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contracts for ceilidhs?

GUEST,hielandladdie 02 Oct 13 - 08:58 AM
Will Fly 02 Oct 13 - 09:06 AM
GUEST,PeterC 02 Oct 13 - 09:34 AM
Mr Red 02 Oct 13 - 10:04 AM
Leadfingers 02 Oct 13 - 10:40 AM
GUEST,FloraG 03 Oct 13 - 05:17 AM
Mo the caller 03 Oct 13 - 06:13 AM
GUEST,Brian 03 Oct 13 - 06:49 AM
GUEST,Howard Jones 03 Oct 13 - 07:19 PM
treewind 04 Oct 13 - 03:57 AM
Les in Chorlton 04 Oct 13 - 07:35 AM
OlgaJ 04 Oct 13 - 07:39 AM
Mo the caller 04 Oct 13 - 10:31 AM
treewind 04 Oct 13 - 01:29 PM
GUEST,Rev Bayes 05 Oct 13 - 07:03 AM
treewind 05 Oct 13 - 08:33 AM
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Subject: contracts for ceilidhs?
From: GUEST,hielandladdie
Date: 02 Oct 13 - 08:58 AM

hi, we are starting a ceilidh band and want to know if we should have a contract drawn up for bookings. and if so, what would you put in?


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Subject: RE: contracts for ceilidhs?
From: Will Fly
Date: 02 Oct 13 - 09:06 AM

Our band has been going over 10 years and we've never had contracts apart from one or two stray bookings where we've been hired via an agent. All we do is ask that people give us as much notice as possible if they have to cancel - and we've never cancelled a gig ourselves.

In all this time, the number of cancellations has been very small - perhaps less than 1 a year. Oddly enough, we had two cancellations at fairly short notice this September, which was annoying because we could have filled the slots twice over. Inevitably, the question of contracts arose and, once again, we rejected the idea given that the overall paperwork to be created just wasn't worth it - given the ratio of bookings fulfilled to bookings cancelled over the years.

We're quite a busy band but - so far - bookings have been relatively trouble-free over quite a long period of time.

Just our experience - others may take a different view.


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Subject: RE: contracts for ceilidhs?
From: GUEST,PeterC
Date: 02 Oct 13 - 09:34 AM

We send the booker a letter by first class post confirming date, times, fee,(and how it is to be paid) At the bottom of the letter is a note explaining our (very modest) cancellation fee.
Only twice in 246 gigs have we had to invoke this!
This letter although not in legal language is a perfectly acceptable form of contract which I am told would be valid in a small claims court


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Subject: RE: contracts for ceilidhs?
From: Mr Red
Date: 02 Oct 13 - 10:04 AM

I would suggest that you have a list of dos and don'ts but don't be too precious.
At Stroud Ceilidhs (1st Sat Oct to April - Diatonics on the 5th inst)
we do send out contracts, it protects the band in the event of cancellations (some sort of minimum consideration depending on when the cancellation occurs) and protects us if bands don't turn up. Though how you enforce these things is a moot point. It focusses the mind and both parties have to consider consequences for each other.

The Climax Ceilidh Band (ex Climax Blues Band member Richard Jones et al) had to cancel two years ago. They offered to do a date the next year. We cancelled the venue at minimal cost and here's the important bit. We stood outside the venue in freezing weather to apologise to the people who did turn up. Not all locals either.

Quite a few bands expect cash on the day which causes us logistic problems because the venue has a latency of 1 month + so there has to be a float to cover that. But that needs to be stated at negotiation time. Grab the money while you can talk face to face. A lot of venues offer a percentage of the door.


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Subject: RE: contracts for ceilidhs?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 02 Oct 13 - 10:40 AM

Its not a bad idea for ANYONE going out gigging for money to get some kind of cover ! EFDSS membership does have some Public Liability Insurance , but Musicians Union will give P.L.I. PLUS Legal assistance - very useful for short notice cancellations !


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Subject: RE: contracts for ceilidhs?
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 03 Oct 13 - 05:17 AM

I have a one sheet A4 nicely printed
Name of band ( us ) + our contact details
Then for them to fill in
Organisers name and address
venue address - often not the same + post code
Start finish break times - explain we like an hour to set up
nearest electrical socket - how close can we get the car to set up area + parking during
Will there be a bar
will the band be fed
Q about purpose eg wedding fund raising etc
Number age and experience of dancers - novice mixed experienced ( I don't want to get caught out expecting novices and find its a club of experienced dancers )
Open or closed and ticket price if appropriate( we can often get others to go if its a charity if we have the contact of person selling tickets - may be different again from organiser).
Insurance of group/ hall ( I have public liability but don't want to use it)
Then 'any other info section '

