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I have read many posts on the forum about dj's not getting a deposit for a function, i can understand if there is little time to get one.

 

i also cannot understand why there is no contract between you and the client.

 

I have for many years always issued a contract even if there is little time before the event, i take it with me if i need to for the client to read and sign, there are a few places on the net where you can get an example to use ( i have one you can modify if you wish just contact me )

 

so i have realy only started this poll to see how many people still dont offer contracts and dont get deposits mainly out of interest

Big B's Mobile Disco

 

Crystal Wedding Fayres

 

info@bigbdisco.co.uk

 

08445 040 841(option 2)

 

07547 686920

 

<a href="http://www.bigbdisco.co.uk" target=""><img src="http://www.designrite.co.uk/big_b.gif" border="0"><br/></a>

 

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I won't set up before i have a signature on my contract agreeing to my terms and conditions. One of my clauses is the responsibilty of the actions of guests and possible damage to equipment. Only last Saturday i had a guest who came behind the rig, fell backwards in a drunken stupour and threw a glass of wine all over my LED flood. Luckily there was no damage done.

 

If it is short notice and there isn't time for the the contracts to be signed and exchanged, I take one with me and ask for it to be read and signed there and then.

Sandy

Blonde dizzy and no longer available

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Same as Sandy - if short notice I get the client to sign at the venue. I always use a contract these days, as I feel it's the only way to ensure both the DJ & the client have the same details. That way mistakes shouldn't occur.

 

As for deposits, I don't normally take one and so far this hasn't cuased any problems. If I started to get a lot of short notice cancellations I would review the situation, but for now everything's fine.

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I always take a 50% deposit paid within 14 days of contract signed then the final balance paid within 10 days of the function.

 

I never accept cash on the night. Except where I have been asked to play on past the finnish time then it is to be paid 30 minutes before the end of the function as you don't want to running round chasing people who are too drunk to pay or they haven't got enough money left by the end.

 

I also include within the contract soft drinks to be supplied through out the night to the DJ and if the function is longer that 4 hours or the need to be at the venue all day hot food and or meal allowance to be supplied, this is mainly for the corporate events and weddings where background music is supplied. If its a wedding the Toastmaster get drinks and a meal so should the DJ if he is there all day which is my argument.

 

 

Professional DJ Since 1983 - Having worked in Clubs, Pubs, Mobile and Radio in the UK and Europe

29 Years Experience and still learning.

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I think its astounding (and distinctly worrying) that so many Dj's are actively going out and working without any kind of safeguard in place, for either themselves or their clients. What is even worse than this, is that some Dj's are also expecting OTHER Dj's to work for THEM with no contract in place for any of the parties, suddenly the risks get doubled.

 

Lets face it, a contract is a safety net to protect you against a client / agent / venue extracting the urine or taking liberties when it comes to the agreed finish time, booking details or fee. If the client should default in paying you, what would you produce as proof that this person had even booked you, let alone agreed a figure?. If No contract exists then your chances of taking legal action in the event of non payment, or proving that the client had only booked you until 12.00 when they want you to play until 2AM as part of the original 'deal' which you made verbally are probably going to be nil. Where no contract exists and in the event that a client does take any dispute further, then more often than not where its one persons word against a business (who doesn't issue paperwork), then by default, it will always be the business which comes the worse off.

 

I doubt that 'Sixty Quid Sid' issues contracts either and with so much talk about 'cowboys' operating in our industry, I am amazed that more people are not going that extra mile to set themselves apart from what 'sid' would do, so as to avoid getting pigeon holed. Purely by offering the minimum courtesy of a written agreement is a simple but effective action which gives the obvious re-assurance which comes with it to the client because they must be nervous too. After all, your confirmation or contract is their guarantee that you exist and a token that you take both their booking and your own business seriously and that you will endevour to provide the service and promises which you made via email / phone. The contract should also confirm the details exactly as agreed, even down to any special requirements, such as providing a P.A system for speeches or any additonal equipment which you may be hiring / bringing or additional service(s) that you are charging seperately for.

 

It certainly should also contain the start and finishing times, and the fact that you will NOT be responsible for events over-running should you arrive at the venue at the agreed time only to be refused entry by the venue events manager because "They were 1 hour late arriving and they've only just sat down for the Wedding Breakfast".

