The Contract


A lot of club booking is done verbally. This can have its advantage and disadvantages. I know alot of club owners who have dark little secrets about this fact. If you don't have a written agreement from a club owner, it means the club owner can do whatever he wants. For example I went and saw 5 bands play a weekend gig. No agreement was signed. Most all of the teenagers came to see the 3rd band in the line up. Well the show did not go as planned, some of the bands overplayed their slots, one band got to play 2 songs, while one of the band didn't even get to play period. Without a written agreement there's nothing the other bands could do and the club owner knew it. At the end of the night he didn't care as long as he made money off food and alcohol sales. But if you can get a signed agreement as an unknown band, that's a good thing.

These are just some of  the basic elements of a live gig agreement. The agreement can be very simple. It should list things like: Below is a sample Performer - Agent Contract.




- When - date and time for the show and what time you can arrive to set up


- Where - address of the club and which door you should use to load and unload equipment


- How much - amount of money, if any, you will get paid

- If you're getting paid nothing, it's good to know that up front. Otherwise, there are three standard policies:


- Fixed fee - The band gets $100 for the night, or something like that. The amount depends on the size of the club and how popular your band is.


- Percentage of the door - The band gets some percentage of the cover charge.


- Percentage of the band's draw - At the door, people are asked if they came to see your band. You get most of the cover charge of the people who say yes.


- Promotion - It's helpful to know if the club will do any promotion. If not, all the burden is on you.


- Equipment - If the club has a sound system you can tap into, find out about it. What do you need to bring? If the club has nothing, you're bringing everything.


- Put all of these details down on a sheet of paper. If the club will sign the agreement, great. If nothing else, you can use that piece of paper to make sure you don't forget anything when it's time to do the show