Contracting is a way of ensuring all involved parties understand their role and responsibilities on a project. It can be a shared document between artists, venue and producer in an email or it can be a more formal contract or agreement. Contracts can also include details of ownership of the intellectual property of the project. For instance, in a commission, the artist will retain all the rights to the work, but the venue and producer will need to discuss who will carry the legacy of the project.

Examples of contracts can be found online from various sources:

Musicians' Union: Standard contracts for live engagements

Arts Council: Exhibition Agreements

Vocalist: Music business contracts including booking and management contracts

[Also see: 'Finance and Legal']

Words of Advice

It depends on the scale of the project and the formality of the other partners; a contract is only an expression of understanding. On smaller-scale things, we are happy to just make sure there's an email that everyone has read and everyone is clear about, because at the end of the day, even if you turn that into a legally binding contract it doesn't necessarily mean more. No one is going to sue anyone. It's more about creating a clear working practice that everyone can refer to.

– Irene Revell, Electra

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