This agency operates under the following legislation and regulations:
Under the Act, agents are not permitted by law to act as entertainment industry employers, therefore all bookings arranged by this agency are actually agreements between performers and employers, such as venues.
This agency will do everything in its power to resolve problems in bookings that it facilitates, such as fee payments and other disputes, but unless a problem arises from negligence by this agency, any issue that has to be dealt with legally must be between the two parties in the booking agreement; the performer and the employer.
Performers booked by this agency must fulfil their obligations to employers and to this agency to the best of their ability at all times. As a condition of accepting any bookings from this agency, performers are required to:
With the advent of social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter, many performers have published adverse comments that have affected and embarrassed others. This agency will not tolerate any publication of adverse comments on the Internet or in any other media by performers about this agency or details of bookings given to them by this agency, apart from Gig Guide listings.
Of course everybody has the right of free speech and this agency will never try and abrogate that right. However, this agency also has the right to choose whom it will or will not book. Any performers who choose to make adverse public comment about this agency will be considered hostile and not be booked again. If their comments are slanderous, they may be liable to be sued for defamation. Performers should always keep in mind that they should not bite the hand that feeds them.
Performers booked by this agency through their personal managers will be regarded as being booked directly by consent. Personal managers accepting bookings from this agency on behalf of performers are required to:
NSW law requires that performers be provided with the financial details of their bookings, such as gross and nett fees and any commissions charged or deducted. Therefore these details will be provided to personal managers and it is expected that they will be passed to the performers they represent whenever they are booked through this agency. Performers who do not receive such details from their managers will be directly provided with them by this agency on request.
Performers booked by Ziggy Zapata Enterprises should contact this agency within 5 to 10 days prior to their scheduled performances and verify that they can indeed fulfil their bookings. If this agency does not receive such confirmations or cannot contact the performers to check if they are still able to fulfil the booking, it will be assumed that those performers are unavailable and this agency reserves the right to book other artistes in their place without notice and without incurring any penalties. Confirmations can be made verbally by phone or emailed.
This agency has eliminated all postal mail and fax services and only provides worksheets by email. Therefore all booked performers and their managers must provide a valid email address for this purpose. All performers must be able to provide high-resolution graphics of themselves for promotional purposes by email on request.
This agency operates a fully electronic system for all transactions, including payments to performers. Payment by cheque or cash is not available. Therefore, all performers must provide:
Although there is a legal requirement for agents to forward fees to performers as quickly as possible, but not longer than 14 days from receipt, there is NO legal requirement for employers to send fees to agents within a certain time. For instance, some venues elect to pay their entire monthly entertainment bills to agents in 30 days from the end of each month. Therefore performers may not receive their fees for up to two months and there is nothing that agents can do about this. In literally every case, employers dictate the payment schedules. This agency will always forward fees to performers within 14 days of their receipt from employers and will never withhold such fees for any reason.
Occasionally this agency receives demands from performers to guarantee payment to them within a certain time, such as within 7 or 14 days after their performances. Although this agency attempts to expedite rapid payment of fees, it has no control over the accounting practices of venues. Therefore such a guarantee is impossible to make and it will not be given under any circumstances.
As the statutory 14 day cancellation period for booking entertainers was removed from the Act, employers and agents have the legal right to cancel performances at any time, unless binding cancellation periods are specified in contracts.
All performers have the right to cancel contracts and agreements made with this agency, even at short notice under certain circumstances, such as illness or injury. Their right to do so will always be upheld and performers should never fear that making such cancellations will ever be held against them or will affect future bookings. However if performers inconvenience this agency and employers by cancelling bookings at short notice to take more advantageous or profitable engagements without first obtaining agreement from this agency, they will be deemed to have broken their contracts and legal proceeding may be taken against them.
On occasion, this agency has received complaints from venues that performers were not starting their performances at the scheduled commencement time or not even showing up. This agency has lost the booking contracts for some venues because of such defaults that were completely beyond its control. To try to eradicate this problem, the following conditions will be applied to every booking.
This agency does not want venues phoning to complain about performers starting late or not showing up, so if performers transgress in this regard, it will cost them dearly. This is a professional business and performers need to treat it as such. Performers who do not agree to submit to these conditions and the penalties imposed if they do not fulfil their contracts must inform this agency immediately.
Heavy traffic, sleeping in or similar avoidable incidents will NOT be accepted as valid reasons for late starts. Performers are totally responsible for making allowances for common eventualities such as flat tyres or delays on roads.
Performers who do not fulfil their performances without very good cause can expect:
For musical performers such as solo musicians and bands, length of breaks is specified by the NSW Entertainment Industry Act as being a minimum of 15 minutes per hour. However, performers taking breaks of excessive duration run the very real risk of having complaints lodged against them and refused further bookings. This has already occurred with a number of performers, who were blacklisted at some venues because of their excessive breaks, which meant that they were also blacklisted by this agency for all bookings.
