Over the years, I have had numerous persons contact my office (here in the USA) to potentially pursue legal action in Artist-Promoter event gone very bad situations. I also know, as one who has attended my fair of Nigerian and other African organized events, that there is a serious problem with event organization in the African community, especially in the States and the UK. The UK is really starting to get it right, thanks to event organizers like Cokobar.
As Nigeria’s music industry becomes even more sophisticated, I expect there will be a promoter, artist or fan that will say “enough is enough! This might be permissible in Africa but on Oyinbo soil, I don’t have to put up with it and I won’t!”
That is the reason why the statement made by D’Banj in a recent UK press conference is one that makes me want to slap him on the back of his head (in a friendly gesture as guys do to each other) and say, “you talk sense. Carry on.”
I wish Factory 78 edited the interview below to include a larger percentage of what D’Banj said on that topic. Nevertheless, what they have works for purposes of this post.
Artists and Promoters let’s get a few things straight:
1. Promoters, if you have never organized an event in your life, and you decide you want to organize one, raise the money to do so, hire the people who know how to organize an event; and then get out of the way so they can get the job done. It is not by force that you must do an event if you no sabi do am. Shikena!
2. Artists, respect a Promoter’s time, business, resources and all that goes into producing an event. You should show up when you say you will, respect your fans and quit with the nonsense. If a Promoter has paid you an upfront deposit fee for an appearance, as they should, show up. Don’t wait till the time you must show up to start asking for additional things. Leave the mess at home and lose the ego and nonsensical pride.
3. Promoters, GET A WRITTEN AGREEMENT! You have to show people how you want to be treated. If you can’t take yourself seriously, how the heck do you expect others to take you seriously, like are you for real?! I am dumbfounded by the many Promoters who say D’Banj, P-Square or what have you, come to America let me promote you and they do not think to even put such negotiations or request in writing etc. Africa is not that backward. Neither is the USA or UK for that matter. You don’t bother having a contract on a deal like this? Are you for real? Of course the inevitable happens. Both Artist and Promoter bicker on who promised who what and before you know it, it is drama, damaged bad reputation, cancelled shows, unhappy fans, loss of money and potential profits, all of which could have been avoided.
When an event turns south, the bad reputation and image affects you the Promoter but also the country and people you represent. You should not be okay with carrying an entire community and nation’s name down the drain because you can’t get your act together.
4. Artists, do not move one inch until you have a written agreement in place and your upfront deposit fees are paid.
Before you watch D’Banj’s press conference interview below, here are a few other things to note when negotiating a Promoter-Artist deal for live performances:
Both sides get an entertainment lawyer to draft a contract for you. Entertainment lawyers will do their job as well as you do your music, if not better.
If you cannot afford a lawyer, start with a basic canvas of terms to include in a contract here.
- Name of parties
- Time of performance
- Contact info.
- Sound check
- Payment (set fee vs door split)
- Riders (I want a limo, I want chewing gum etc.?)
- Sale of Merchandise ( Promoters you want to negotiate to get a bite out of this. Artist, you don’t want to give this up. Good negotiators reach middle ground.)
- Marketing and Promotions (Promoter, you want to be in control of this to control the image, look, feel and brand identity of your events. Artist, you should gladly let a promoter do this but make sure they do not promote you in a way that is inconsistent with your personal brand identity.)
- Termination clause
- What happens when someone breaches the contract
There are many more things that go into an agreement of this sort. Get an entertainment lawyer who knows what he/she is doing to help you draft one, if you can.
At the end of the day, get Promoters and the Artists who work with Promoters, get your acts together. If you don’t, you will get sued. If you don’t get sued, you will drag your reputation into the gutter.
Follow me @africamusclaw @uduaklaw
Watch D’Banj & Mo’Hits Press Conference Below