In our market, trying to get a bar owner to sign the typical "contract" that protects the band from everything from soup to nutz will get you laughed out to the curb in a New York second.    For us, a simple confirmation email summarizing the agreed upon performance date and time and agreed upon performance fee is as far as we go.  Unlike some forumites, our work is all local - and the worst thing that happens to us if we show up and get sent home - is we waste a couple of bucks on gas and get the night off.   Rather than try to protect our interests with a contract that guarantees payment - we usually assess the situation (the couple of times it's happened - it's been somebody's honest mistake) -  then smile and parlay the "injury" into a couple of dates in the future.

      Private events are another matter however.   Our experience has been that private events (especially weddings and private parties) like contracts because it makes them feel better.  However, after looking at many of the readily available "contracts" - I felt that the legalese that so many are written in were simply too harsh and frankly, intimidating to clients who don't deal with hiring bands and contracts daily.   So, we wrote our own "performance agreement".   Our agreement is written to sound like a planning document - a series of questions to answer - that ultimately gets signed by both parties to document exactly what has been agreed on.    A sample of our "performance agreement" can be seen in the link below:   

      Sample Performance Agreement

      We've found that the process of completing our agreement helps our clients understand some of our concerns (i.e., like space / power requirements - which they in turn bring up with the venue they've booked for their event) ... as well as our questions about food and drink (pointing out that we're working a 10+ hour day and asking "is the band invited to eat and drink with the guests?" is far more palatable than a harsh sounding "band will be provided with ...." clause).  More often than not we're told "we just added the band to the caterer's head count" .. and of course your welcome to the open bar!!!!. 


      The SpaceNorman


      Keyboards and Tone Generators: Yamaha CP300, Kronos 88, Roland AX Synth, Motif ES Rack
      Keyboard Rack: Samson SM10 Line Mixer, Motu MIDIExpressXT MIDI Interface, Shure PSM200 IEM system, M-Audio Wireless MIDI, Live Wires IEM ear buds, iPad wOnSong.
      Stage Amplification: Stereo via 2 Yamaha DSR112s


      • #5

        Hard to get into any specifics without a better description of what type of gig you're talking about.    At this point, you haven't told us if it's a bar, a wedding, a corporate thing, a festival, or a private party....and since each type of gig has its own unique circumstances, we can only speak in very vague and general terms.

        You might want to specify not only the length of the performance, but how the time is allocated.  Would you be playing one one-hour set?   Four forty-five minute sets with fifteen minute breaks?   Three one-hour sets with twenty minute breaks?    Make sure everyone is on the same page an in agreement about this.  

        As others have mentioned, if the band is playing all night, make sure everyone is clear on the start and stop times.

        Depending on the gig, you might also include something about being allowed a reasonable amount of time for set-up. I recall Dave (guido) talking about a gig where there was a miscommunication over the set-up time, and the manager of the facility wouldn't let them in the room until 30 minutes or so before they were supposed to start playing. (Or  something like that).      This probably wouldn't be an issue for a bar gig, where you'll have access all day long...but if it's a private or corporate event,  they may not fully understand the amount of set-up time required for a band.

        You might also want to clarify whether production (i.e. PA and lights) will be provided at the venue, or if the band is expected to provide their own.

        For what it's worth....back when I was doing a lot of long-distance type gigs (typically 4-8 hours drive time between gigs), the overwhelming majority of our gigs were booked by agents who handled all the contractual details and made sure all this stuff was communicated to all parties involved ahead of time.    If your band is looking at picking up more long-distance road dates like this, you might consider talking to some agencies.