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Thread: Contracts

  1. #1

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    I see a lot of talk about having contracts for gigs that are booked by an individual or a band. I know contracts are certainly a good thing to help protect both parties, but, will the market you are currently in support them?

    Where I live if you try to book a four hour bar show and you mention a contract you are going to be laughed at. There are also no musician unions here.

    I do see where there are places where bands can successfully use contracts, and places where there are successful unions, but I also see places where neither are successful.

    I guess at the end of the day it depends on the market we all play in. How is it where you live and play?
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  2. #2

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    the only contracts we have to use are from a chain of restaurants/bars that go through an agent, we sign a contract for that gig. Up in Toronto, the average bar gig would not have a contract, nor a booking agent for the bar.

  3. #3

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    We always played under contract when on tour. Also when using booking agency, larger local clubs, festivals, casinos, and travel gigs. Local bars and smaller clubs not so much.

  4. #4

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    We only use a written formal contract for larger outdoor gigs. Basically, it says if we show up but the weather cancels the event, we still get paid. That’s important...because if we book an event, then we’re obviously not able to play somewhere else that same day/night. It also spells out the details like agreed amount, time, equipment responsibility, etc.. Thats good, because many times the people that hire for those events are organizations...and someone always has questions.

    For small bars, clubs, etc.., we just go by verbal agreement. Which is in essence, a verbal contract. We take it just as serious in terms of our commitment. Canceling a gig is not an option except due to serious illness or worse.
    Several local bars hand out a “pay schedule” that shows the “base pay” and the “extra commission based on bar profit”. That sounds good, but you have no way of knowing how much profit the bar made...so basically it’s an excuse for the bar owner to pay whatever they feel like.
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  5. #5

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    Depends on the venue.

  6. #6

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    yeah only time we've talked "contract" is for big venue events/concerts etc.

    We also did a contract with one local bar to play there once a month for 6 months.
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  7. #7

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    Whatever happened to the BMI stink that was going around awhile back?

    If playing copyrighted music the clubs or bars were supposed to charge the band for playing those songs... something like that
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  8. #8

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    What I heard, and take it with the proverbial grain of salt, was, being that most bands are cover bands, almost everything they play is going to have the copyright stamped on it. The band would probably be paid less than what it would cost for the copyright stuff.

    To cover it, the band says "we will take the gig for 1K a night", the club won't pay it, the band isn't going to take a gig that costs them more than they're going to make, so not only did that idea circle the bowl, it got a chance to see the sewer system up close and personal.

    Anyway, that's what I heard.
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  9. #9

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    The only time we signed a contract for a gig was when we played a summer concert series sponsored by a local town. Otherwise for bars, private events, street fairs and festivals, it's a verbal agreement.


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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by slinky View Post
    Whatever happened to the BMI stink that was going around awhile back?

    If playing copyrighted music the clubs or bars were supposed to charge the band for playing those songs... something like that
    I'd like to know too. Anyone? They blew this up years ago and all musicians were scared they were going to come after us. Crazy!
    I wonder what changed.
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  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by drummer View Post
    I'd like to know too. Anyone? They blew this up years ago and all musicians were scared they were going to come after us. Crazy!
    I wonder what changed.
    Not easy to go after a couple of hundred thousand musicians. They would have to go back to the Battle of Hastings and get the trumpet players that sound the charge but were playing Ellington before. I didn't sweat 5 seconds thinking about that BS.
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