 

These things DO happen, and its beyond your control so why should you take the cut in fee, because the client / venue didn't arrange or allow for the correct timescale?. You will come across clients who want a discount because you couldn't set up at 7pm as agreed, and as a result it was 9pm when you started playing and not 8pm as requested. Provided you were there at the venue on or before the agreed time on the contract, and as long as the delay wasn't down to you or as a result of something you did / didn't do then its the same fee, whether i'm politely sat in the car waiting for them to finish eating / speeches, or setting up the gear. I don't pay for the mistakes or bad planning of others, my accountant tells me that I can't afford to be a martyr for others. Although I may review this when I see caterers offering a pro-rata discount for any left over food which wasn't eaten at the buffet.

 

Also make sure you agree the fee, AND any per hour or part hour extra's if the client asks you to do an extra hour or so beyond the original time. Also stipulate that even if both you, and the client are happy to continue for an extra hour, if the venue manager says you stop now, then you stop, end of.

 

Whether part time or full time, hobbyist or self professed professional, you trade within the same laws and are subject to the same requirements, whether you earn £500 a year or are the entertainment version of Tesco, and basically under various laws we are all obligated to provide the same minimum level of service. If an unhappy client wanted to inform the OFT or Trading Standards or took out a small claims appeal with a genuine complaint, then a defense of "Oh but i'm only part time" will not cut much ice, and will probably just make it worse. If money changes hands, then you are working for reward and under any law its considered a business.

 

Being a DJ, does not automatically a businessman or woman make. However it makes sense to learn what running a business involves, whether its marketing, dealing with clients, writing contracts or doing basic accounts we can ALL benefit from being given sound advice in these areas. Personally i'd like to see the various associations and mini-plasas spending less time on showing flashing lights and methods of playing music and spend equal time offering the means of running a sound business. If people are not interested in these at such events, then my point made - that is where we are going wrong

 

Perhaps that £260 earmarked for a new lighting effect, would be much better spent on a 2 or 3 day college / evening course on business management?, or if legal writing is not your Forte' why not spend £60 engaging the services of a solicitor to write you a watertight contract?, better still, visit the local CAB or Business Advisory service who will probably either put you in touch with a cheaper source of obtaining these or may even give you a FREE template to adapt and customise. But only you can make that effort.

 

If this is now boring the pants off you, and not as attractive to you as the flashing lights, then perhaps self employment is just not for you, whether its cake decorating, candle making or being a DJ, because they all require the same boring business side to be adhered too, and its probably going to be this lack of interest and laxity which one day will come and bite you on the ass.

 

Come on folks, wake up to the facts!. Filling in a contract template on your PC with the clients details probably takes less than 10 minutes, and could save you hours of legal time and protect your interests should the worst happen, and that 36p for a first class stamp is much cheaper than defending or bringing legal recourse.

 

If you do take on a booking where posting paperwork is not logistically possible, then take a written contract with you and get a signature on arrival, also insist on payment upfront and not by cheque or 'account' - this includes working for other dj's too, as i've found some of those, statistically, to be even worse for paying than clients or agents in the past.

 

Sloppy business attitude and practice has no place in this or any other service industry, and should be taken and treated just as seriously by the rest of us and with as much interest as what pieces of paper we may have, what association we are a member of and certainly over and above what equipment we plug into the mains, because the consequences of bad business are far, far more damaging to us ALL.

Edited by McCardle

"The voice of the devil is heard in our land"

 

'War doesn't determine who is right, war determines who is left, and you wont win this war.'

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I have a contract (for my protection) and booking form (to detail the booking). This is working well.

 

I've had 1 cancelation, and retained the booking fee - I would have like to refund it, but coudn't fill the date.

(although this is not part of my contract)

 

Having a contract also protects the client- they know your "get-out" clauses, and can see that you take care in the detail. For my 40th, I'd only book a DJ that has a contract (3 yrs away.. before you start providing quotes lol)

 

Obviously, each to their own - I wouldn't go so far as to call anyone who doesn't issue a contact a cowboy, many are true to their word, but it does help both sides.

 

I guess the attitude of "there's beer, music, and its a fun night- lets not complicate things with paperwork" plays into this to a large degree. However, anyone who had booked a venue will know there is some paperwork, and deposit payable.

