A Band Can’t Just Turn Up And Play These Days

There are a number of hoops a band has to jump through before playing at venues these days, in addition to being fully insured there are also certain health and safety considerations and paperwork to be completed

The document below is an example of what needs to be considered when playing at an army base.  It shows that bands can’t just turn up and play – for the particular gig the document relates to and many other HM Forces bases and government venues, they have to fill in security forms for every band member, get their insurers to stamp and sign a copy of their public liability certificate, as the certificate itself isn’t enough (!) provide vehicle registration details,  passport numbers and driving license references all in advance of the contract being issued.

Hazard (1) Effect of Hazard being realized (2) Details of Control Measures (3)
Arrival, unloading and Pre-performance set-up
  • Vehicle may cause injury to persons
  • Vehicle and persons may pose security risk
  • Unloading equipment may cause injury to band members or other person(s)
  • Electrical sockets may be overloaded causing fire safety hazard
  • Conform to venue security procedures & set speed limits , ensure vehicle & personal passes clearly displayed , park band vehicles safely for unloading, so that other vehicular access is not dangerously compromised or prevented
  • Unload heavy equipment carefully
  • Remove band vehicles to suitable public parking places
  • Relevant equipment shows valid  PAT stickers and Certificate available for checking purposes
  • Band members will carry each piece of equipment from their vehicle to the performance area via the route instructed by the venue.
  • Place equipment in correct location, ensuring that a)  items are placed on level surfaces, b) are completely stable and cannot be inadvertently pushed over

c) equipment does not block emergency exits and d) no item becomes a potential trip hazard for band, guests or staff

  • Carry out visual inspection of all wiring and electric plugs to ensure that they are in good condition and insulation is still effective
  • Plug electrical equipment into appropriate venue 13amp or 32 amp sockets (based on assumption they have been safety tested by qualified electrician) as instructed by venue staff, ensuring that circuits are not overloaded
  • Tape down any trailing wires to ensure that they will not impede pedestrian access and electrical safety will not be compromised
  • Ensure venue has unblocked emergency fire exits and extinguishers close to performance area
On Stage performance
  • Excessive noise may cause hearing damage
  • Band member dehydration
  • Guests accessing performance area may prevent performance, cause injury to band members or damage to band equipment
  • Ensure that sound levels do not exceed limits specified by venue
  • Ensure that band members are provided adequate liquid refreshment to avoid dehydration
  • Follow all hotel staff instructions regarding health and safety
  • Ensure no unauthorized persons is allowed access the stage / performance area


Post-performance break down, loading and Exit
  • Vehicle may cause injury to persons
  • Unloading equipment may cause injury to band members or other person(s)
  • Vehicle and persons may pose security risk




  • De-rig equipment carefully to avoid creating any obstructions to guests or staff as per “setup” above
  • Re-load into vehicles as per “unloading” above
  • Drive vehicles  as per “arriving” above
  • Hand in all passes / badges on exit of venue


Defined as “something with the potential to cause harm to a group or individual” Who might be harmed and how

3 The steps that will be taken in order to remove the hazard or reduce it so far as is reasonably practicable

Most party and wedding bands will find that they have to adhere to H&S to different degrees, depending on the venue. Catch 22 are local to me and you can see from their website that they are well prepared and have all the required certification and documentation in place.  A wedding band or indeed any type of band who play live at venues around the UK band will need to be prepared for anything the promoter or venue throws at you and action it well before arriving there, so best get everything on order in advance.