Written by US Music Attorney with 20 Years Experience
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A Look At DJ Contracts
DJs today take many forms, be it providing the song for the first dance of a newly married couple at a wedding reception or supplying the beats for a club full of sweaty dancers. But the one thing that bonds nearly all DJs is the fact that they are actually independent contractors hired by a client to entertain guests. Working in any field as an independent contractor inherently contains the risk of work that is not steady and pay that is handled on a case-by-case basis. Thus, a DJ performance contract proves to be essential in the industry, as it ensures the client will get the entertainment they require and the DJ will receive payment for the services rendered.
Because of the specialized nature of DJs and the services they provide, contracts will be created to cater to each individual DJ and client. However, each contract will address the following issues to ensure events go smoothly and both sides are satisfied.
Place and Time
Though it may seem trivial to include such detailed information, the contract needs to list the address, date, start time and end time, along with the name of the DJ, name of the client and all contact information. With a field as mobile as DJing, lack of these details can cause mix-ups and confusion that could be easily avoided when everything is presented in the contract.
Some DJs play similar gatherings every time they perform, in which case they can state standard rates on contracts. Others will require different rates specific to each occasion. Whatever the case, all of these should be stated clearly on the contract. Additionally, the contract should state what the deposit will be, and when the remainder will be paid to the DJ.
Terms of Agreement
This section will be the most varied, catered to each DJ and, often, each event. Basically, this section will state that both parties have agreed to enter the agreement they are signing, and that all terms have been agreed upon as well. The Terms of Agreement may also state what working conditions the DJ requires to perform (amount of space, amount of power, set-up time, etc), as well as what (if any) recording may take place at the venue.
Finally, the DJ and/or client may make special requests of each other in this last section, as long as both parties agree to the terms.
As years go on, DJs continually increase their role in entertaining the world. But the fickle nature of the business provides built-in risks to these DJs that must be addressed as many try to make a living performing, and DJ performance contracts make achieving that living a much more attainable goal.