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Performance Agreement Template

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What is a performance contract?

A performance contract is a legally binding agreement that covers various roles within the field of performing, including the client. You can use it as an entertainment contract, a music/band performance contract, or as an artist contract — just as long as you’re an independent contractor or involved in the performance business.

A lot of performers are independent contractors or freelance, so a contract is crucial for securing your rights and interests for these types of businesses.

Note: Ready to get straight into it? Sign up to Bonsai to make your own freelance performance contract now

Who needs a performance agreement?

If you’re an event manager or a venue proprietor, a band, an artist, or just classify yourself as an all-around general performer, you'll need this type of agreement. It makes sure all your requirements are met and the responsibilities of both parties are clearly outlined.

What should be included in a performance contract?

Detailed descriptions of work

When writing a performance contract, you should always aim to avoid ambiguity. Being straight to the point is going to help you iron out the entire agreement — the best way to do this is by giving detailed descriptions of what you’ll be doing. This can be the services you offer, or the details of your performance and event, what material you'll be using, and even what kind of entertainment you provide.

Make sure all your tasks are well highlighted so that the client doesn’t miss out on anything. This can be details about the soundcheck, a band's obligations, what you’ll be doing before, during, and after the performance, and so on. Clearly outline your services and responsibilities, as well as that of the client’s, so that both of you know what is expected from each other.

You don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you’re doing more or less than the client expects. To ensure you’re performing the tasks as required, take time to read through the project details before drafting your contract.

Date, time and venue of performance

Your client (and you) will want to know all the specifics about the date, time, and even the venue of the performance. The performance may be over several dates and across different venues, so stating where, when, and how long each performance is will go far towards making a solid contract and successful agreement.

We all know a performance can change in an instance, so it’s a good idea to outline the scope of the performance and any grace periods that could be needed. This will essentially cover your back when something isn’t completed in the expected timeframe.

You’ll want the performance agreement to cover the limit of your services too. You don’t want to perform tasks that the client isn’t willing to pay for. The handy thing about drafting up your own contract with Bonsai is this section will be clearly stated and easily editable to fit your expected performance services.

Expenses and payment

It’s time to get paid! Well, not just yet. First, you’ll need to include this section in your contract around your payment details and information. This should include your total fee, how you’ll be paid, the time you’ll be paid, any costs and compensation, late fee interest, and benefits involved with the performance.

Your total amount can include any costs towards travel, accommodation, and other expenses. This works better for some events managers or artists, however, you may want to agree to be compensated after the scope of work is completed. This means no unforeseen expenses will come out of your pocket.

Sound and lighting

Your accountability and responsibility towards things like sound and lighting are good to clarify. Is it the responsibility of the venue manager or the band? If the sound quality is bad or the equipment fails, who’s held accountable? This is important information to detail as it could affect payments and legal obligations.

Sometimes a gig can get out of hand, so having a section on property damage or failure to take care of equipment is a good idea also.


Who’s responsible for advertising the event or performance? It’s a good idea to outline any established communication responsibilities around the event or performance. Any further obligations to marketing should be outlined here too, which could include an outside agency.

Force majeure

This is a term based on the fact that unforeseen events can happen and stop the performance from happening. Failure to fulfil your obligations due to force majeure means you cannot be held accountable or responsible under these circumstances.

Termination of contract

Every contract needs an agreed to termination section. This can be after the event or performance, once the final payment is made, and include reasons why the contract can be terminated early.

Performance agreement template

Interested in seeing what a performance agreement should look like? Take a look at our sample contract below — it’s an easily editable document that includes all the relevant information for a performer or an events manager.

What's the benefit of using Bonsai, instead of editing a template yourself?

Everything is already there and ready for you to use — that’s the great thing about using a Bonsai template. When you create and edit your own template from scratch, you run the risk of making a document that’s missing clauses and important information.

No one wants to miss out on important information that can make a performance worthwhile. When you create a contract with Bonsai, you'll already have covered and legally binding, so you can spend more time doing what actually makes you passionate.

How to create a performance contract with Bonsai

1. Select Your Template

Choose our specialized contract template, or start with a blank template. Add your client name, project name, preferred currency.

2. Add Your Basic Info

Next, fill in your basic information. This includes your location (country and state/province), your legal entity (if you operate via an LLC), and your client’s legal name (company or person).

3. Add Your Scope of Work

Describe the scope of work in as much detail as possible. You can also attach a separate statement of work file here if you wish.

4. Add Your Payment Info

Determine how and how much your client will pay you for your marketing services here. You can choose from a flat fee, milestone payments, or hourly, daily, weekly, monthly or per-word rates.

You can also outline payment terms (net 15 days for invoices, for example), late fees, and contract start and end dates here.

5. Review & Sign Your Final Contract

You’re ready to review your fully fleshed-out and vetted digital marketing agreement. If you want to make any edits to the template, you can do it at this stage.

And if you’re happy with the finished freelance contract, you can click “SIGN CONTRACT” to digitally sign it with a legally binding e-signature, before sending it to your client to do the same.

As we said, it’s simple! Now you can return to your Freelance Dashboard to track when the contract has been delivered, opened, and signed. Want to get to work and get paid faster?

Create a performance contract with Bonsai.

Performance contract FAQs

Why do I need a performance contract?

If you’re an artist or a band and you want to make sure you’re going to get paid the right amount and on time, or, you’re an events manager who wants to make sure an event or performance runs smoothly from start to finish — you’ll need a performance contract.

It may be easy just to accept a handshake agreement, especially when the performance business is seemingly casual at times. This is definitely not a good idea though. Performance contracts provide protection to both parties interests and will help the overall show to run smoothly.

Bonsai has many different types of contracts you can create and use for free. Whether you’re in the performance business or not, you should always use a contract.



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