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Guide to using your Performance Agreement Template

You'll Discover:


Revise and finalise your Template

  1. Save the document template where you plan to store your artist agreements.
  2. Check venue details including contacts info and social media handles.
  3. Read the entire agreement and change anything that doesn’t suit your venue. Some requirements are merely suggestions (eg a 500 word biography from each artist), so adapt to suit your needs.
  4. Tidy up formatting: e.g. delete any big gaps and add your business logo.
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Tips: Using Template for each artist/act

  1. Copy/duplicate template for EACH artist/act you book. Be careful to always keep a digital record of each artist’s agreement.
  2. Modify each template to reflect each artist's individual agreement terms/details.
  3. Create non-editable PDF versions of the agreements to send to performers. 
  4. DELETE that PDF copy once you’ve emailed it, because you’ll have the original Word/Google Doc on your system (plus the PDF will be in your sent email folder).
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Tips: Managing all your agreements

Venues have different ways of doing things and you might be using Google Docs, Open Office or Microsoft Word to manage your agreements. Managing files can be tricky so we suggest using the following system:

  1. Create one folder called ‘Past Events’ and one folder called ‘Upcoming Events’.
  2. Save new events in the ‘Upcoming Events’ folder.
  3. Name agreements in the format YYYYMMDD_The Name of the Performing Artist_The Venue Name (tip: year, month, day are the performance date).

We have a comprehensive guide to using and managing performance agreements here.

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Why isn’t there a ‘terms and conditions’ section at the end of the agreement?

Despite the layout of most agreements, ‘terms and conditions’ do not need to be bundled at the end. When they are, many performers don’t read them and many don’t understand them. Instead, we have set out terms and conditions throughout the agreement with phrases like ‘will’, ‘should’ (= ideal, but not required), and ‘must’ (= required). Rather than being tacked onto the end, they are placed within relevant sections as clear instructions, so that performers can deliver on your agreement.

The agreement refers to ‘The Artist’, to encapsulate any performing act (eg a Band, DJ, Group, Solo Performer, Comedian etc). If you prefer a different term to Artist, use ‘Edit > Find and Replace’ on the document and replace all instances of ‘Artist’ with your preferred phrase.

Is the Performance Agreement still legitimate without a signature?

Yes, provided it has been accepted by an authorised representative of The Artist. That’s why we offer option 3 in the acceptance section - where an authorised contact sends you an email with the agreement attached and states in their email that they accept the agreement.

Why are set times etc in the Worksheet section at the end of agreement - not in the booking section?

Event lineups, set start times, and venue staff are often subject to change or unknown at the time of making an agreement. So we’ve put those in a Worksheet section, stating that they are subject to change, and require the Artist to be onsite and ready to perform anytime during the Event Start and End Time. This gives you greater flexibility with event changes, and enables you to:

  • Book an artist before you have the full lineup and set times worked out.
  • Leave unknown parts of the Worksheet blank or ‘TBC’ in the agreement.
  • Once confirmed, email Artists an updated/changed Worksheet section only, without having to cosign an entirely new agreement.

Once finalised, Worksheets are generally the same for all Artists on the event, so unless you need the final worksheet saved in each Artists’ Performance Agreement, we suggest you:

  • Simply update the Worksheet on one Artist’s Agreement (maybe the Headliner).
  • Copy only that Worksheet Section (ie don’t accidentally copy payment sections).
  • Paste it into the body of an email.
  • Send email to every Artist on lineup and any event staff who need the updated Worksheet.

The Worksheet section states that if changed, the Venue will send to the Artist prior to the event date.

This means your agreement will still stand so long as you email to the Artist’s contact the day before.  However to avoid issues and increase marketing outcomes we recommend you finalise and send the Worksheet five days prior to the event, so Artists can promote their set time/s and finalise their logistics.

I’m not sure what some of the industry terms in my agreement mean, where can I go to find out?

We’ve created a glossary of industry terms as part of our Live Toolkit which you can access here.

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Disclaimer, limitations of the agreement

Onto It Media developed the agreement template, our Live Toolkit guides, articles, and these instructions in consultation with Sydney venues and the music industry.

We identified that some venues had paid lawyers a lot of money to have overly complicated performance agreements made. They were usually long, difficult to understand, open to mixed interpretation, and usually did not hold up to scrutiny when issues or disagreements actually occurred between a venue and an artist. In other words, some of those agreements created more problems than they solved.

The agreement template we created aims to be more practical, but should not be relied upon as formal legal advice. Formal legal advice should be sought on matters of interest arising from the agreement, specific to your needs.

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