With hundreds of bands performing in Southern California, it can be difficult for bands to gain traction and generate revenue.  Some bands take a ‘play as much as possible and see what happens’ approach.  However, bands approaching their performance as a business typically last longer than those who don’t.  Here are a few crucial things musicians need to keep in mind before agreeing to play:

1.   Payment

Musicians who get paid to play are professionals, and they need to treat their musical performances as a business.  Some information regarding payment artists should have locked down in writing before agreeing to play include: when do I get paid? How will I be paid? Is the money guaranteed?  Is there anything that can decrease the amount of money I receive?  Are the riders included in the payment?

As you can see, payment to musicians for live performances has a lot of moving parts to it other than the amount to be paid.

2.   Schedule

Hammering out the schedule for the day of the concert can eliminate much of the headache when that day arrives.  Musicians need to know the time they can load in equipment, hold sound check, prepare in the dressing room, take the stage, and the end time.  However, other musicians (whether openers or headliners) can cause this schedule to change.  Musicians who get the schedule in writing and signed off by all the parties typically have much less stress the day of their performance and can focus on their music.

3.   Promotions

Musicians should understand how they will be promoted, the target audience, and who will be handling promotions.  No musician wants to play to an empty house, to a hostile audience, or to be portrayed inaccurately.  Even if these items are not an issue, musicians need to understand if there is a requirement to promote the concert through social media or by any other means.  Details such as promotions should be understood to eliminate any problems in the future.

4.   Insurance

Insurance is a safety net for anyone involved in music.  For concerts musicians should be covered on a variety of fronts.  Musicians should have coverage for their equipment, their health, any claims made by audience members, the venue, and cancellation.  The best-case scenario is you never use the insurance, but in the worst case scenario insurance can be a lifesaver.

5.   Cancellation

Concerts get cancelled.  It happens.  Musicians get sick, venues close, things happen.  One area not often covered in one-concert contracts is what happens when a show gets cancelled.  Who is responsible for the costs?  Will the concert be rescheduled?  Is insurance available?  No party will likely enter into an agreement to put on a concert with the intention of canceling, but this is a contingency that should be addressed.

Musicians become better performers the more they play.  But a musician’s business becomes better when the musician has the terms and conditions for concerts laid out in a written agreement limiting their liability and limiting the unknown.  The more detailed the contract, the fewer questions will pop up along the way.  From a sold out stadium to a dive bar with a few dozen fans, musicians need to put on the best show possible on the stage and in their business preparation for the show.

Contact me to find out how the Law Office of Brandon Leopoldus can help you, your band, production company, or venue with your concerts.  (323)682-0511 or Brandon@Leopoldus.com