SAMPLE PERFORMANCE AGREEMENT
While this contract could be used for actual business purposes, it may not suit your situation and
the laws of your state. We encourage you to seek legal advice.
This agreement contains two parts: a cover sheet addressing basic terms and a rider. We begin with an explana-
tion of the rider and follow with the entire agreement.
CONTRACTUAL ATTACHMENT (RIDER)
Commentary and Explanations for First-Time Users
Purchaser and Artist or its Agent agree that the following provisions are incorporated into the contract to which
it is attached and made a part thereof, said contract being signed and dated ___________. The parties agree that
the terms of this attachment prevail over the terms of any other document relating to and a part of the contract
in which this attachment is incorporated.
1. PAYMENT AND COMPENSATION. Purchaser will make payment by check to Artist immediately after
completion of the performance(s), unless otherwise previously agreed in writing by Artist and Purchaser.
Payment of performance fee cannot be made until a copy of Artist’s W-9 and Social Security number or federal
identification number (FEIN) is provided to Purchaser.
2. ARTIST’S RIGHT TO TERMINATE. If Artist is entitled to deposit payment as provided above, and the
deposit has not been paid within the time specified, Artist shall have the right to terminate this agreement with-
out any further obligation upon ___ days notice.
3. CANCELLATION. Artist reserves the right to cancel this Agreement without obligation upon notice to
The provisions in this rider are generally optional, but having these things in writing can make the event go
more smoothly for everyone. Just talking with the Purchaser about some of these issues can help both of you
understand better exactly what expectations you both have for the performance. This is always a good thing
since it helps avoid unpleasant surprises.
PAYMENT AND COMPENSATION
It’s important to spell out not only how much you’re being paid, but also exactly when you’ll get the check (or
cash). You might want to ask for a 50% deposit upon signing the agreement, with the balance paid to you after
the performance. Four common methods of compensation include: (1) flat fee with no percentage of ticket
sales; (2) percentage of ticket sales; (3) guaranteed sum or percentage of ticket sales (whichever is higher); or
(4) guaranteed sum and percentage of revenues above the guarantee. Obviously, getting a flat fee gives you
more security than betting solely on a percentage of ticket sales. Filling out a W-9 form and giving your Social
Security number to the Purchaser is standard procedure that most venues require for their own tax records.
ARTIST’S RIGHT TO TERMINATE
This ensures that you have the right to drop the gig if the Purchaser hasn’t fulfilled his end of the deal up front.
You’ve agreed to do the gig, you’ve cleared your schedule for that night, and you’ve turned down other offers.
You need to know that if the Purchaser cancels at the last minute you won’t be losing everything you could
have earned. This is what lawyers refer to as a “liquidated damages clause.” It spells out ahead of time what
the Purchaser ’s penalty for canceling is so you don’t have to haggle with Purchaser later over how much you
might have made playing that other gig you got called for but turned down. You should be able to get 100%
compensation if the Purchaser cancels less than two weeks before the show.
St. Louis Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts