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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
SeanM Performance Contract (30) RE: Performance Contract 03 Mar 03


As a minor drift...

The famous "green M&Ms" is actually somewhat factual, if misrepresented.

While grazing through snopes.com, I ran afoul of an interview with the perpetrators of that bit of contractual weirdness, and I actually have to agree with the reasoning, if not the results (i.e., "if we found green ones, we'd trash the place".)

Seems the stated reason was that if the musicians showed up and found that the contract had not been followed to the letter, they could be fairly certain that other important issues would also be amiss.

This being a VERY large "stadium" band tour, 'amiss' ran into things like multi-ton staging units being put on cushioned hardwood basketball courts - with appropriate splintering and damage. Megawatt power systems being plugged into nearly residential grade powergrids. 15 semi-truck fleets being shoehorned into a mini-sized parking lot.

Of course, on a folk scale things like this really aren't going to happen (barring nightmarish visions of Pete Seeger playing the LA Coliseum in platform boots and tight leather jeans). But there's something of a lesson, and one that's repeated by other stories above - if you have the influence to do it, leave *nothing* to chance. If you aren't positive the venue will have enough seating, make sure it's in the contract. Shade? That too. Water for keeping the voice going? Yup. Power if you're amplified? Better make sure. The list goes on... Even if you're not a "name", it's worthwhile to at least make sure the basics are specified. You never know - the person you sign the contract with may fully believe that when they promise 500 seats they have them - but in reality, the venue has 20 haybales and a well worn rail fence. Having it in writing at least makes everyone check their facts.

On a personal side, I've been fairly lucky with this. The only "zing" we got hit with wasn't a hideously bad one. We were playing at a historic site in the Sierras, and the venue had promised housing for the weekend (it was a multi-day show). They'd said it would be "comfortable housing", but the contract just said housing. We wound up in an 8 man rigid frame cabin tent with one of the other acts at the show. Fortunately, we'd been forewarned that this might happen and had come prepared.

M


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