Latest News from Musicians Union

Government Confirms “Incidental” Live MusicPermitted in England from Stage Two

The Government has now confirmed a number of changes and extra details for musicians in its previously published Spring Roadmap for England – and we have updated our guidance accordingly.

 Following a concerted campaign by the MU, the UK government has confirmed a change to its previously published Spring Roadmap for England – permitting pubs, which are potentially due to re-open on Monday 12 April for outdoor service only, to provide customers with complimentary incidental live music in beer gardens.

At this stage live music must be incidental to the customers’ visit to the pub. Pubs must not charge for admission or admit any audience specifically for the purpose of listening to the music. All customers must be seated and drinking or eating, and the music must be kept at a level low enough for customers and staff to converse easily without raised voices.

All live music must be undertaken in adherence with the Government’s guidance on Restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services.

Incidental live music can be permitted at organised events


Similarly, organised events will be permitted from Monday 12 April. The Government's guidance lists village fetes, and community fairs amongst others as types of event that will be permitted at Stage 2 of their Spring Roadmap.

As with pubs, complementary live music will be permitted at such events – provided it is incidental to the customers’ attendance at the event, is not charged for separately, and does not encourage the breaching of health and safety guidelines.

Also, within the list of permitted organised events are “drive-thru” live performance events, such as theatre and live music. In this instance, audiences will inevitably be in attendance specifically for the performance and can be charged as such.