I will have already talked to the person put date on calander,and agreed price, how to pay etc add to 'any other info section' - send 2 copies - one to be returned in my sae

I then photo copy for the rest of the band and distribute - keep a copy of who is playing on the back of my copy- it varies a little bit. File in band folder by date.I can send the same info over the wires if the customer prefers

Its not a contract as such - but it seems to work. we have avoided double bookings and as the caller I can think in advance about a list of suitable dances eg what is suitable for a german exchange group who speak little english + How much PA we need.
FloraG


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Subject: RE: contracts for ceilidhs?
From: Mo the caller
Date: 03 Oct 13 - 06:13 AM

Some bands I work with have a contract, some don't.
If the booking comes through me, then after we have decided which band (partly where the dance is, or which band they like the sound of and can afford, + who is available)if the band wants to contact direct I hand over, or if not I make sure that all details are on an email, file a copy, and contact again nearer the time.


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Subject: RE: contracts for ceilidhs?
From: GUEST,Brian
Date: 03 Oct 13 - 06:49 AM

Wherever possible a written communication/contract is desireable, I believe. F both hirer and band know what is being provided, and on what terms they can both proceed with confidence.

Cancellations are rare once the contract has been exchanged, I can recall only one. Pre contract cancellations are more common, particularly when the hirer has found a cheaper band.


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Subject: RE: contracts for ceilidhs?
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 03 Oct 13 - 07:19 PM

The thing to remember about contracts is that they're often only called upon when things go wrong. Most of the time everything runs smoothly, and whilst it might not be exactly what was agreed everyone is happy and willing to accommodate the variables. Unfortunately you can't predict in advance which ones will go wrong, so it's worth always having a contract even if you don't refer to it again. Whether this is a sheet of paper headed "Contract" or an exchange of emails doesn't matter. It also makes you look more professional, which in itself perhaps helps to ensure you won't get messed around.

Our contract specifies a minimum stage area, but we've turned up and been asked to play in some tiny spaces. So far we've never refused and we've worked with what we've been given - the important thing is that the contract gives us the right to refuse to play if we're really unhappy. However some things can't be overlooked. I've known a situation where the caller stopped the dancing halfway through the evening because he considered the floor was unsafe. If refusing to perform or curtailing a performance means the organiser loses money he may try to claim against the band unless you've given yourselves sufficient discretion.


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Subject: RE: contracts for ceilidhs?
From: treewind
Date: 04 Oct 13 - 03:57 AM

We use a contract based on one you can download from the Musicians' Union web site (free, you don't have to be a member)


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Subject: RE: contracts for ceilidhs?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 04 Oct 13 - 07:35 AM

A related and perhaps tricky aspect of playing for dancing, which I suspect has been taken up elsewhere on here, is the business of Health & Safety, accidents and so on - not uncommon when people dance and drink.

I understand the Musicians Union gives good advice


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Subject: RE: contracts for ceilidhs?
From: OlgaJ
Date: 04 Oct 13 - 07:39 AM

We started using an adapted MU contract after we were cancelled twice by a couple of fundraisers who couldn't sell enough tickets. We haven't had a problem since.


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Subject: RE: contracts for ceilidhs?
From: Mo the caller
Date: 04 Oct 13 - 10:31 AM

Anahata, I couldn't find that contract, do you have a link for it?
Most of the stuff is member-only.


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Subject: RE: contracts for ceilidhs?
From: treewind
Date: 04 Oct 13 - 01:29 PM

Mo: It was a long time ago and they may have changed their site.

Re safety: on the back of the contract we print Our Health and safety policy We wrote this after getting fed up with venues asking for PAT test and insurance information: it covers that but also puts the boot on the other foot by reminding hirers that they have some responsibilities too.

Feel free to copy and adapt the wording from that page if you wish; others have!

(PLI and electrical testing have been discussed elsewhere on Mudcat. We're covered for both, of course)


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Subject: RE: contracts for ceilidhs?
From: GUEST,Rev Bayes
Date: 05 Oct 13 - 07:03 AM

It is worth making the point that you *always* have a contract in law, whether or not you write anything down. Broadly, once you've agreed to play for a fee, you have a contract.

It is worthwhile being able to show that you have given the other party a list of what happens in the event of cancellations, unforeseen issues, etc.


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Subject: RE: contracts for ceilidhs?
From: treewind
Date: 05 Oct 13 - 08:33 AM

"once you've agreed to play for a fee, you have a contract"

In theory yes, but if it isn't written down and signed you don't have any proof of what was said and that it was agreed by both parties.


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