We're another group that has sent contracts, but often does bookings without having one. For large fees usually the organization hiring you will provide a contract (yes, read it all!) If I think a person talking to me about a booking is a flake, I will send a contract along with photos to make sure they know that we expect to get whatever the agreed upon amount is. Sometimes that will prompt a call back, saying that's not what they had in mind. If we're going to be cancelled, I'd rather find out about it before we leave for the gig. For the amount of money involved in a lot of folk bookings, there's not much legal recourse even if there is a contract (not worth taking it to court). It does show the venue/booker that you intend to show up and play and get paid. It also gives you an idea that the venue/booker is expecting you, and will follow through with intent to pay. We've been stiffed twice in our 18 odd years of performing. I believe it's because we don't play many bars (I've heard some real horror stories from Rock bands consistently being stiffed and shorted) and many people hiring us really like what we do. I've found that some people who can't quite get their act together to return a contract, still provide us with a good time, when the gig happens. You need to go with a gut instinct to figure out if you want to push the contract issue or not.