How to Write a Gig Contract for Musicians

Written by natalie lyda
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How to Write a Gig Contract for Musicians
Executing a contract prior to a performance will help musicians and their clients understand exactly how a gig is to executed. (firma contract 20309 image by pablo from

Musicians often perform at one-time events, such as weddings or special concerts, referred to as gigs. Although it is not required to have a contract for gigs, doing so will help protect both the artist and gig coordinator by clearly outlining what is expected of both the performer and the client. By reviewing requirements in writing, via a "booking agreement" or "engagement contract," musicians help reduce the risk of misunderstandings with their client while also representing themselves in a professional manner.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Computer
  • Printer
  • Gig information

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  1. 1

    Open a blank document in a word processing program. Label the document as a "Booking Agreement" or "Engagement Contract."

  2. 2

    Outline a basic agreement by writing who the agreement is between. List the formal name of the band, or the individual musician, and leave a blank where the client's name can be filled in. Create a space to indicate the location, date, start time and end time for the gig. Insert a section that outlines the specific payment amount for the gig, and how the musician will be paid by the client.

  3. 3

    Create a section where a list can be inserted to specify any restrictions for the musician. For instance, this may be where a client requires certain songs to be played, or outlines the acceptable behaviour for the musician.

  4. 4

    Write an area of the contract to outline who is responsible for the sound equipment at each gig so that the musician knows exactly what equipment they are required to bring. Outline whether the musician will or will not be able to sell any of their merchandise at the event, and if the client or individuals attending the gig will be allowed to record the performance.

  5. 5

    Write a cancellation clause that outlines how soon before a gig the client or musician can cancel and what the repercussions will be for cancelling after the established deadline. Insert a section that requires the client or performer to certify that the required permits, licenses or insurance have been obtained for a gig. Ask for proof, or copies, to be attached to the permit.

  6. 6

    Meet with the client to go over each of the items specified within the contract. Conduct an open discussion to ensure that you both agree with the terms and modify the contract to meet the approval of both parties. Complete the agreement with the signatures of each party on a final version of the contract, as well as the date that the contract was signed.

Tips and warnings

  • Have legal counsel review your contract outline in order to ensure that it is a legal document within your state.

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