Can I gig at 16?

The legalities of gigging under 18 years of age.

Posted Under: Music

A local band played with a stand in 16 year old drummer. He was excellent, but his friends brought their own alcohol, became rawkus and ended up with drunken school children there and never being booked again!

Sourcing and playing gigs can be difficult when you are under 18, but it is not impossible to do this. We looked at the issues for young musicians wanting to play live – from public liability insurance to CRB checks – and offer some advise to all.

If you are a pianist under the age of 18, it appears there is a lot of legal and bureaucratic barriers to overcome before you even get on stage, not least getting a gig in the first place. There are not any legal restrictions in the UK on under-18s performing on pub 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 (as previously described), so understanding rules is important. Also, there are restrictions that local Councils place on the hours under-16s can be employed for, and until a pianist reaches 18, any contracts for gigging have to be signed by a parent or guardian.


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