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Topic: Contract - the magician's or the venue's - which one?
Message: Posted by: MagiCol (Oct 13, 2010 04:12AM)
"We'll send you our contract to sign," says the venue representative.
Ah, but the Magician has HIS contract for the venue representative to sign, thank you.
So, what happens? Who has the say of which/both contract is to be followed?

I have been asked to appear at the equivalent of a kind of country market, where sites are being sold to stallholders in a Big Day event to raise money to support various charity-type organizations/medical gear.
I mentoned I wouldnt be paying for a site, or donating my efforts, but I would consider working at a busking approach. Nothing hard or fast as far as a commitment goes at this stage, as the Day is still months away. As part of the converstation a respentive of the organizing group says "We'll send you our contract." I didn't discuss the point of a contract any further at this stage.

But the situation does raise the point of Who gets to "call the tune"?
We may like to consider the circumstances as, for example,
When the entertainer is contacted with a request to attend, with payment offered for his/her services.
When the entertainer attends as a busker.
When the entertainer decides to take a stall site.

Let's share some thoughts on the topic.

I'll start with the idea that as a Busker "allowed" to be present to support the day it would seem I am not calling the tune regarding a contract, where I am not dictating the terms of my performing.
Message: Posted by: rossmacrae (Oct 13, 2010 04:43AM)
It does seem the way you think of it.

But I'd read their contract carefully and see if it places any odious restrictions or requirements on you, and if it leaves out anything you consider essential. When you've considered those issues, you can decide whether you want to make any additions or deletions to their contract, and see if they go for them.

Also, be sure you get the name of ONE individual on site whose word will be law that day - too often there's nobody to support your claim that you're allowed to be there doing what you do, or else there are too many people trying to be boss.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Oct 13, 2010 05:17AM)
Actually, being you are a contract agent, your contract should be primary. You of course can discuss a deal and draw up a new contract. Which can be common in business.

If you go with there contract, you will be considered an employee, not a contracted agent. It really all depends on the wording as they could be liable for all your actions as an employee.

If there contract is uses the words, "hold harmless", this means they are not liable for anything you do. In that case you may want to have your contract signed for their payment agreement, if there is any payment involved.

I think you should have inquired further about the their contract, as you said you will not pay for any site, and the contact may be just for that purpose. They are in the business of selling sites and that is all they are really interested in doing.

Don't let yourself be taken, because some places just do anything to get your signature and once you do, you are stuck for the cash.
Message: Posted by: Skip Way (Oct 13, 2010 08:09AM)
I am not an attorney nor do I play one on TV. From experience, a contract is a legally binding exchange of promises between two or more parties with legal remedies for breach.

As one of the parties of any contract you have a right and a personal obligation to include your expectations and performance requirements; i.e. space dimensions, location, distance from bands and other distractions, electrical power, staging, lighting, sound, staff assistance, restroom facilities, parking, etc. Always get any verbal amendments to a written contract in writing and signed by both parties. Verbal modifications to written contracts bear no weight in court.

Your terms can be written into their contract or attached as a contract rider signed by both parties. My point is - don't overlook your expectations while rushing to meet theirs. Without your contract rider, they could rightly stick you right across from the band stage or in some dark out-of-the-way corner and you're pretty much screwed. They can also tell you when you arrive that they've decided not to use you - "Thank you, have a nice day, now go away."

For example, my rider requires that my name and logo be listed on all promotional materials and advertising for the event and that copies of these materials be set aside for me on the event day. When I first started out, I was forever being listed on posters, TV/Radio ads and flyers as "magician" and "magic for the kids." Hard to build a brand that way and I consider it disrespectful of my skills. I recently agreed to appear at a charity event and they signed my rider. Three weeks later the posters and radio advertisements showed up with "Magician for the kids!" They had a choice to reprint the posters and print ads, rerun the radio ads or pay my full-rate performance fee for the day.

If they refuse to negotiate or accept your rider, walk away - especially for a charity event. Contracts should be a mutually beneficial organ with reasonable redress for both sides in the event of breach.

