Taking a closer look at performance contracts

Whether a person is an actor, singer, comedian or other types of performer, having a clear and enforceable performance contract in place can make or break an event -- or career. These contracts are in place to ensure a performer has everything he or she requires for an event to go as planned.

Often, when people talk about performance contracts, they immediately think of the riders or personal requirements that can appear in them. However, there is much more to these agreements than you might realize.

More than personal requests

Performance contracts can address a wide range of specifications for an event or show. In general, they address performance expectations, compensation and penalties or solutions if an event is canceled for any reason.

And depending on the type of performance it is, a contract might also include specifications for sound checks and equipment, transportation allowances, space requirements, hospitality and even employment metrics for the venue. 

These specifications can affect an entertainer's safety, performance, and liability in the event of an accident or lawsuit. As such, these contracts must be thorough and closely reviewed by all parties.

And what about those riders?

Yes, there are performers with a lengthy list of demands in their contracts. And as this article notes, there are plenty of celebrities with strange or seemingly excessive requests in their riders. These requests range from specific snack demands to elaborate redesigns of dressing rooms. 

While non-entertainers may see these as ridiculous, the fact is that performers put on a show for audiences. Anything that can make them comfortable and allow them to avoid unnecessary stress can improve the performance, benefiting everyone from the patrons to the venue owners. 

More importantly, failure to comply with these or any other element of a contract can trigger legal action.

Entertainment agreements, including performance contracts, play a critical role in a person's career. As such, it is important to take them seriously and ensure they are valid and up-to-date. Should there be disputes regarding the enforceability of a contract or potential breaches, parties would be wise to discuss legal remedies with an attorney.

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