Saturday nights out to the club with your favorite group of people are always great. Y you and your friends’ energy usually get fueled when the DJ plays the right music to get you all on the dance floor to move and dance and just forget about everything else. You may also see Contract Templates.
Events, especially rave concerts, get you and the rest of the crowd singing and dancing to the music with the DJ leading the charge because well, it’s their job to get you entertained and have fun themselves while they’re at it, because why not?
Elements of A Good DJ Booking Contract
It’s pretty common to see DJs taking to the stage to get guest or people in a bar or party pumped up. Hiring one shouldn’t be complicated if you’re planning on a party complete with confetti, alcohol, dancing, singing, the works. If you’re the DJ or entertainer, you have to write a contract or get an agreement in writing, mapping out what your services entails, with the following elements included:
1. Contract Basics: Put a title such as “DJ Services Contract” the names of both parties, the date the contract was written and the contract term. You may also want to include a license number and contact details so that you can easily bill the client and keep track of the payments made. This generally already covers the date, time, fee and payment split or guarantees if the fee is being scaled based on party or event attendance, pub sales, etc. A radius clause (limiting performances in the same geographic area before and after the show) might also appear in this section. You can also check out simple contract .
2. Payment and provisions: The club or event coordinator you hired and their DJ may have a lot of responsibilities but you should also understand that you’re gonna have to pay them which is why the contract should detail the amount the company will be paid on an installment, hourly, weekly basis or any other payment plan both parties have agreed on. Furthermore, if the work includes a special type of service on the side, the mode and structure of payment should be detailed in the contract with a provision on how each party plan on dealing with payment disputes.
3. The Scope of Services: This serves as the muscle of your contract and the more detailed it is, the more efficient you’ll be at managing the other party’s expectations. Case in point, you don’t want the client assuming you’ll include two nights more and a special playlist for other guests, assuming the role of a party emcee when all you offered was straight up DJ services for 3 hours. When your clients know what to expect, there’ll be little room for misunderstanding. For example, you can specify what songs will be played and on what hours, as well as the specific entertainment involved.
4. Cancellation Policy: Your cancellation policy describes what will happen to your fee if the show doesn’t end up taking place The most important thing with respect to all of these is that you not be responsible for any loss or damage that results from your inability to perform due to circumstances beyond your control. You don’t want to end up being sued by the club because you were too ill to walk, or because your car was destroyed by vandals hours before your set. The other part of the cancellation policy deals with voluntary cancellation or the situation where either you or the club decide to terminate the contract before your performance.
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Steps To Write An Excellent DJ Booking Contract
Negotiating a DJ performance can be very tricky but doing it right is a crucial step in turning that hobby into something you can make a living out of. One of the first things in making a successful career in the entertainment industry as a DJ is knowing how to write a contract that protects you and your client from mishaps and disputes. Below are some steps you can follow in writing a DJ services contract to minimize risk and maximize return:
1. Set the right price for your performance: It seems that the DJ is often the last service chosen after much of the event budget is expended on the venue, food, and clothing for an event. This often leads the client to check for the lowest price possible for their lack of knowledge and resources. But if you have followed basic pricing for a certain event, you will know how to price your performance right. It’s also a good idea to check what the competition charges.
2. Be flexible: A professional DJ is always willing to discuss an event at any time before it starts, and should display the flexibility to accommodate changes and help the client solve issues before they start. Meeting or phone conferencing your agreement before signing the contract or making your client sign is of great importance to a successful event and client satisfaction as well as clarification for the services you can provide as well as what its limitations are.
3. Ask for your ideal setup: You need a setup as far as mixer, turntables, CDJs, monitors, mics, P/A, lighting, power sources, and anything else that matters for your set. Be as specific as you can. The club can always say no or ask if you’ll settle for something else, but try for the best setup possible. When it comes to the mixer, CDJs, or turntables (if you use them), give actual model numbers and specify that they must be approved in advance.
4. State how you want to be billed: A contract needs to indicate how you want your performance to be billed at the very least, ensure that you’ll be included in all marketing and promotional materials related to the event. These things are especially important if you’re being asked to be the opening act of major artists and entertainers, giving you a great chance to be included in their exposure without asking.
Tips In Writing a DJ Booking Contract
Even if you’re working as a freelance DJ, you shouldn’t be offering your services without writing a legally binding contract, if not, now is the perfect time to consider the most important parts of a written contract before you say yes to a gig. Here are additional tips you might find helpful:
- Consider promotion and legalities: In order to use your information in their promo materials, a club will likely ask for a temporary license to use your name, likeness, and potentially copyrighted material for the purposes of promoting the show. Just make sure that such a license is temporary, and that it doesn’t include allowing the club to distribute any material (including music, performance videos, mixtapes or compilations) that might be prohibited by your record deal.
- Specify equipment: With the other equipment, technical specifications will usually suffice, but it will help the club get you the right gear if you also suggest particular models that fit your criteria. Finally, include an outward time limit for sound-check so that you have the opportunity to make sure everything is working properly.
DJ Booking Contract FAQs
Does a rider count as a contract?
Yes and no. The rider covers everything else, from cancellation policy to transportation, equipment, comps to catering preferences. The reason for this division into basic contract and rider is that different DJs (and different musical acts of all varieties) have vastly different needs, expectations, and levels of bargaining power. At the same time, it’s likely that a given DJ will have the same needs and expectations for any gig he plays at a given stage in his career. The rider provides an easy way for that DJ to ensure his needs are met without having to rewrite a standard form contract every time he plays a show.
Is it okay to negotiate a contract?
It is, and you have every right to, but make sure you know the position from which you’re negotiating: don’t take risks if you don’t have to; but on the flip-side, be aware that if you’re too demanding you may risk losing a deal completely
In every case, use the plainest, simplest language possible. The language in most simple contracts is far more complicated than it needs to be. For real legal advice and protection, you should always be represented by counsel, but in the event that you need to make a change to your rider on your own, your best bet is to write exactly what you mean in plain English.
While It’s almost always impossible to get everything you want in a contract, it’s also usually possible to get something you want in more than one way. If a club rejects some part of your rider that you feel you need, try adding something else that will offset that change but make sure it serves both parties well.