Becker Interviewed on The What Podcast on Force MajeurePartner Jeffrey S. Becker was interviewed on The What Podcast regarding the force majeure clause often featured in entertainment-industry contracts and its effect on COVID-19 cancellations..
The What Podcast is a weekly podcast hosted by Brad Steiner and Barry Courter, who explore and highlight performers at Bonnaroo, an annual four-day Tennessee music festival.
Courter also wrote an article for the Chattanooga Times Free Press based on his podcast interview with Becker, titled "Music industry unclear on what live entertainment might look like in near future."
According to the article:
As a Chicago-based attorney who specializes in the entertainment industry, Jeff Becker admits that the so-called force majeure clause is often overlooked. Even by other attorneys. That will likely change.
The term translates to "an event that could not be anticipated or controlled by either party." In the past, when it has come into play, it has usually been related to some sort of government shutdown, and rarely has it been triggered by a pandemic.
"I teach a music class every fall at DePaul [University], and we dig down pretty deep into contracts and really nerd out, but we don't spend a lot of time on the force majeure provision," Becker said during an interview on The What Podcast.
Becker said the clause, if included in a contract, is rarely read by his clients, which can include people in all parts of the music industry such as festivals, artists, promoters and even vendors and production companies that supply everything from lighting and staging to fencing.