Business News Legal Management & Funding

MU, FAC and MMF publish example fair management contract for artists

By | Published on Thursday 30 March 2017

Musicians' Union

The Musicians’ Union, Featured Artists Coalition and Music Managers Forum have collectively created an example of what they deem to be a fair management contract. The aim is to provide artists with a document that they can compare with potentially unfair deals they are offered.

The three organisations note that “there is no such thing as a ‘standard’ contract” in the artists management domain and that “artist-centric business models are constantly developing”. However, they say that the frequency with which they are shown contracts unfairly weighted against the artist highlighted the need for some sort of guidance. Especially as artists, particularly those early in their careers, may not have access to any other contracts for comparison.

Soon-to-be General Secretary of the MU, Horace Trubridge says: “This example management agreement grew out of the MU’s Contract Advisory Service, to which our members submit contracts for legal scrutiny. Our lawyers raised concerns about the poor contract agreements widely available online to performers, managers, recording companies and others. Once both parties have signed an agreement, it’s very hard to do anything about it. By using this example management agreement, all parties can be confident that they are using a document that is up to date and fair to all concerned”.

Meanwhile, speaking both as an artist and head of the FAC, Imogen Heap adds: “How I wish I had had something like this when I was starting out as an artist. A really useful piece of collective work that I’m certain every artist at the start of his or her career will find invaluable”.

On the management side, MMF GM Fiona McGugan says: “This is a result of a lot of hard work and a long negotiation process, demonstrating how complex these things are. We hope that artists and managers will use this agreement to protect themselves in the early days but also to think entrepreneurially about their future partnerships as they become more attuned to the business they’re in”.

The document is available now to members of all three organisations through each of their websites.