If food/car hire/photography is provided, this also has some kind of paperwork- - so why should the DJ provide their service with a verbal/email confirmation?

 

 

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I think its astounding (and distinctly worrying) that so many Dj's are actively going out and working without any kind of safeguard in place, for either themselves or their clients. What is even worse than this, is that some Dj's are also expecting OTHER Dj's to work for THEM with no contract in place for any of the parties, suddenly the risks get doubled.

 

Lets face it, a contract is a safety net to protect you against a client / agent / venue extracting the urine or taking liberties when it comes to the agreed finish time, booking details or fee. If the client should default in paying you, what would you produce as proof that this person had even booked you, let alone agreed a figure?. If No contract exists then your chances of taking legal action in the event of non payment, or proving that the client had only booked you until 12.00 when they want you to play until 2AM as part of the original 'deal' which you made verbally are probably going to be nil. Where no contract exists and in the event that a client does take any dispute further, then more often than not where its one persons word against a business (who doesn't issue paperwork), then by default, it will always be the business which comes the worse off.

 

I doubt that 'Sixty Quid Sid' issues contracts either and with so much talk about 'cowboys' operating in our industry, I am amazed that more people are not going that extra mile to set themselves apart from what 'sid' would do, so as to avoid getting pigeon holed. Purely by offering the minimum courtesy of a written agreement is a simple but effective action which gives the obvious re-assurance which comes with it to the client because they must be nervous too. After all, your confirmation or contract is their guarantee that you exist and a token that you take both their booking and your own business seriously and that you will endevour to provide the service and promises which you made via email / phone. The contract should also confirm the details exactly as agreed, even down to any special requirements, such as providing a P.A system for speeches or any additonal equipment which you may be hiring / bringing or additional service(s) that you are charging seperately for.

 

It certainly should also contain the start and finishing times, and the fact that you will NOT be responsible for events over-running should you arrive at the venue at the agreed time only to be refused entry by the venue events manager because "They were 1 hour late arriving and they've only just sat down for the Wedding Breakfast".

 

These things DO happen, and its beyond your control so why should you take the cut in fee, because the client / venue didn't arrange or allow for the correct timescale?. You will come across clients who want a discount because you couldn't set up at 7pm as agreed, and as a result it was 9pm when you started playing and not 8pm as requested. Provided you were there at the venue on or before the agreed time on the contract, and as long as the delay wasn't down to you or as a result of something you did / didn't do then its the same fee, whether i'm politely sat in the car waiting for them to finish eating / speeches, or setting up the gear. I don't pay for the mistakes or bad planning of others, my accountant tells me that I can't afford to be a martyr for others. Although I may review this when I see caterers offering a pro-rata discount for any left over food which wasn't eaten at the buffet.

 

Also make sure you agree the fee, AND any per hour or part hour extra's if the client asks you to do an extra hour or so beyond the original time. Also stipulate that even if both you, and the client are happy to continue for an extra hour, if the venue manager says you stop now, then you stop, end of.

 

Whether part time or full time, hobbyist or self professed professional, you trade within the same laws and are subject to the same requirements, whether you earn £500 a year or are the entertainment version of Tesco, and basically under various laws we are all obligated to provide the same minimum level of service. If an unhappy client wanted to inform the OFT or Trading Standards or took out a small claims appeal with a genuine complaint, then a defense of "Oh but i'm only part time" will not cut much ice, and will probably just make it worse. If money changes hands, then you are working for reward and under any law its considered a business.

 

Being a DJ, does not automatically a businessman or woman make. However it makes sense to learn what running a business involves, whether its marketing, dealing with clients, writing contracts or doing basic accounts we can ALL benefit from being given sound advice in these areas. Personally i'd like to see the various associations and mini-plasas spending less time on showing flashing lights and methods of playing music and spend equal time offering the means of running a sound business. If people are not interested in these at such events, then my point made - that is where we are going wrong

 

Perhaps that £260 earmarked for a new lighting effect, would be much better spent on a 2 or 3 day college / evening course on business management?, or if legal writing is not your Forte' why not spend £60 engaging the services of a solicitor to write you a watertight contract?, better still, visit the local CAB or Business Advisory service who will probably either put you in touch with a cheaper source of obtaining these or may even give you a FREE template to adapt and customise. But only you can make that effort.

