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Live Rates of Pay and Contracts

What you should be paid

On this page you will find information about:

  • How much should you charge
  • Arranging payment and sample contracts
  • Rates of pay

How much should you charge?

It varies. Most gig fees are negotiated on a case-by-case basis. However, if you’re looking for MU recommended minimum rates we have both a Casual Stage rate and a National Gig rate. 

Things to consider when securing a paid gig:

  • Get it in writing:  Having written confirmation of the terms of the gig ensures both sides know what is expected e.g., what time to arrive and how much you’re going to get paid etc. Without written evidence of the contracted terms, if a problem arises, recovering your fee is made far more difficult. The MU Regional teams assist members in fee recovery.
  • Contracts: We advise you to use our standard contracts L1 Hiring a band or L2 Hiring a solo musician. Make it clear to the venue or booker that there is no agreed booking until the contract is signed by both parties.
  • We recommend reading our further guidance on completing the contracts before filling them out.
  • If you can’t get the booker to sign an MU contract, we recommend you get a letter/e-mail from them confirming the booking and including details of the date, time and place. Using our Specimen Letter is a simple way of getting the important details of a booking confirmed in writing.

Some examples of the payment deals you may be offered or able to negotiate are:

  • A straightforward guaranteed fee (paid in advance, on the night or within an agreed timescale).
  • A guaranteed fee plus a percentage of the door / box office takings
  • The entire door take, whatever that might be.
  • A split of the gig’s profits. This could include box office and/or bar takings. We have a MU L10 Profit Sharing Agreement for use.
  • Hidden costs: Make sure there are no hidden deductions, such as payments for the hire of PA, lights, promotion or other unnamed expenses.