Also, while contract law varies, signing a contract in this case would not necessarily make you an employee of the event. If they don't require a W-2 Form from you, you are an independent contractor. An employee is one who is under the direct supervisory control of the contractor. A contract for a single event generally makes you an independent contractor free to function within the stipulations of the contract.

Jim Kleefeld and Todd Neufeld both have excellent books available dealing with contracts for entertainers. http://www.lawdepot.com has an online fill-in-and-print performer's contract that might work for many.

Message: Posted by: sethb (Oct 13, 2010 11:21AM)
The contract does not have to be all "theirs" or all "yours," more likely it will end up being a mixture of both.

See what their contract says and figure out what else you need to add to or subtract from it. If they tell you it's "the standard form" that everyone uses and that it can't be changed, there's a red flag right there. There is no such thing as a "standard contract" and there's no contract that can't be changed, as long as the parties are willing to agree.

It also seems odd to me that they want to send you "their" contract, which is apparently used mostly to rent stall space to vendors. What does that have to do with busking? It's probably some sort of "hold harmless" agreement, which protects them but not you if you are injured in some way at their event, or if someone is injured through your actions and they get sued. So hopefully you do have liability insurance, even if you are just busking. Contracts are nice, but insurance is better. SETH
Message: Posted by: MagiCol (Oct 19, 2010 05:14AM)
I like Seth's summary "The contract does not have to be all "theirs" or all "yours," more likely it will end up being a mixture of both." So. I see the final result to be aimed at as being an "our" contract.
Thanks for the comments etc. from you all.

Not connected with the Day I mentioned above, is an earlier event in the region that initially on its internet site had a booking form for the vendor with the statement as part of the affair as "I have read, understand and agree to abide by the Terms & Conditions I have been sent." At the time, there was no booking form on the internet site, and in an email or two to the relevant secretary/whoever I pointed out the problem of "How could a person in honesty sign the booking form when they hadn't see the Terms and Conditions?" I also suggested the Contract would not be legal under the circumstances since a person signing it would be doing so falsely. Since then, to their credit, the organizers have got the Terms etc up on the website.
Political Correctness in New Zealand the past 10 years or so has seen an increasing amount of demands and subsequent costs being put by "officialdom' [job creation??] upon ordinary people and businesses.
For those with time and interest to see it, here is the internet site for that earlier event in New Zealand. http://www.realtownmaungaturoto.co.nz/fielddays.htm
The Terms, Booking Form, Health and Safety, are on the right hand side on the internet page.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Oct 19, 2010 05:30AM)
On 2010-10-19 06:14, MagiCol wrote:
I also suggested the Contract would not be legal ...

Any written agreement between 2 parties is legal and binding. That is why you never sign anything unless you completely understand the contract words.
Message: Posted by: TonyB2009 (Oct 21, 2010 06:05AM)
I take their contract, delete the parts I don't like, add in any parts I do require, then post it back to them. They can take it or leave it.
Message: Posted by: MagiCol (Oct 21, 2010 04:29PM)
Thanks, TonyB. I guess the person who doesn't call the tune [have the major say in the mattter of a Contract] is the one that most wants the entertainer/work.
If a Fair etc really wants a particular entertainer they will accept that entertainer's terms [by and large] and if the Entertainer really wants the work, he will accept the Fair's etc terms [by and large].
A certain amount of bluff is required, including, if one is assertive, the possibility of falling over it and hitting the bottom!
Message: Posted by: DATMagic (Oct 27, 2010 06:01PM)
I like Tony's idea, shows that you are willing to make sacrifices because you want the job. Of course if you've got all the business you need, stand your ground.
Message: Posted by: magicofCurtis (Oct 27, 2010 06:21PM)
You should always "play" with your contract. If the venue has you signed a contract, have your contract state that there is a secondary contract and your contract proceeds over the secondary contract where issues are not clarified!

Very common.

IF they disagree, have them agree to your contract riders, which is most important....