 

If this is now boring the pants off you, and not as attractive to you as the flashing lights, then perhaps self employment is just not for you, whether its cake decorating, candle making or being a DJ, because they all require the same boring business side to be adhered too, and its probably going to be this lack of interest and laxity which one day will come and bite you on the ass.

 

Come on folks, wake up to the facts!. Filling in a contract template on your PC with the clients details probably takes less than 10 minutes, and could save you hours of legal time and protect your interests should the worst happen, and that 36p for a first class stamp is much cheaper than defending or bringing legal recourse.

 

If you do take on a booking where posting paperwork is not logistically possible, then take a written contract with you and get a signature on arrival, also insist on payment upfront and not by cheque or 'account' - this includes working for other dj's too, as i've found some of those, statistically, to be even worse for paying than clients or agents in the past.

 

Sloppy business attitude and practice has no place in this or any other service industry, and should be taken and treated just as seriously by the rest of us and with as much interest as what pieces of paper we may have, what association we are a member of and certainly over and above what equipment we plug into the mains, because the consequences of bad business are far, far more damaging to us ALL.

 

THIS IS AN EXCELLENT POST!!

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I think its astounding (and distinctly worrying) that so many Dj's are actively going out and working without any kind of safeguard in place, for either themselves or their clients. What is even worse than this, is that some Dj's are also expecting OTHER Dj's to work for THEM with no contract in place for any of the parties, suddenly the risks get doubled.

 

Lets face it, a contract is a safety net to protect you against a client / agent / venue extracting the urine or taking liberties when it comes to the agreed finish time, booking details or fee. If the client should default in paying you, what would you produce as proof that this person had even booked you, let alone agreed a figure?. If No contract exists then your chances of taking legal action in the event of non payment, or proving that the client had only booked you until 12.00 when they want you to play until 2AM as part of the original 'deal' which you made verbally are probably going to be nil. Where no contract exists and in the event that a client does take any dispute further, then more often than not where its one persons word against a business (who doesn't issue paperwork), then by default, it will always be the business which comes the worse off.

 

I doubt that 'Sixty Quid Sid' issues contracts either and with so much talk about 'cowboys' operating in our industry, I am amazed that more people are not going that extra mile to set themselves apart from what 'sid' would do, so as to avoid getting pigeon holed. Purely by offering the minimum courtesy of a written agreement is a simple but effective action which gives the obvious re-assurance which comes with it to the client because they must be nervous too. After all, your confirmation or contract is their guarantee that you exist and a token that you take both their booking and your own business seriously and that you will endevour to provide the service and promises which you made via email / phone. The contract should also confirm the details exactly as agreed, even down to any special requirements, such as providing a P.A system for speeches or any additonal equipment which you may be hiring / bringing or additional service(s) that you are charging seperately for.

 

It certainly should also contain the start and finishing times, and the fact that you will NOT be responsible for events over-running should you arrive at the venue at the agreed time only to be refused entry by the venue events manager because "They were 1 hour late arriving and they've only just sat down for the Wedding Breakfast".

 

These things DO happen, and its beyond your control so why should you take the cut in fee, because the client / venue didn't arrange or allow for the correct timescale?. You will come across clients who want a discount because you couldn't set up at 7pm as agreed, and as a result it was 9pm when you started playing and not 8pm as requested. Provided you were there at the venue on or before the agreed time on the contract, and as long as the delay wasn't down to you or as a result of something you did / didn't do then its the same fee, whether i'm politely sat in the car waiting for them to finish eating / speeches, or setting up the gear. I don't pay for the mistakes or bad planning of others, my accountant tells me that I can't afford to be a martyr for others. Although I may review this when I see caterers offering a pro-rata discount for any left over food which wasn't eaten at the buffet.

 

Also make sure you agree the fee, AND any per hour or part hour extra's if the client asks you to do an extra hour or so beyond the original time. Also stipulate that even if both you, and the client are happy to continue for an extra hour, if the venue manager says you stop now, then you stop, end of.

 

Whether part time or full time, hobbyist or self professed professional, you trade within the same laws and are subject to the same requirements, whether you earn £500 a year or are the entertainment version of Tesco, and basically under various laws we are all obligated to provide the same minimum level of service. If an unhappy client wanted to inform the OFT or Trading Standards or took out a small claims appeal with a genuine complaint, then a defense of "Oh but i'm only part time" will not cut much ice, and will probably just make it worse. If money changes hands, then you are working for reward and under any law its considered a business.

