Guide to getting and playing better gigs


   

Contracts & Riders

     
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If you're an unknown with no label, no nothing, you can't really expect to get the guarantee that you get in your hometown or other markets where you already do well. Beggars can't be choosers. You'll probably have to settle for a percentage of the door receipts. Try to get at least enough of a guarantee to cover petrol. Also try to get a free meal, water on stage, and some juice. And remember that it takes the promoter time and money to put on shows, especially for really small touring bands. So be appreciative of whatever it is they're willing to do for you.

Keep track of all your confirmed dates. The best thing to do is put a tour folder together with your show dates, info about each venue (address and phone numbers), info about each promoter (address and phone numbers), the type of show (punk, club, warehouse, 21+, etc.), the terms you agreed on (percentage deal, guarantee, etc.), important times (load in, check in, doors, show, stage) and any extra info (deals on food, water, whatever).

Send a simple agreement sheet to each promoter that details all of this info, and thank them for setting up your show. Be sure to get directions to the venues before you leave. It's a pain to have to track down people when you're on the road.

Whether or not you get a formal contract depends on who you're dealing with and what you feel comfortable with. I don't suggest a full blown contract for really small touring bands. Perhaps an agreement sheet detailing show information -- date, venue, promoter, type of show, terms, times, and a few reasonable requests like meals, water. If it's a collective, warehouse, punk show, people generally take offence to contracts, and prefer to deal on word. If it's a promoter or a club, a contract or agreement sheet would be appropriate.

Reconfirm your shows before you leave. You need to make sure everything's in order before you go on your adventure.









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