Cancelled Gigs? Set a new Tone!

Check the Terms

When working with a new agent or your current agent for that matter, please check what terms they are including on their contracts (if any), when sending out to their venues or hirers.

Recently we have had several cases were an agent has booked an artist for a gig, and the venue has cancelled on the day of the booking! We’ve all heard of this right!

90% of the time you have a comeback. This is because you either sent a contract to the venue yourself, which details what your cancellation terms are….. Or if booked through a good agent, the agent has done it.

Cancellations & Getting Your Money?

Most agents may rightly issue contracts. But if some of their contracts do not include cancellation terms, then getting your money is going to be a tough task if your gig does get cancelled.

If things are to improve in the industry it needs to start with the artists upping their standards.

What you should absolutely expect from your agent!

  • The agent should have all the contact details for their venue / hirer. This includes full names of the owners, invoice addresses, numbers, emails etc.
  • What are the payment terms? Is it cash on the day? Or If you are not collecting the payment on the day, then it’s a no pick up. Getting paid on time and knowing how long it is going to take to pay you, before you accept the gig is important.
  • The agent should issue solid contracts for the agreement. These contracts should include terms of business to the venues / or hirer. This is so that you and the agent have recourse if cancellation or anything else happens.

What you can do for yourself:

For about £10 per month you can sign up to Equity. Equity offer a huge range of benefits for membership, you can view them here. The one I am focusing on is the one that provides free legal advice and support.

You should make sure you issue contracts for each of your gigs. Include what your cancellation terms are. At least you have stated them on the contract.

Try working with Agents who are members of the Entertainment Agents Association. Click on the UK map on the left of the page. Then you can view the agents who are members in the different locations throughout the UK.

Agents who are members of the association follow a code of conduct. A governing code of conduct offers security for artists as it does for agents. They are supposed to issues terms of business with their contracts, to performers as well as the hirers. It is just as much for your security as it is for theirs.

I can’t speak for all agents here. There are good and bad in every industry.

Speaking to an agent this week regarding a cancelled gig. I was told that “they don’t include terms of business on their contracts because if they did “the venue would just go and book with another agent who doesn’t issue terms of business for cancellation.”

I was once asked to waiver our cancellation terms by a 5* hotel. It was so that they could cancel at any point if their tickets don’t sell! Naturally I told the venue that we don’t work that way. They accepted the terms and continued with the bookings.

If artists stopped accepting bookings from agents who don’t look after them by issuing “proper” contracts to their venues and artists, then you might just be in with a better chance of getting venues to stop apparently going elsewhere if all agents started putting cancellation terms on their contracts.

Cancellations will still happen, this is without doubt. But the chances of you getting a cancellation payment or full fee, will be greatly increased.

If you are struggling to obtain an overdue payment, or know anyone that is, then please recommend us.

We have exceptional knowledge of the music industry and we are here to help all agents and artists.

Ps – An example of what cancellation terms could state are:

  • Cancellation Policy – “The Agency” will do their utmost to prevent any cancellations or changes in the contracted agreement. “The Agency” therefore expects that venue/client will also do their utmost to prevent any cancellation of artistes. All contracts negotiated between the artiste and the hirer are legally binding and cannot be cancelled without full agreement in writing from all parties to the contract.
  • For any cancellation 0-31 days of the booked event 100% of the fee is required and for any cancellation 32-60 days of the booked event 50% of the fee is required. Cancellation fees will be invoiced directly to the venue by “The Agency”. Payment terms are seven days from receipt of invoice.