Performers adversely affected by certain problems at places of employment have the right to refuse to commence or continue performing until such problems are satisfactorily resolved. These may be brawls or threatening behaviour from abusive or drunken patrons, or loud recorded music or television sound and many other issues endangering the safety and comfort of performers or preventing them from fulfilling contracts adequately. Under such circumstances, performers will still be entitled to be paid their full fees unless the problems are caused by themselves.
Occasionally patrons may leave a venue earlier than that scheduled finishing time of a performance, such as a solo or duo lounge show. This agency considers that it is pointless and degrading for artistes to perform to an empty room. Therefore if there is little or no likelihood of more patrons coming into the venue, performers may approach the person in charge and inform them that as there is virtually no audience remaining, they should finish their show at that time. However, performers should always keep in mind that they are being paid for performing a certain number of hours, therefore venues have the legal right to insist that performers fulfil their bookings as agreed. Of course discretion and diplomacy should always be used and most venue managers are amenable to a polite approach regarding such a situation.
Although it is often difficult or embarrassing for performers to not allow patrons to sing or participate in their performances, it must be understood that venues pay fees for high quality professional entertainment and not for incompetent amateurs. Unless performers specifically require patrons to perform with them, such as in karaoke and audience participation shows, audience members should not be permitted to perform. This agency relies on the professionalism of the performers it books to assess each situation and make an appropriate decision in this regard.
Venues and employers have a legal duty of care and public liability to every person on their premises, including entertainers and musicians. However when performers work as subcontractors, they may have to assume responsibility for any injuries or losses caused to others by them, their equipment or their shows if a court rules that such injuries were caused by their negligence. All performers should be covered by substantial public liability insurance, as payouts from injury lawsuits often exceed one million dollars. Unless it is required for karaoke or talent quest type shows and adequate insurance has been arranged for such events, performers should be very wary of allowing anybody else to join in their performances or use their equipment, because if such people are injured as a result, they may have adequate grounds to sue the performers for substantial amounts of money.
This agency operates on the basis that moral and religious requirements are a private matter for performers and will refuse to allow this to become the agency's problem. This agency will not pander to anybody's religious requirements. For instance, this agency will not book performers wearing religious garb such as hijabs, burqas, yarmulkes, turbans, larger than normal crucifixes and other religious symbols. Performers are not booked to make religious statements - they are there to entertain the patrons of this agency's clients.
This agency will not make any allowances for religious observance of any sort. For instance if a performer needs to observe the Sabbath and it interferes with a booking from this agency, that performer should advise this agency promptly.
Religious jokes and sketches obviously would not be considered to be preaching or pushing a particular religion. However, in the past, some performers who hold strong religious beliefs have proselytised and lectured audiences about those beliefs during their shows. This is completely unacceptable and this agency will not tolerate this sort of behaviour. Performers are booked to entertain, not to deliver sermons.
Some employers that book performers from this agency also employ lingerie or topless waitresses, striptease artistes or similar, often without notifying this agency. Occasionally employers and their patrons engage in activities that could be considered to be morally or religiously offensive to some performers. This agency simply does not have the time, resources or inclination to ascertain their moral or religious positions.
Performers booked by this agency are not required to participate in morally or religiously offensive activities, as they are contracted to fulfil their roles only as entertainers and nothing more. Other events at their places of performance are not their business unless they constitute a physical danger.
To maintain its excellent reputation for reliability, this agency must always be assured that all performers booked will actually honour their contracts. If performers are unwilling to unconditionally guarantee to fulfil bookings if they find other performers or activities at their places of employment to be morally or religiously offensive to them, they must inform this agency of this, prior to accepting any bookings. Furthermore they should decline future bookings from this agency on the understanding that activities that may be offensive to them could occur without notice.
If performers accept bookings from this agency, and then refuse to perform or cause problems because of such circumstances or activities, legal action will immediately be initiated against them for breach of contract to recover all losses, expenses and damages incurred by this agency and employers as a result of their failure to perform as contracted.
On occasion, venues booked by this agency may offer direct bookings to performers in an attempt to bypass this agency. Obviously if this occurs frequently, this agency will not be able to stay in business. Performers should always be aware that if they take a direct booking at a venue where this agency has sent them, they may gain that booking in the short term, but lose a lot more work in the long term if this agency is put out of business because of such practices. Obviously, this agency would be threatening its own existence if it continued to book performers who do this.
To maintain the continued viability of this agency, performers who are found to be arranging or accepting direct engagements with venues when sent to them by this agency will be not be given further bookings by this agency, for obvious commercial reasons.
Performers and their manages should always remember - don't bite the hand that feeds you!