Bringing live music to your venue

Sunday 21st June is World Music Day, a day to celebrate making music and appreciating creativity.

The hospitality and leisure industry go hand-in-hand with the world of music. Bars, pubs, restaurants and hotels all enhance their venue’s atmosphere by introducing live music. Whether that’s ticketed gigs or background piano, we can all agree music is a big deal for our industry.

The benefits of live music

There are many benefits to introducing live music to your venue.

Increased footfall is a key consideration. Live music attracts a new and varied array of customers. Your musician will have their own following, and irregular visitors will be more likely to come along if there is a specific event to attend.

Of course, increased footfall equals additional revenue. But you should also consider the length of time people spend in your venue. Whilst on a “normal” evening a guest might buy one or two rounds of drinks, they’re far more likely to stick around if there’s great music to listen to.

Your venue may be well known for putting on a fantastic programme of events. Or perhaps you’re thinking about trialling one or two gigs. Not every approach to live music works for every venue and its customers. Live music is loud. It prevents people having a “quiet drink”. But it does get people up and dancing, and it absolutely perfect for party nights. Analyse who your customers generally are and what kind of evening they’re looking for.

Issues surrounding live music at your venue

Over 35% of grassroots venues closed between 2007-2016, with more set to shut down in the coming months and years. Some of these closures are down to licensing issues, such as noise complaints or venues not having the correct temporary licence in place to run live music events. However, The Live Music Act 2012 states that venues with a max capacity of 500 can arrange live music between 8am-11pm without needing a licence. This isn’t helpful for venues with a larger capacity, or who would like the entertainment to continue until midnight though.

Music venues are also being impacted by business rate hikes and rising costs – and, of course, the coronavirus pandemic has had a devastating effect on the whole industry. Local councils are responsible for recognising the role live music venues play from both an economic viewpoint, and that of the community.  They must help venues to not just survive but thrive and continue to provide invaluable entertainment and opportunities.

Will my insurance cover me for music events?

You will need to check your individual policy wording. Some insurance policies will cover you for additional events, dependent on their risk. A music festival held on a temporary stage attracting high footfall poses a significantly more risk than a local musician playing background music on a Wednesday evening. If the risk goes above and beyond the “day to day” risks of your venue, then you may need to purchase additional insurance cover. We always recommend checking in with your insurer or broker to log your event and ensure you’re protected if something does go wrong.

Musicians should have their own insurance cover, too. It is your responsibility as a venue owner or manager to check their policy is valid and appropriate for the gig. Musicians should have separate Public Liability Insurance (in case they are liable for harm or damage to your venue or a third-party) and Equipment Insurance (should their own equipment become damaged).

Event Cancellation Cover protects musicians and event organisers if the unexpected happens and the gig has to be cancelled. You should ensure your contract clearly states whether you or the musician is liable for costs if an event is cancelled. Whilst you may need to pay your musicians if an event is cancelled for whatever reason, both your venue and musicians may still have irrecoverable costs (such as hired equipment or accommodation). Event Cancellation Insurance will protect you financially so you aren’t left out of pocket.

Ready to rock?

If you’re eagerly planning your 2021 programme of events, make sure organising insurance doesn’t fall off the radar. Get in touch with NDML to find out how we can help you insure your venue and its events.