I got a tweet from @BrandonSings yesterday asking if I could recommend somewhere to find a ‘performance agreement’ for his band’s gigs.

I then realised that I’ve drafted more contracts over the last 20 years than I like to think about and maybe loads of these are really useful to unsigned and / or aspiring musicians. You know I did 4 years as a music lawyer before becoming a manager, right? I still do a lot of basic contracts for my clients to avoid the expense of using a lawyer – which would be madness for me and my clients given that I have the skills.

So, I dug out a short ‘heads of agreement’ that we’ve used for years for one-off shows to be completed with a promoter or venue. This is fine for bands or for DJ’s – we’ve used it for both.

I spent an hour this morning going through it and checking it over and I think it’ll do for most situations. I think I’ve also made it pretty obvious what you’d need to amend or add (that’s the stuff in bold!). I’m not going to hang around to give endless advice on it’s use, but if you need it, it’s worth having. You can download it as a Word document at the botom here.

One important thing to know about “the law” is that, although there are basic tenets which make something legal and enforceable (a contract must have an offer and an acceptance and a payment of some sort), you can (mostly) forget all that legal mumbo jumbo. In the first instance a contract means what it says and it can be written in plain English. There are some caveats to that, but you can cobble something together that will usually cover your arse. Obviously the problems come when an agreement gets tested by it being the subject of a court case – but we don’t have time to go into that now!

Made me think though – I have a contract for pretty much every eventuality a band could come across – gigs, synch licences for commercials and movies, band agreements, song split agreements – all sorts.

Is it something that I should dedicate the time to and put together as a package?

I’d need to charge for it as it’ll be a shed load of effort. What do you think?

For now – you can go here and download this artist perfomance agreement.

Do let me know if you’d be intereted in more of these though – leave a comment or tweet us.