Unhappy with your booking agency? Count to ten and call a lawyer!

So, this really happened between a dj and his (former) booking agency:

“I have thought about it for a while and I have decided that I am ending our cooperation by today.”

Sounds reasonable right? The judge didn’t think so! What was going on? This is what recently happened with a DJ who ditched his booking agency. The booker was working for the DJ since 2011. He did what all bookers do, getting gigs for the DJ in return for 10% of the fee.

After two years the DJ decided mr. booker had to move and told him “I do not feel comfortable working with you anymore, that’s why I have decided for us to quit working together.”

Booking agency agreement

The judge decided the two worked together based on what we call an “agency agreement”, because:

1. The booker was an intermediary for the DJ and signed contracts for him;
2. The booker did that while he was not subordinate to the DJ, and
3. The economical risk of not getting paid was at the DJs side.

At the court hearing, the judge found out the parties worked together based on a agreement without an end date. Dutch law says you can’t all of a sudden quit such a contract without a (really) good reason. There’s a term of notice of four months in this case. Not feeling comfortable is not valid reason to skip that term.

Ending a contract

So, because the DJ ended the contract all of a sudden and without regarding the aforementioned term, he was convicted to damages to the booker. Bloody!

The lesson for artists and the booking agency?

Check yourself, before you wreck yourself. As a DJ, you should know very well on which grounds you are working together with your team and what type of contract you use. Did you know that even a verbal agreement, a WhatsApp message or some scribbles on the flyer can be qualified as an agreement? Some agreements, such as a booking agency agreement, could have a specific term for ending them.

Forewarned is forearmed…

booking agency

This blog was published earlier on Dancefair Digital.

Want to know more about booking agencies, contracts and break ups? Feel free to contact me.

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SANDER PETIT LL.M

Foto: Wouter Wolfkamp (Nortoir)

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