Law Office of Peter Cusimano, Barrister & Solicitor
Business Lawyer · Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Legal Help with "Riders" When Hiring a Musician / Actor / Speaker / Performer for your Event, Party, Club, Festival, Threatre or Performance

by: Peter Cusimano
Business Lawyer - Barrister & Solicitor

Companies, organizations, clubs, music halls, music festivals, stage theatres need to hire performers (such as musicians, actors, speakers, dancers, and anyone else engaged in a performance ) to perform at their event or venue.

The two parties will enter into a detailed written agreement hiring the performer. The agreement will describe in writing the obligations of the performer and the organizer of the event such as performance date, performance specifics, payment terms, etc. The agreement will also have a section referred to as the "rider".

Usually in the rider will be found a list of certain items be provided to the performer in their dressing room or on stage or certain actions be taken by the event organizer for the benefit of the performer.

Although almost anything can be found in a rider depending on the personal desires of the performer, typical items usually found in the "rider"portion of the performance agreement deal with matters such as:
  • catering of certain food or beverages be provided in the dressing room pre- and post-performance including the type, quantity, timing, along with any special preparation requirements
  • dressing room arrangements including furniture, lighting, temperature
  • provision for overnight accommodations such as hotel room
  • vehicle transportation from hotel to venue for performer
  • transportation of equipment
  • security specifically for the performer
  • certain types of equipment or musical instruments on stage
  • table beside the stage to sell promotional items before or after the performance
If your organization is negotiating to hire a performer or if you have been presented with an agreement containing a "rider" from a performer's agent, please contact my office before you sign the agreement. Often times the agreement will need to be revised and other provisions included to deal with the specifics of your event and in order protect the legal interests of your organization.

I have experience in reviewing and revising performance agreements including "riders" and I understand the legal provisions that should be included in a "rider" from the perspective of a the party hiring the performer. I will meet with you and review the proposed agreement and provide you with legal advice to ensure the agreement is properly prepared.

To get started, please contact me today.

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