A Brief Introduction About the Performance Contract
What is a performance contract?
A performance contract is an official contract used when you need to hire professionals like musicians, artists, or a particular band. There are different types of performance contracts, as mentioned below:
An artist’s performance contract is required when you are hiring an artist to perform at an event. The contract provides details of the facilities to be provided by the company hiring the artist, the remuneration to be paid, and so on. You need a music performance contract when you would like a particular musical show to be performed by a band at various locations. A band performance contract is mandatory when you need a band to perform at a particular venue. A specific performance contract ensures that the performer is bound to fulfill his or her obligations about a particular performance and cannot refund the performance fee.
Who Takes the Performance Contract? – People Involved
It would help if you had this contract when a professional performer needs to be hired. This agreement is generally between an organization or individual and the performer. The performer would be an established professional who is popular in his or her particular profession. The organization or individual hiring the professional performer would either be doing so for a special occasion.
Purpose of the Performance Contract – Why Do You Need It?
The purpose of the contract is to ensure that both the company hiring the professional performer and the performer fulfill their obligations and not withdraw at the last minute.
If you have a verbal contract with a performer, then the performer may deny the terms and conditions regarding the show, or you may reject the benefits payable to the performer at the end of the show.
Some shows permit alcohol consumption, especially when they are taking place at parties or music festivals. If an agreement is not drafted setting the limits of use of alcohol, then there might be unpleasant incidents due to excessive consumption. There could also be issues with adequate pay when it comes to bar tabs or door fees. Free passes to the event that the band might want to hand over to friends and family might causes problems too.
There needs to be a list of people who will be allowed backstage to prevent any confusion. You can never be too sure when it comes to electrical equipment, so having an adequate backup is essential for the success of the agreement. Like electrical equipment, the weather also is quite unpredictable. Making provisions for unforeseen weather issues cannot be ruled out.
There needs to be a concrete plan when it comes to setting up the stage, placing the equipment, lighting, and so on.
Contents of the Performance Contract – Inclusions
A performance contract is an official agreement between a company and a performer. The contract should contain all the information necessary to ensure that both parties to the contract can enforce their rights in a court of law. Such agreements, therefore, should contain the following information:
- Parties to the agreement: The names of the parties to the agreement, the company, and the performer, should be included
- Date of contract: The date from which the contract is effective
- Contact information: The phone numbers, communication address and email address
- Services to be provided: A detailed description of the services that will be provided by the performer including the equipment that the company needs to provide, the location, the registered name of the venue and of course, the date and time of the performance
- Performance details: This would include the specific type of music, the stage setup, the complete sets required, and even details regarding the language being used!
- Security deposit: If a deposit is required to be paid by the performer to ensure the performance of the contract. This is not refundable
- Cancellation policy: The show might be canceled due to unavoidable circumstances by either party. The agreement should mention the notice period for cancellation. The venue should be given sufficient time to book another performer. If there is any cancellation from the venue, the performer might demand full payment
- Performance terms: There should be provisions for repeat performances or renewal of the contract
- Unforeseen circumstances: There are some circumstances beyond the control of both parties. The agreement should mention what action should be taken in such conditions.
How to Draft the Performance Contract?
Points to Consider While Preparing the Agreement
You could refer to a performance contract template for drafting such agreements.
While drafting the contract, it is important to remember the following points:
- When it comes to parties to the agreement, the real name of the performer and not the stage name must be used. The relationship between the company and the performer should be stated clearly. The performer is not an employee of the company
- The agreement must have the date from which the contract is effective
- Term of the contract: The starting and ending dates of the contract should be mentioned
- Remuneration: The remuneration and the conditions to be fulfilled for payment should be included. The frequency of payment should also be stated
- Governing laws: The governing laws of the state based on which the agreement is prepared should be properly examined as it relates to performances of this type so that the agreement does not violate the laws
- Expectations of both parties: The nature of the performance that the employer requires from the performer and the deliverables of the performer need to document. This will reduce the possibilities of disputes later on
- Disclaimers: The contract must include disclaimers about the event. If there are any unforeseen natural calamities on the date of the event, then the company or the performer cannot be held liable for not discharging their responsibilities
Before entering into a performance contract, both parties should discuss certain clauses in the contract to avoid future problems. The company should ensure that the remuneration charged by the performer is in line with his or her reputation. The performer should try to negotiate the best possible rate and mention any extra charges that would be payable. This sets the foundation for a strong contract.
Benefits & Drawbacks of the Performance Contract
The following are the benefits of a performance contract:
- Protection of interest: The professional interests of both parties to the contract are protected. The company is assured of a performance delivered by the performer on the date and time specified in the contract. The performer is aware that to realize the payment as per the contract there has to be a performance as per the terms mentioned in the agreement
- Repeat business: If the performance is appreciated by the people invited by the individual or company, then there is a possibility of repeat performance requests from the company. In such cases, the performer can also ask for an increase in the performance fee
The following are the drawbacks of a performance contract:
- Cancellation of performance: While the cancellation of performance on account of adverse weather conditions is not avoidable, there are instances where the company has not been able to provide the facilities requested by the performer. The company has to pay the performer because there has been a lapse on its part
- Non-payment of fees: If there are any performance lapses on the part of the performer, then the company is not liable to pay him or her the agreed fees. The company could further take legal action against the performer for damages suffered by it.
What Happens in Case of Violation?
When it comes to the violation of this contract, it must be ascertained whether it was due to avoidable or unavoidable circumstances. The violation that takes place due to a natural disaster or adverse weather conditions or situations beyond the control of either party(1), then the violation is not penalized. Both parties to the agreement have their rights and responsibilities clearly defined.
It is the responsibility of the company to ensure that the infrastructure at the venue where the performance will take place is by the instructions of the performer. If there is any lapse on the part of the company, then the performer reserves the right to cancel the performance, and the company will have to make the payment due to a violation of a clause(2) in the agreement.
If the performer fails to show up at the event, then all the costs borne by the company related to the event and any legal charges to realize the losses from the performer, including a penalty for non-performance.
If the performer satisfactorily completes the performance but is not paid the agreed amount or not paid at all, then the performer can take legal action against the company for non-payment of dues and the company is liable to pay the fee along with any costs incurred by the performer to realize the payment.
If you are planning to hire an artist or a band for a particular event or if you are a performer wanting to offer your services against a fee, then you must enter into a performance contract. An event performance contract ensures that the rights of both parties to the contract are protected.
The company needs to ensure that the facilities that are required to be provided as per the contract are in place. These facilities include the lighting, the stage, or even free passes for family and friends of the performer. If there is a failure to provide these facilities, then the performer will refuse to discharge his responsibilities, but you will have to pay the full fee. There can’t be any lapses on the part of the performer on the day of the event leading to adverse circumstances for the company. In such cases, not only will there be no fee paid, but the performer will have to pay for losses suffered by the company.