 

Being a DJ, does not automatically a businessman or woman make. However it makes sense to learn what running a business involves, whether its marketing, dealing with clients, writing contracts or doing basic accounts we can ALL benefit from being given sound advice in these areas. Personally i'd like to see the various associations and mini-plasas spending less time on showing flashing lights and methods of playing music and spend equal time offering the means of running a sound business. If people are not interested in these at such events, then my point made - that is where we are going wrong

 

Perhaps that £260 earmarked for a new lighting effect, would be much better spent on a 2 or 3 day college / evening course on business management?, or if legal writing is not your Forte' why not spend £60 engaging the services of a solicitor to write you a watertight contract?, better still, visit the local CAB or Business Advisory service who will probably either put you in touch with a cheaper source of obtaining these or may even give you a FREE template to adapt and customise. But only you can make that effort.

 

If this is now boring the pants off you, and not as attractive to you as the flashing lights, then perhaps self employment is just not for you, whether its cake decorating, candle making or being a DJ, because they all require the same boring business side to be adhered too, and its probably going to be this lack of interest and laxity which one day will come and bite you on the ass.

 

Come on folks, wake up to the facts!. Filling in a contract template on your PC with the clients details probably takes less than 10 minutes, and could save you hours of legal time and protect your interests should the worst happen, and that 36p for a first class stamp is much cheaper than defending or bringing legal recourse.

 

If you do take on a booking where posting paperwork is not logistically possible, then take a written contract with you and get a signature on arrival, also insist on payment upfront and not by cheque or 'account' - this includes working for other dj's too, as i've found some of those, statistically, to be even worse for paying than clients or agents in the past.

 

Sloppy business attitude and practice has no place in this or any other service industry, and should be taken and treated just as seriously by the rest of us and with as much interest as what pieces of paper we may have, what association we are a member of and certainly over and above what equipment we plug into the mains, because the consequences of bad business are far, far more damaging to us ALL.

Totally totally agree!

I did a 6 week business link course (for free).....worth its weight in gold! It covered marketing, selling, legal aspects, internet marketing and accounts. I also joined various business groups and networks.

Sandy

Blonde dizzy and no longer available

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I do take a deposit but do not do a contract. However, my confirmation letter has times agreed, outstanding fee to pay and contacts for any special requests. This a suppose is a contract of kinds. A copy is kept on my PC.

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I also include within the contract soft drinks to be supplied through out the night to the DJ and if the function is longer that 4 hours or the need to be at the venue all day hot food and or meal allowance to be supplied, this is mainly for the corporate events and weddings where background music is supplied. If its a wedding the Toastmaster get drinks and a meal so should the DJ if he is there all day which is my argument.

Off on a slight tangent, but personally I think this practice is completely ou of order and very wrong. I won't even participate in the even buffet unless I am specifically offered some by the client. I think it is bery rude to presume you can have some, but even more alarming that it could be considered acceptable to write it into our contract.

 

Do you get provided with free lunch at your day job (for those who do this part time), or do you have to go and pay for it in a canteen or take a pack up? So why is DJing any different. If you are really that worried about getting something to eat or drink, add £20 to your fee to cover it!

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However, my confirmation letter has times agreed, outstanding fee to pay and contacts for any special requests. This a suppose is a contract of kinds

 

Is it signed and returned by the other party (i.e client) so that they agree to what you have put on it?. If not, then its not enforceable in any way and its probably worth little more in a dispute, than no confirmation at all!.

 

You could send anybody an agreement, stating that they should pay you £1,000,000, but you couldn't enforce it when they didn't!. A bit of an extreme analogy I agree, but the principle is the same in that you could draw up and say somebody randomly owed you something but without something which is signed in agreement by the other party it would be still open to debate depending on the dispute.

 

In addition, a signature usually indicates agreement to the terms / contract - if you just send a contract with your terms detailed but no signature requirement, then what indication and method is available should the client want to query or NOT agree to the terms?, usually this is confered by the refusal of the client to sign the agreement, but without any requirement for a signature how would this work?.

