Your Entertainer’s Contract


Once you have gone through the process of choosing an entertainer for your event, the next step is to contract them.


Usually, the entertainer will be the one to issue the agreement. Following these guidelines will help ensure that the agreement the entertainer issues is fair. You don’t want any unpleasant surprises on the day of the show.


First, the agreement should be simple and short, approximately one page, two at the very most. Be wary of entertainers who have multiple page agreements, unless you are hiring Lady Gaga for your event. You should not feel as though you need to send the agreement to the legal department for review before signing it.


Second, everything in the agreement should have been discussed before the agreement was written. There should not be anything in the agreement that catches you off guard.


What Should be in the Agreement?

The agreement should spell out the details of the performance in a clear and concise way. The agreement should contain the following:


  1. The name of the venue where the show will be held and the exact address of that venue.
    If your event is at the Hilton, make sure the entertainer has the correct Hilton. The contract should contain the exact address of the property. You don’t want the entertainer at the Downtown Hilton when he should be at the Hilton on the other side of town come show day!
  2. Who will be providing what?
    Make sure that it is clearly spelled out who will be providing what for the show. This includes sound systems, staging, and lights. If travel is involved, it should also cover the travel arrangements and who is paying for them.
  3. What time will the show begin?
    Most entertainers will realize that this is just an approximate time, and they can be flexible with the start time.
  4. Payment arrangements
    Some entertainers will require some type of deposit for the show, and then a time frame for the balance. Some entertainers will require full payment before the show. Others will give you a 10 day period after the show in which to make your payment.
  5. Cancellation policy
    Every agreement should have a cancellation policy and what will be done in the event of a cancellation. The cancellation policy should also address what constitutes an Act of God.
  6. A rider
    A rider is a separate page that details out what is required for the entertainer. It can cover specifics of sound systems, travel, and ground transportation arrangements, as well as dressing room needs.


Making sure that you understand your entertainer’s contract will help you to have a successful and worry free event!