The contract clauses are generally the same for all performances. They highlight specific conditions that apply to all or most shows. By highlighting certain conditions and obligations they remove doubt from the contract. This makes it easier to identify a breach in the contract which may result in cancellation and or loss of deposit.
We are constantly revising our contract clauses and we expect promoters to read them, understand them and adhere to them. We would much rather take a moment to explain them in advance than discuss changes after a contract has been agreed and signed.
Some of the clauses are simple requirements that must be met. For example – The promoter will do X or won’t do Y.
Some are where The Artiste reserves the right to impose their will on something. For example – reserving the right to choose support artists.
Some of the clauses are conditional. For example – If X is agreed the promoter must provide Y.
And so on…
There are also clauses that outline The Artiste’s obligations, however, there are not so many of these, since these obligations tend to be more bespoke and so, can be found in the contract’s particulars. For example – The Artist will be on stage at a particular time and play for a certain length of time etc.
Since the clauses generally remain the same on all contracts, they are written in such a way that the promoter can ignore some of the clauses. For example, if the clause refers to flights and no flights are needed – it can be safely ignored.
Saying that we do produce different contract templates and tailor them for different types of shows. For example, small domestic shows, private shows, house concerts, or corporate performances have different contract templates and different clauses.
It is possible to add bespoke clauses to the contract and issue them. At the moment our booking software Overture won’t track bespoke contracts, so we prefer to upgrade the template when we feel we have to add new clauses. Alternatively, a side-agreement can be issued as an addendum to the contract.
In our “main” contracts there are around 30 clauses – Here I comment on the first 10 of them…
- LICENCES & PERMISSIONS: The Promoter agrees to obtain all necessary licenses and permissions in respect of the venue.
It’s got to be legal – if the promoter needs an entertainment license for a festival or venue they are using – they need one – very straightforward. If they don’t have the appropriate license then the show won’t happen and the full fee is due.
- BILLING: The Promoter agrees to use, in all advertising for the engagement, The Artiste’s name exactly as written on page one of this contract. Where The Artiste is headlining they must receive top billing. Where The Artist is on the support billing then the position must be agreed in advance with The Artiste’s agent.
The Artiste wants to keep control of how their status in a show is portrayed. They have often worked hard for many years to get be able to demand a certain fee, they also want to see that reflected in the way they are billed.
- SUPPORTS: For headline shows, The Promoter must discuss any support acts with The Agency before they are appointed. The Artiste reserves the right to approve support act(s).
Our artists like to have an input on who supports them, in many cases, they will insist upon it. In all cases, we would not expect a promoter to book a support act without discussing it with us in the first place.
- ARTWORK: For headline shows The Artiste reserves the right to approve all artwork. Where appropriate please contact The Agency for approval. Approved images, logos, etc can be obtained from The Agency’s website.
Again – The Artiste wants control over how they are portrayed, they don’t want to see images of band members who have left or pixilated crappy images on posters, etc. All of our artists maintain their assets on the Midnight Mango website – no excuses folks!
- MEDIA: The Promoter will not commit The Artiste to any interviews, personal appearances, or any television, radio, or other media promotion without first obtaining permission from The Artiste.
Sure, everyone wants to work with proactive promoters, however, The Artiste, management and any PR agency will want control over who is interviewing The Artiste. Some publications will not be appropriate for some artists… Again it’s about managing the brand The Artiste has spent a career building up.
- SPONSORSHIP: The Promoter agrees that The Artiste’s name or likeness is not to be connected in any way with any form of sponsorship or endorsement of any kind without the prior written agreement from The Artiste.
Again branding, imagine if a stage was advertising MacDonald’s and Morrisey was due on – he would literally flip his lid – and rightly so!
- AUDIO & VISUAL RECORDING: The Promoter agrees to ensure that there is absolutely no professional audio or visual recording of The Artiste’s performance without the specific written permission of The Artiste.
It’s important that we protect our artists against misuse or exploitation of their art. Sure we all want the music out there in front of the right people at the right time, but that is a decision for The Artiste and their management.
- SHOW COSTS: Where the contract deal is a percentage spilt after costs, then the estimated costs must be supplied at the time of booking. Final and accurate costs will need to be approved with our office prior to the final settlement.
Where there is a split deal in place, if that deal is after costs, then we expect the promoter to supply their estimated costings at the same time they make an offer. If no costings are submitted then we’re likely going to assume the deal is a Net Box Office Receipts deal – which is always very different to one after costs.
- SALES FIGURES: The promoter agrees to supply The Artiste’s agents with ticket sales figures on a weekly basis to [email protected]. This does not apply to festivals where multiple artists are performing under one ticket.
Staying on top of ticket sales is a key way to help promoters and artists market their shows and tours. We expect to get a prompt response when we ask for sales. It’s even better when promoters send them through every week without being asked. With this info artists and management, we can really drill down into what’s going on in the marketplace and act to improve sales in a more forensic manner.
- MERCHANDISING: The Promoter will provide a suitably located, well-lit area for the display and sale of The Artiste’s merchandise. The Artiste shall have the exclusive right to sell merchandise and reserves the right to approve any other form of merchandise. No commission will be payable to The Promoter or the venue unless agreed with The Artiste in advance via The Agency.
Most venues will have a Merch concession, we accept that, but if there is, it needs to be discussed – if it’s not discussed then the expectation is it isn’t happening. For many artists, merch is their key income. They don’t want to be getting to a show to find out the venue is taking 25% + VAT from all their merch sales. They need to know in advance so they can price their merch accordingly!
To be continued…