Performance guidance

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

It’s important to:

  • 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. 

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.

Copyrighted material

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.

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.

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.