Artist Contracts - Why?
Updated: Jun 29, 2019
In the business world, contracts are a necessity. When it comes to the business of music, they are just as important.
Contracts hold both parties to their word. Simple as that.
How many times have you made plans with a friend and they bail on you last minute? This isn’t just a stunt unorganized friends may pull, but can also happen in a business deal. Often you may be verbally promised one thing, and instead given another, or perhaps you’re hired for a job, do the work, only to hear “Oops. Nevermind!” after the work has already been done.
A situation when an artist contract has come in handy for me occurred when I was hired out to play a wedding with the promise of $1000 + food and drink. The day of the wedding rolled around and the bride decided she no longer wanted my services. These things happen all the time, and if the day comes that you walk into a venue to find out you’ve been double booked after traveling and preparing for the job, you’ll be glad you have an artist contract to make sure you still get paid.
In the case of “Dan’s Wife Avery,” our contract outlines that we require a 50% deposit to schedule any show. In the off chance that the venue cancels last minute, (i.e. an outside tow has been rained out, and/or you'v been double booked) you will at least be paid for your time.
Sometimes, we, the musicians, have to cancel on the venue.
When this happens, the 50% deposit is refunded immediately.
Though the idea of creating an artist contract may seem daunting, it is really quite simple. In fact, a five minute google search is all it takes to get the ball rolling. In the contracts I have attached below (1 & 2), I googled, “artist contract musician.” After searching, it is important to click ‘images’ so you can easily weed through all of the ads and find exactly what you’re looking for to tailor it to your specific needs. If you’re not a “DIY” girl, like me, there are some websites that will help you build a contract step by step by answering just a few questions. But beware, these websites often require a subscription and a nominal fee (example 3).