On 8 November 2018, Afrobeats artiste, Tekno, announced that he will not be performing at his previously booked festive shows due to an undisclosed illness. For Tekno and his fans, the news had an emotional impact, as many were sad to hear that he was ill, while for the promoters of the shows, the news may have had a negative financial impact.
Most shows are governed by contracts which are usually referred to as Live Performance Contracts (LPCs). LPCs cover a wide range of matters including the details of the performance, the performance fee, the mode of payment of performance fee, and so on. Most LPCs also provide for cancellation clauses which contain the terms and conditions for cancellation. A well-drafted cancellation clause in an LPC is crucial as it usually stipulates which party can cancel, the stage at which such cancellation may occur and permitted reasons for such cancellation, amongst other terms.
Given the financial and non-financial investments which promoters may have deployed towards the planning, promoting and marketing of shows, it is important that cancellation clauses in LPCs adequately protect such investments. To prevent cancellations for frivolous and/ or fraudulent reasons, it is pertinent that a detailed cancellation clause, which provides deterrents to such cancellations, is contained in the LPC; such as, a cancellation policy that requires the payment of the equivalent of 100% of the agreed performance fee in the event of a cancellation by the performer less than a certain number of days to the performance. The reasons for such cancellations would generally exclude events of force majeure or verifiable illness.
The essence of a well-structured cancellation clause is to provide some compensation (often to the full value of the performance fee) to the promoter as well as deter irresponsible or unjustified cancellations by the performer.
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