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WHAT IS FORCE MAJEURE?

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, major events have been canceled (SXSW) or on the verge of being faced with cancellation (Coachella). How do agencies, artists, promoters and attorneys prepare for the possibility of a rescheduled or canceled event? With the Force Majeure clause, which has become standard operating procedure in the live sector. 

Below is an example of the clause we obtained from a top biz attorney:

Force Majeure. If the Performance is prevented, materially interrupted, rendered impossible, unsafe, or unfeasible by an Act of God, any act or regulation of any public authority or bureau, civil tumult, labor difficulties, war conditions or emergencies, interruption or delay in transportation services, death, illness, injury or accident to the Artist or any of his immediate family or any other cause beyond the reasonable control of Producer or Promoter (each a "Force Majeure Event"), it is understood and agreed that the applicable Performance(s) shall be canceled and there shall be no claim for damages by either party; Promoter and Producer/Artist's obligations as to such Performance(s) shall be deemed waived.

Upon the occurrence of a Force Majeure Event, Producer and/or Artist, as applicable, shall within ten (10) business days return to Promoter all monies paid by Promoter directly to Producer and/or Artist, as applicable and the Deposit shall be returned by Producer to Promoter within such time period.

Notwithstanding anything to the contrary herein, in the event that weather conditions become severe enough to create a threat to public safety and/or individuals present at the Event (based on the mutual determination of Promoter and Producer and/or local public authorities) and therefore the Artist's performance is cancelled by Promoter or any such local public authorities and, but for such cancellation, Artist could have performed, Producer shall be paid in full the same as if Artist had performed.

Promoter shall provide adequate stage covering and electrical grounding to protect all persons and equipment involved in the production of the engagement (including Artist and their crew) from inclement weather and dangerous conditions resulting therefrom. The foregoing shall apply to, without limitation, all stage areas, mixing consoles and wiring.

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