Start playing young but gigging?

Legalities of gigging for under 18 musicians.

Posted Under: Music

Getting and playing gigs can be a challenge when you are under 18, but it is not impossible by any means. We investigated the issues for young musicians wanting to play live – from public liability insurance to CRB checks – and offer some pointers.

If you are a musician under the age of 18, it appears there is a heap of legal and bureaucratic hurdles to overcome before you even set foot on stage, not least simply getting a gig in the first place. There are not any legal restrictions in the UK on under-18s performing on licensed premises, but the licensee has discretion over who they allow into their pub. Band and fan behaviour is likely to have a bearing on this, so understanding etiquette is important. Also, there are restrictions that local authorities place on the hours under-16s can work, and until a musician reaches 18, any contracts for playing live have to be signed by a parent or guardian.

My band played in a local pub with a stand in 16 year old drummer. He was excellent, but his friends brought their own alcohol, ending up with drunken school children there and never being booked again! Lesson learnt there, so be aware.

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