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Legal Contract, Venue?

mountain tyme 12 Mar 99 - 01:28 AM
katlaughing 12 Mar 99 - 12:52 PM
Mike Billo 12 Mar 99 - 01:14 PM
A Celtic Harper 17 Mar 99 - 10:16 PM
katlaughing 17 Mar 99 - 11:29 PM
puzzled 18 Mar 99 - 09:10 AM
A Celtic Harper 20 Mar 99 - 05:23 PM
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Subject: Legal Contract, Venue?
From: mountain tyme
Date: 12 Mar 99 - 01:28 AM

I'm not needing a lawyer or one who plays one on TV or PC but I think probably there are some of you that may have preceded me in the following dilemma. While performing for a few decades in so many different situations I have learned to get the cash up front for any gig. That's hard earned advice from me to you. Now I find myself in a new situation playing a double header for encampments of French/Indian & Revolutionary for a Cultural & Heritage Society which has the need to generate paperwork in order to make payment some months later. When payment is made is not the issue, but how to generate the initial helpful paperwork they request in the form of a venue legal agreement or contract. Having searched the web for a downloadable contract form, I find many software packages offered from $12.95 to $69.95. Also the local music store has packages of like same intent next to the copyright your song package. Before going in that direction, I thought maybe a few of you leading edge Mudcatters might have some wise comments to share with the rest of us after having been there. I feel confident that if 49 cats happens by this thread we can all enjoy at least one wise (_o^^o_) and edifying commentary. I would suggest to any aspiring musicians that may in the future expect to join me in this dilemma, that they clear a spot on their hard drive as I have done to record all the horror stories Art will tell of his long and lustrous career of extracting payments from the tourists. Does anyone know a site with a downloadable contract form for music venues?

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Subject: RE: Legal Contract, Venue?
From: katlaughing
Date: 12 Mar 99 - 12:52 PM

Well, MT, I've always just written our own. As manager for my brother (classical composer/pianist) and, now, for a nonprofit cultural event I help put on each year with vendors and musicians, as well as for two different business partnerships.

I've found it is best to be as simple and direct as possible, spelling out exactly what is expected on behalf of both parties, as well as covering what happens if one backs out, can't pay/play, etc.

On second thought, I'm sure it depends on how large of an event we're talking about, too. Maybe I'm being too simplistic? if I find anything on the net, I'll let you know. Also, you might try ASCAP, BMI, or...

Just did a search on the net, using "free legal music contracts". The best one that came up is at I didn't go into the details, but it looked quite extensive and the listings seemed to cover just about anything and everything. Good luck,


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Subject: RE: Legal Contract, Venue?
From: Mike Billo
Date: 12 Mar 99 - 01:14 PM

Try the Nolo press website. A simple search should turn it up for you. They have a "how to" on legal forms. I completely agree with katlaughing that the more simple and direct the language is, the less the possibility of "misunderstandings" later. However, bitter experience has taught me to NEVER do a gig that I won't be paid for until "some months later". Too much can happen as time passes. The venue and the promised amount may seem tempting, but I would pass on it.

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Subject: RE: Legal Contract, Venue?
From: A Celtic Harper
Date: 17 Mar 99 - 10:16 PM

Check out the "folk musicians' union" otherwise known as The North American Traveling Musician's Union, AFM Local 1000. Membership dues are real reasonable, they have a standard contract, and fee guidelines, and best of all, if someone tries to stiff you, Union lawyers go after 'em at no extra cost to you! John McCutcheon is the President, and as he said when I asked "what about playing wiith non-union folk?" he said they don't believe in segregating musicians. You file your contract with the union, send in the work dues percentage, and you have gig insurance.

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Subject: RE: Legal Contract, Venue?
From: katlaughing
Date: 17 Mar 99 - 11:29 PM

Wow! That sounds great. I was glad to see this thread, again, as I happened onto the nolo site the other day and noted its address to post to you. Forgot Mike had already mentioned it.

Just in case you didn't find it, here 'tis:


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Subject: RE: Legal Contract, Venue?
From: puzzled
Date: 18 Mar 99 - 09:10 AM

Local 1000's website is

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Subject: RE: Legal Contract, Venue?
From: A Celtic Harper
Date: 20 Mar 99 - 05:23 PM

Here's a wedding contract I use - probably needs to be vetted by a legal beagle - any volunteers?

YOUR NAME, Instrument WEDDING DATE_____________ Address CONTRACT MAILED OUT____________ Phone #

WORKSHEET FOR WEDDING CEREMONY AND/OR RECEPTION PERFORMANCE (Please indicate clearly if ceremony only, reception only, or combination. Please note com- bined Wedding/reception MUST be at same site, or separate fee applies.

Name of Bride/Groom _____________________________________________________ Address________________________________________________________________ Phone________________________________Work Phone________________________

Wedding Date________Time: (usually from 15 min. before start of ceremony) from:_______to:__________ Wedding Location_______________________Directions - Please attach separately.______ Religious affiliation/Denomination/Secular_________Bridal Party colors________________

Phone/on site Contact_____________________________________

Reception Location_______________________Directions - Please attach separately._______ Phone/on site Contact_____________________________________

Combined Wedding/Reception Performance:______________

Harper to play at: (yes/no) _________Ceremony __________Prelude Music __________Seating of Parents __________Processional (______same tune for Bridesmaids & Bride) (______Bridesmaids tune) (______Bride's tune) _________Candlelighting _________Communion _________Meditation _________Special music during ceremony _________Recessional _________Reception _________Cocktail hour _________Dinner _________Other

Fee:$225.oo (two hundred twenty five dollars) for first two hours (includes 15 minute break) plus $50.oo (fifty dol- lars) per each hour (including 15 minute break per hour) overtime thereafter. Overtime must be requested in writing, and agreed to by both parties. A non-refundable 50% of fee is required before a date is reserved. The balance of the fee is due two (2) months prior to scheduled performance.

Cancellation Policy: All cancellations must be in writing. Payment will be refunded ONLY IF THE SCHEDULED DATE IS RE-BOOKED. If unsuccessful in booking the date, all payments will be forfeited.

The agreement of the musician to perform is subject to proven detention by sickness, accident, riot, strikes, Acts-of-God; and other legitimate conditions beyond human control, with the musician reserving all rights to substitute another musician as necessary.

Shelter from all weathers must be provided (including shade from the sun.) An alternate indoor site at the same location must be available in case of inclement weather. It is solely the musician's decision and at the musician's discretion whether or not to perform out of doors. In no case will the musician's person, instrument, or equipment be subjected to damage or risk from weather, and the estimation of such risk is solely the musician's prerogative.

Parking adjacent to site must be provided and paid for by Bride/Groom . Agreed upon by________________________Date_________________

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