Putting on a play? Trying your hand at a musical? Get to know the rules around copyright and licensing
Putting on a performance with your local unit is a great way to build girls' confidence
There are lots of ways young members can get involved – from shining under the spotlight to helping to manage the stage or create props and backdrops.
However, there are also certain rules and regulations you need to follow, which will vary depending on your plans.
Preparing for your performance
- carry out a full risk assessment before any performance
- ensure that all girls who are taking part have parental consent
- let your local commissioner know what’s happening
- inform your local authority that the performance is happening.
When doing any kind of performance, follow adult to child ratios for activities away from the meeting place.
Don’t forget – doing performances or shows with Rainbows can be a big commitment, so make sure you give it lots of thought first.
Licenses for your venue
In order to play recorded music, perform live music or screen music videos, you’ll need to make sure your venue is properly licensed. There are lots of different licenses available, depending on what music you’re using - visit our page on using other people’s content for further guidance.
If you’re performing a published play or musical to an audience, you’ll need to obtain permission from the original publisher to do so. Read more about copyright to ensure you’ve got everything covered.
There are restrictions on the amount of time young people can
|Topic||Age 0-4||Age 5-8||Age 9 and over|
|Maximum number of hours at the place of performance or rehearsal (reg 22)||5 hours||8 hours||9.5 hours|
|Earliest and latest permitted times at place of performance or rehearsal (reg 21)||7am to 10pm||7am to 11pm||7am to 11pm|
|Maximum period of continuous performance or rehearsal (reg 22)||30 minutes||2.5 hours||2.5 hours|
|Maximum total hours of performance or rehearsal (reg 22)||2 hours||3 hours||5 hours|
|Minimum intervals for meals and rest (reg 23)||Any breaks must be for a minimum of 15 minutes. If at the place of performance or rehearsal for more than 4 hours, breaks must include at least one 45 minute meal break||If present at the place of performance or rehearsal for more than 4 hours but less than 8 hours, they must have one meal break of 45 minutes and at least one break of 15 minutes.If present at the place of performance or rehearsal for 8 hours or more, they must have the breaks stated above plus another break of 15 minutes.||If present at the place of performance or rehearsal for more than 4 hours but less than 8 hours, they must have one meal break of 45 minutes and at least one break of 15 minutes. If present at the place of performance or rehearsal for 8 hours or more, they must have the breaks stated above plus another break of 15 minutes|
|Minimum break between performances (reg 23)||1 hour and 30 minutes||1 hour and 30 minutes||1 hour and 30 minutes|
Extra restrictions apply to young members who have jobs. They must not perform on the same day they work and need a day's break between the performance and returning to work. If you have any young members in this situation, make sure to include this on your risk assessment and take steps to allow these breaks between working and performing.
Girls under 16
Normally, young people under the age of 16 need a license to take part in performances. However, Girlguiding has been granted an exemption from this requirement – called a Body of Persons approval.
There are a few requirements that you must adhere to in order for this exemption to count:
- the approval does not authorise absence from school
- the approval does not apply to performances put on by other organisations in which guiding members take part
- there must be no payment made to the child or someone on behalf of the child (other than expenses).
It’s a good idea to print out the relevant Body of Persons approval for your country so that it’s clear girls are covered to take part in any performances. You can download these below - and read the accompanying letters and regulations for more detail on how each approval works.
- Body of Persons Approval for units in England and accompanying letter
- Body of Persons Approval for units in Scotland and accompanying regulations
- Body of Persons Approval for units in Wales and accompanying letter
- Body of Persons Approval for units in Wales and accompanying letter (Welsh)
There is not a Body of Persons Approval process available in Northern Ireland. If no charge is made for a performance, approval is not needed, but if you are charging for a performance in Northern Ireland, contact your local Education Authority Office for advice.