How to Write a Band Contract

By Jonathan McLelland
Creating a band contract ensures all members are on the same page and treated equally.

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A band contract safeguards the relationship between band members as it outlines what is to be expected in performances, rehearsals and monetary issues. The content of a band contract should clearly outline what percentage each band member will receive, the overall objective of the band and how complaints can be resolved between the band members. While a band contract does not need to be notarized or read by a lawyer to be legally binding, it is always a good idea to have the contract reviewed by an attorney.

Create the opening statement for the contract. This paragraph should include the date the contractual agreement is made and what city and state the band is currently residing in. This paragraph should list responsibilities that are expected to be upheld by each band member. These can be numerically listed (1, 2, 3, etc.) or made into bullet points. While these responsibilities can vary according to the band, common contractual responsibilities include agreeing to show up for performances and rehearsals on time unless an emergency or an uncontrollable situation arises. This statement should indicate how the band member should inform fellow musicians of his inability to appear. Also state every band member is responsible for keeping musical instruments and equipment in good working condition.

Write a "Provisions" section within the contract. This section should clearly state whether or not band members are able to individually talk or discuss booking gigs with record labels, venues or other persons involved in booking the band for monetary compensation. This provision should instruct band members what to do if approached by third-parties seeking to book the band for a performance, such as sending all requests to a management team or person in charge of booking the band. Also include information stating whether or not band members can play with other bands or perform solo engagements.

List the compensation each band member can be expected to receive based on live performances. This can be described in a percentage, such as every band member will receive 25 percent of the total performance fee. This section should also include the percentage each band member will receive from the sale of merchandise and record sales. Make sure to state when band members can expect to receive payment from performances and royalties. This statement can be as vague as, "Do not expect payment immediately following a gig" or specific, "Band members will receive performance payments 30 days following the performance. Royalty payments will be made on the second Wednesday of every month."

Add any additional information deemed appropriate for the band. This may include adding a section regarding touring duties and how to file complaints about the band. When creating a touring section, list responsibilities such as gathering equipment checklists, requesting time off work and notifying the band at least 30 days prior to the tour if she is unable to travel with the band.

Review the contract and, after adding or removing information, print the contract and have each band member review and sign two copies. Keep one copy for the legal record and allow the band members to keep a copy for their records.

About the Author

Jonathan McLelland has been a professional writer since 2005. He has worked as a story writer and editor for the international sitcom, “Completing Kaden,” as well as a proposal writer for various production companies. McLelland studied communication and theater at St. Louis Community College.

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