Hosting live music events where minors may be present

Hosting underage and youth events is a great way to contribute to the live music industry. Such events generate interest in music among young people and provide them with an opportunity to see their favourite performers in a safe and controlled environment. Hosting underage and youth events at your venue will also help young people learn how to act appropriately on licensed premises.

Minimum requirements

Under the Liquor Control Reform Act 1998, you must give notice to the Commission if you wish to have a minor (a person under 18 years of age) present on any part of the licensed premises or authorised premises at which:

 (i) a live music event is being held in accordance with notice given to the Commission and prescribed conditions; and
(ii) liquor is not supplied, consumed or made available on that part of the premises.

Notification to host live music events

If planning to host a live music event, you must lodge with the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) a notification form for conduct of live music events which is available at www.vcglr.vic.gov.au.

This notification form must be submitted at least seven business days prior to the date of the live music event and you can notify the VCGLR of up to a maximum of three events in total on this form. There is no fee applicable for the conduct of live music event.

Definition: ‘Live music event’ – an event where sound is manipulated for artistic, cultural or religious purposes and performed to an audience.

Prescribed conditions for live music events

A number of prescribed conditions apply for licensees or permittees who wish to hold live music events where minors can attend on a licensed premises.

Licensees and permittees must:

  • Provide free access to a telephone to minors
  • Ensure that such events conclude by 11pm
  • Ensure that advertisements for the event include start and finish times
  • Take reasonable steps to ensure patrons under the age of 12 are accompanied by a responsible adult
  • Provide that crowd controllers attend the events (a minimum of two and an additional one for every additional one hundred people attending)
  • Ensure that at least one of the crowd controllers is female, and
  • Ensure that no pass-outs are provided. That is, no person who leaves the performance area can re-enter that area (other than to visit the toilet or access telephone facilities in an adjoining area on the premises). The performance area means the part of the premises in which the live music event is performed.

Minimum requirements for other underage or youth events

Minors can also be present at other underage or youth events where live music will not be conducted.

Approval to host underage or youth events where live music will not be conducted.

When planning to host such underage or youth events, you are required to lodge with the VCGLR either:

  • an application form for the conduct of underage or youth events or
  • an application form for the conduct of ‘Fast Track, Low Risk’ underage or youth events

These application forms are available at www.vcglr.vic.gov.au and should be lodged at least 45 calendar days prior to an event. There is a fee applicable for the conduct of an underage or youth event.

To ensure the safety of patrons during underage or youth events, approvals for these events are subject to a number of standard conditions, details of which are provided with the application form. You may request that the VCGLR consider applying different conditions to your event. Such requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Best practice

In addition to the VCGLR’s conditions for live music events, there are a number of steps you can take to ensure that your live music event is a success.

Promoters and performers

  • Most live music events are arranged by promoters rather than the performing musicians. Ask prospective promoters to provide you with contact details for professional referees so that you can check the promoter’s credentials.
  • Ensure that ticket prices are affordable for young people. Most music venues will charge the promoter a fee to cover basic staffing and crowd controller costs and may charge a set amount for each patron.
  • Ensure that performance agreements highlight the VCGLR’s conditions for hosting underage events and are signed by all parties. Performers should also be directed to their duty of care to young people in the audience and should discourage dangerous behaviour such as stage diving. For general information on performance agreements, see chapter 12 of these guidelines.

Venue

  • If a function for adults is held in the performance space on the same date as a youth music event, a minimum 45 minutes should be allowed between the conclusion of the youth music event and the commencement of the adult event. 
  • Ensure the venue has disability access and the venue conditions are sanitary, clean and safe.

Crowd control 

  • Establish a crowd control plan based on the expected number of patrons, style of music and expected crowd behaviour, and situate crowd controllers around the venue accordingly. 
  • Supervise the queue before the show to ensure that attendees are queuing in a safe manner and are clear of any roads or clearways.
  • Coordinate the event with public transport timetables. Publish the playing times and public transport details local to the venue on your website, on tickets and outside the venue so parents and guardians can determine when the event starts and finishes.
  • Include details of an appropriate area to drop-off and pick-up attendees before and after the show.
  • Before the event starts, brief all staff, security and crowd controllers so they can understand the nature of youth music events, and can contribute in supporting the positive behaviour of attendees and performers.
  • Harassment of young people, women or any individual must not be tolerated. Crowd controllers should be briefed to support the needs of all individuals who express they feel threatened.
  • Direct crowd controllers and staff to check toilets regularly and safely respond to any bullying or antisocial behaviour throughout the show. 
  • After the event finishes, supervise the departure of patrons to the parent pick-up area or public transport stations.

Conditions of Entry 

  • Ensure that the conditions of entry are clearly displayed on tickets, promotional materials and at the door. Direct door staff and crowd controllers to reinforce these conditions to attendees upon entry.
  • Have a responsible, friendly adult working the door.
  • You may wish to conduct bag checks as people enter the venue to ensure that attendees and performers do not bring alcohol or other inappropriate products into the premises.
  • Ensure that there is at least one female crowd controller at the entrance to check the bags of female attendees. 
  • Display signs that smoking will not be permitted at the venue.

First aid

  • The Licensee should make a risk assessment of each music event. If there are high risks involved in an event (for example, an expected full capacity in a large venue, moshing expected) then a first aid officer (minimum qualification of St Johns Ambulance Level 2) should be in attendance.
  • If possible, set up a first aid station in a seperate room that is close to the main performance area.
  • Establish a process for dealing with young people who show signs of drug or alcohol intoxication when arriving at your venue. 
  • Have a staffing capacity for dealing with, and providing assistance to young people who present under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.
  • Do not eject an intoxicated minor onto the street without a plan to support them. Phone family or friends to ensure they get home safely.

Resources

FReeZA

FReeZA is a youth development program established by the Victorian Government that organises safe and supervised events in drug-and alcohol-free venues across Victoria. For information on FReeZA groups operating near you, visit:

www.freeza.vic.gov.au

The Push

The Push is Victoria’s youth music peak organisation and provides an advisory service for young peopleand the community to run youth music events. For information on The Push, visit:

www.thepush.com.au