Business News Legal Live Business

YOUROPE publishes festival contract standards

By | Published on Tuesday 17 April 2012


YOUROPE, the pan-European festivals organisation, has been giving some consideration to artist contracts and riders, and after workshops in Groningen, Hamburg and London has published a set of standard contract terms for “the engagement of artistes and performers”. It’s hoped the proposed standards will help both artists and promoters, and remove the risk of nasty surprises for both sides.

Explaining the need for such standards, which will be used by opted-in YOUROPE-affiliated festivals, music lawyer Ben Challis, who consulted on the terms, told CMU: “I found it interesting that there was such widespread and legitimate concern amongst YOUROPE’s members about artiste contracts and in particular artiste riders, which often arrived at the last minute with demands that could never be met by a festival”.

He continued: “If it was a matter of providing caviar, Stolichnaya, Bollinger and a bowl of M&Ms with the brown ones removed, or puppies in an all white dressing room, it would be concern enough, but serious issues relating to security, safety, payment terms, curfews, noise limits, force majeure, cancellation and insurance obligations are often now included in artiste riders on terms that have never been discussed, let alone agreed”.

Challis concluded: “I am sure the recent weather related tragedies in the USA and Belgium have focussed minds – and concerns over one-sided and inappropriate contract terms were repeatedly raised at the recent International Live Music Conference and the International Production Meeting in London. The new YOUROPE standard terms are designed to make it clear where responsibility lies, and in particular what each party is expected to take responsibility for and insure, on a fair and reasonable basis”.

Festivals participating in the standards at launch include: Oya Festivalen Norway (Norway), Melt! (Germany), Openair St Gallen (Switzerland), Summerdays Festival (Switzerland), Winterthur Musikfestwochen (Switzerland), Italia Love Wave Festival (Italy), Sziget (Hungary), Exit Fest (Serbia), Inmusic (Croatia), Bergenfest (Norway), Selector (Poland), Live Music Festiva (Poland), Opener (Poland), Rockwave Festival (Greece), Heitere Festival (Switzerland), Montreux Jazz Festival (Switzerland), Woodstock Festival (Poland), Gurtenfestival (Switzerland), Slottsfjellfestival (Norway), Dognvillfestivalen (Norway), One Love Festival (Turkey), Dia De La Music (Spain), Pohoda Festival (Slovakia) and 10 Giorni Suonati.