Child performance licenses and Drama festivals

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kittykatty
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Child performance licenses and Drama festivals

Post by kittykatty » Fri Mar 17, 2017 6:59 pm

Does anyone have any experience of child performance licenses and drama festivals.

I volunteer at our local youth theatre (part of an amdram with its own theatre) and our shows are covered by a Body of Persons agreement. One of our shows is being performed at a local drama festival and I asked the local council if this was covered by our BOP agreement and they said it wasn't and the children will need individual licenses if the festival doesn't have their own BOP (they will have performed more than 4 days in 6 months so the 4 day exemption won't apply). The council say it is the festival organizers job to apply for licenses not ours, but the festival say it is our responsibility to sort it. Not sure what to do so wondered how it worked at other festivals. Thank you.

possiblypushy
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Re: Child performance licenses and Drama festivals

Post by possiblypushy » Fri Mar 17, 2017 7:29 pm

I'm on the committee of our local festival and this is an issue that we have discussed but not been able to resolve. This was from the latest newsletter from BIFF (British and International Federation of Festivals) and shows how confusing the issue is:

"As we move into the first busy festival period of the year, we are still hearing about the inconsistent application of the Child Performance legislation across the country. This remains a concern for the Federation and our members. A performance at a festival by a child could fall under the legislation if the performance takes place on licensed premises, or an admission charge is made, or the performance is to be broadcast in any way. It is clear that many festival performances could fall into any one of these categories.
We are aware that some local authorities are applying the law very strictly whereas others are not applying it at all. In between, we are hearing about many weird and wonderful interpretations of the law and its application. There is no ‘one-size-fits–all’ recommended approach to this legislation as so much depends on how your local authority is interpreting and enforcing the law. Such inconsistency creates uncertainty, confusion and worry. We are joining forces with other arts-based organisations who are similarly affected by the legislation to try to lobby for changes to the current legislation. We are collating case studies from our festival members who have been really fantastic in keeping us updated about their ongoing discussions with licensing departments. We will keep you updated as we think this issue is likely to present a challenge for some me."

Seems like it's all about the local authority and how they want to play it. I can't imagine a local authority would prosecute a festival for letting children perform... but you never know!

kittykatty
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Re: Child performance licenses and Drama festivals

Post by kittykatty » Fri Mar 17, 2017 7:54 pm

Thanks so much for that - I can't believe there is so much confusion. Well since our local council have said it isn't our responsibility then I may just leave it. As you say, even if they don't license, I doubt the council will turn up and stop them performing. They are more likely to give them guidance for future festivals if it ever comes to light!

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