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Preparing a Contract

Posted Bydawn

From the very basic to the more complicated, here are some things you should look for in a Live Performance Contract:

  1. Contact Info | Yours and the promoter's
  2. Artist Schedule | When do you arrive, load-in, sound check, get on and off the stage, do the teardown, are there other artists before or after you?
  3. Production | What do you absolutely need, what is a nice-to-have, what is the backline provided by the promoter, what does the promoter expect you to bring? 
  4. Tickets | What is the price, do you get a percentage of the door or a guaranteed amount? Can you have a few complimentary tickets? #protip: Asking for one or two free tickets to invite a local journalist or blogger will probably go well with the Promoter. Asking for 10 for your friends and family, not so much...
  5. Merchandise | Does the Promoter have staff for selling merch or are you responsible? If the Promoter is taking care of it, what percentage are they keeping? A 10% or 15% fee is standard.
  6. Accommodation & Per Diem | Is there paid accommodation included? Does the Promoter have a deal with a local hotel for a discounted rate? Are there meals served or a per diem? A typical per diem would be 10$ for breakfast, 10$ for lunch and 15$ for supper, although the amount can vary depending on the region.
  7. Transportation | Who is responsible for ground transportation? Flights?
  8. Green Room | Is there a private and lockable green room? Are you sharing with other artists? What is included in the green room? Water, beer, snacks? If it's not specified in the contract, don't expect it to magically show up. #protip: If you want to bring your own alcool to a venue, check with them first, as that might get them in trouble with the liquor inspector!
  9. Deposit & Payment | Are you asking for a deposit? If so, what are the circumstances where it would or would not get refunded? When is the final payment expected? Are you charging HST?

An ideal contract will highlight all those details and anything else required to prevent unwanted surprises, and will be both artist- and promoter-friendly. Feel free to use our template to build your own contract. #MNB Members can find the editable Word version in the Members' Only section of our website.