 

However, whether or not a written agreement is signed or accepted by the parties to a business transaction, there may still be a verbal contract in place - i.e., an agreement between two or more parties which the law will enforce by the exchanging of monies (deposit). When problems arise, it is often where there is a verbal agreement as, in the event of a dispute, each party's view of what the ‘informal agreement' was is often very different and very very difficult to prove and it is this interpretation that courts find very difficult to enforce in the favour of any party, which usually also means non continuance.

 

It follows that without the certainty that a professionally drafted or negotiated document provides, both sides to a dispute usually believe that they are in the right. So, you risk failing to receive what you are rightly entitled to (be that payment from your customers or services or materials from your suppliers) or (perhaps worse) having to resort to the lengthy and costly process of litigation to enforce your rights.

 

A properly drafted contract will clearly set out who is to do what and when, and therefore avoids the uncertainty that arises when there is either no agreement or a poorly prepared agreement.

 

Also remember that under LAW, any agreement or contract HAS to favour both sides equally, so its okay sending the client a list of do's and don'ts for THEM to follow, but what do YOU include in your agreements / contracts / confirmations that demonstrates this legally required equality towards the client, and what protections are in place should YOU fail to deliver, for whatever reason?

 

Do you stipulate what will happen to the booking if you are unable to attend through ill-health, accident or worse?

 

Do you state why you are taking a deposit, and what will happen to it, if you are unable to attend, or the function gets cancelled.

 

Do you have back up and something in place, if your fails and you are unable to continue?

 

Does your paperwork carry your full contact details and what to do in the event of a complaint

 

Do you give the client the required timescale in which to cancel (cooling off period) without penalty that comes with entering any contract?

 

These are just a FEW of many suggestions on what you could include in your contract to indicate that you are favouring the client equally and in compliance with LAW.

Edited by McCardle

"The voice of the devil is heard in our land"

 

'War doesn't determine who is right, war determines who is left, and you wont win this war.'

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Off on a slight tangent, but personally I think this practice is completely ou of order and very wrong. I won't even participate in the even buffet unless I am specifically offered some by the client. I think it is bery rude to presume you can have some, but even more alarming that it could be considered acceptable to write it into our contract.

 

Do you get provided with free lunch at your day job (for those who do this part time), or do you have to go and pay for it in a canteen or take a pack up? So why is DJing any different. If you are really that worried about getting something to eat or drink, add £20 to your fee to cover it!

 

IMO I would say that there is nothing wrong with writing into your contract that refreshments are to be provided for yourself and crew depending on the length of time you have been in attendance.

The provision of refreshments is the norm usually when working for corporate clients anyway,and have you ever been to a gig where the band etc get refreshments and you do not purely because they thought to put that on their rider?

 

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I do an officers mess regularly. it involves being on site for approximately 12 hours. There isn't the opportunity to go and get food. The first time i played there i literally went all day and night with absolutely nothing....but they did constantly provide me with drinks. So when they booked me this christmas i pointed this out to them and rather than demand food i asked if there was any chance of disappearing for an hour in the afternoon to get some sustenance. They were shocked and said last time it had been an oversite not to have provided me with a meal. I had the most enormous roast dinner!

When at weddings i NEVER take part in the buffet unless invited to. Mind you i had an all day wedding in the summer where i had my own place setting at a table with guests for the wedding breakfast!

Sandy

Blonde dizzy and no longer available

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  • 2 weeks later...

IMO I would say that there is nothing wrong with writing into your contract that refreshments are to be provided for yourself and crew depending on the length of time you have been in attendance.

The provision of refreshments is the norm usually when working for corporate clients anyway,and have you ever been to a gig where the band etc get refreshments and you do not purely because they thought to put that on their rider?

 

 

Coincidentally my New Year's Eve gig required set up by 19:00 and background music from 19:30 although guests didn't start to trickle in until 19:50.

 

However not all of the band members arrived until after 19:00.

 

I did the gig for a colleague who runs an agency. He arranged a meal for the band (2 x 45 minute sets) who weren't on until 23:15 and finished at 01:00, but forgot to make any arrangements for me (finishing at 02:00).

 

He did apologise and I wasn't bothered particularly, having had dinner before I left to get to the hotel.

 

But that's not the point.

Edited by spinner
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