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  1. #1
    mnash's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Puget Sound, Washington, USA

    Default Anybody have a band contract format I could use?

    My apologies if this has already been over-discussed, but in a few minutes of searching the forums I'm surprised that I haven't found what I'm looking for.

    Usually (like 90% of the time) the bands I play with are working on a handshake agreement with the club owner or wedding party or whatever. Some bars and other venues prefer to have contracts, and that's fine. Usually the venue will produce a contract.

    We've been hired for a "first annual" kind of festival event this summer, and they aren't very organized yet. They want to execute a contract, but don't have one. I could be a hardass I suppose, and insist that they provide it, but I'm trying to help them get started.

    Sooo.... what I'm looking for is a kind of standard gig contract. Do any of you working horn-boys or gig-girls have such a thing? I'm sure I could cobble something together, but it's that re-inventing the wheel thing, you know....

    Thanks in advance for any help.

  2. #2
    Forum Contributor 2009 cleger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005


    I don't have any contracts myself, but a quick google brought this site up. It has some templates and some links to other relevant sites.
    "If it ain't fun, I want no part of it, man. That's the only reason I play." - Phil Woods

  3. #3


    My contract was taken from one drawn up by an attorney who works at a booking agency. I modified it concerning the issue of the musicians being Independent Contractors which came about after I spent $5,000 on legal fees dealing with the State UC Department and the IRS. (Won both cases).

    In the end a contract is really a formality that defines relationships between parties more than a way of insuring you get paid. I get a deposit at the time the band is booked, and the contract require the purchaser to make payment to my corporation after the first set in the form of a certified check or cash. I just dealt with a $38 million dollar company last Saturday that tried playing games with me, and I told them after the first set that if they did not pay me immediately I would leave. I got my money.

    Here is the way Aretha Franklin does it. Of course there is a contract and she gets 50% deposit when her act is booked. The balance is due prior to her performance in the form of a certified check or cash. Back in the 70's she was scheduled to play Red Rock in Colorado. The promoter never came up with the final payment, she refused to leave her dressing room, and they had a riot that closed the theater down for the season. R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

    I worked with her on one occasion hiring the orchestra and sat in the General Manager's office prior to the performance. It was show time, her manager came in asking for the certified check and the management said they didn't have one and asked her to please start performing. The manager simply said she will not leave her dressing room unless you give me the balance due which was around $25,000 in cash now. By magic the cash appeared. That is called taking care of business. There is music and there is the music business.


  4. #4
    Distinguished SOTW Member
    Forum Contributor 2012
    Sasquatch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Kansas City


    If all you need is a work order type format, I've used a template for MS Word that is downloadable for free at

  5. #5


    If you're a member of the AFofM, get one of theirs. If not, get one from someone who is.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Ottawa, Canada



    You're not just helping them out, by controlling the intial content and format of the contract you're already ahead in any negotiations that follow.


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