Venues and Live Performance Places where music is performed

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Level 2 BTEC First Award in Music
Revision Guide

Venues and Live Performance
Places where music is performed:

● small and medium local venues

o spaces that range from pubs to clubs and small theatres that host music regularly or as part of mixed arts performances

o host a wide range of music, from small niche genres (styles of music that aren’t really popular on a large scale) to pop and club bands and singers

o local promoters may use the venue for gigs and for club nights

● large multi-use spaces

o arenas, sports venues, outdoor spaces (Wembley Arena, Wembley Stadium, O2 Arena)
o host touring productions linked to TV programmes, rock and pop acts, stand-up comedy, site-specific theatre, circuses, festivals. (X Factor Tour, Dancing on Ice Tour etc)

Questions for you to consider:

What are the advantages of performing in small/medium local venues? (try to think of three)




What are the disadvantages of performing in small/medium local venues?




What are the advantages of performing in large multi-use venues?




What are the disadvantages of performing in large multi-use venues?




Wembley Arena, London

Wembley Stadium, London

The Bedford, Balham

Jerwood Theatre, London

Health and Safety
Health, safety and security at venues

The health and safety of both audience and employees in venues is of prime importance and expressed in law.

How do venues ensure audiences enter and exit a venue safely?

Use of door staff,



How do venues ensure that employees (including artists) are safe? E.g.

Noise laws (including ear protection)

Break times (how long can they work without breaks)

Risk assessments (what do they need to consider? Electrics, ventilation,

What fire regulations need to be in place at a venue/festival? E.g.

Control of capacity (how many people are allowed in)

Illuminated FIRE signs to clearly show exits

Evacuation procedures on walls and tested

Ongoing checks throughout the year

Fire extinguishers clearly marked and labelled.

Make a spider diagram below to help you remember these key areas of health and safety.

Production and promotion
These ORGANISATIONS are to do with the production and promotion of Music.
You need to know what they do, why they do it and when it is done for new products. Also, think about how they need to work together and how the all come together to create a final music product.
Using the information sheets, create a selection of spider diagrams to help you remember the key points for each of the production and promotion areas. These are:

Service companies and agencies
Each one of you created a business card/revision card on different companies and agencies that are used in the music industry. These are on the following pages.
Go through the sheets and highlight the key information for each one. You should have information on:










Once you have gone through the sheets, see if you can answer these questions:

  1. What does PRS stand for?

  1. What do the PRS do?

  1. Why is it important for musicians to be part of the PRS?

  1. What does MCPS stand for?

  1. What does MCPS do?

  1. Why is it important for musicians to be part of the MCPS?

  1. What does PPL stand for?

  1. What does PPL do?

  1. Who should belong to PPL and why?

  1. What do artist’s managers do?

  1. How much money do managers take from artists?

  1. Why is it important to have good PR (Public Relations)?

  1. What do agents do?

  1. What do stylists do?

  1. How much would it cost to hire sound and lighting equipment?

  1. What size rehearsal spaces are available to hire?

  1. How much does it cost, on average, to hire studios and rehearsal spaces?

  1. How much would it cost to hire different types of transport equipment?


Read over your information and then see if you can answer these questions. DO NOT CHEAT. Then check your answers.


    What are the benefits for its members?

    What is the history of the union?

    Who does the union represent?

    How do you join the union?


    What are the benefits for its members?

    What is the history of the union?

    Who does the union represent?

    How do you join the union?


    (Broadcasting Entertainment, Cinematograph and Theatre Union)

    What are the benefits for its members?

    What is the history of the union?

    Who does the union represent?

    How do you join the union?

How to get paid – invoices

Read through the information below.

Before you work, you will normally be contracted.

A contract is a legal relationship where one person, group or organisation enters a formal relationship with another to complete something.


•Once you have completed the job, you then produce an invoice to claim your fee. An invoice is usually a single-page document.

Before – the process of agreeing, negotiating and bargaining takes place before a contract is issued. Once the contract is produced, it is usually reviewed and studied to ensure that the contract reflects the negotiation and that this is correctly recorded on the contract. The contract is not signed until all parties are content with it. However, in many cases the contract is disputed later on and often-expensive legal battles break out.

After – when a contract is completed, an invoice is drawn up, which claims the money promised in the contract. In contracts that extend over a period of time, it is usual for the contract to include payment points and milestones that trigger payments and ensure cash flow.
This flow chart shows a simple contract operation. This features in the music industry and also in many circumstances in other businesses. This system is too simplistic for large contracts but is often used for casual work, temporary staff contracts, service contracts for catering and transport, and so on.

This flow chart is the sort of thing that was used before the Internet when the music industry was all about selling copies of CDs and vinyl. Here the artist might receive a lump sum at the start of the contract. This would be taken off the settlement, which would be paid at the end. The agency doing the contracting would have to be confident that the settlement would be large enough to pay off the advance. In many cases it wasn’t, and the artist would have to pay the advance back from other earnings, sometimes over many years.
Advances (where some of the payment is paid before the contracted work has been done) are still available but the recoupment (claiming an artist’s advance back from them) is no longer based solely on CD and album sales, but more often on tickets and live performance fees. Performing rights and other aspects such as merchandise and endorsements are also factored in.

Composers and creators of music often have a part of the negotiation process formally in place before the contract is issued. This is the pitch, where the artist presents ideas in response to a brief or suggestion from a company.
If the artist's ideas are acceptable, then the negotiation and contracting starts.

This is great for businesses that get the artists to do work for free before there is any promise of payment, and clearly a problem for artists who are unsuccessful. However, it is a standard model in many fields and something that is built into the costs of the service.

How do organisations interrelate (work with each other/relate to each other) and why are these relationships important?

Relationships within the industry:

o how promoters match acts to venue, e.g. location and type of venue, size and scale of performance area, facilities, technical equipment/support available, audience capacity, type and intention of performance, timing and availability, financial considerations
A concert promoter may work for bands or for venues. Promoters who work for bands need to find locations for the band to play in addition to promoting the gig once it is booked. Concert promoters who work for music venues are required to find bands to play at the location. Making sure the venue is a good match for the music group or artist in question is an important part of the promoter's job.

Once a concert date is confirmed, the promoter is responsible for generating interest in the event. On a small scale, this may be achieved by posting fliers, placing ads in free or inexpensive publications, and generating buzz online. Promoters with larger budgets at their disposal may purchase radio ads as well as ads in larger print publications and on established websites.

A concert promoter is responsible for other aspects of the concert aside from generating interest. The promoter often handles security, ticket sales or cover charges, venue decoration, setup, sound, lighting, and staffing. To keep up with all of the different tasks, a concert promoter needs to be very organized and able to handle many projects at a time.

Promoters also generate awareness of a show or event through public relations initiatives. Concert promoters tend to have a network of music industry contacts that they use to spread the word about upcoming shows. Interviews with artists and promotional giveaways are two widely used promotional tools.

As a promoter, think about how you would match artists to different types of venues. Think about the following artists – what type of venue would you suggest they perform at and why?
A local up and coming Indie band

Kristyna Myles



o the importance of effective communication between those working in the industry
Effects of good communication:

Effects of bad communication:

o how promoters and musicians evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of hiring and buying equipment

What are the advantages of hiring equipment?
What are the disadvantages of hiring equipment?
What are the advantages of buying equipment?
What are the disadvantages of buying equipment?

o how promoters and musicians find and select suppliers and installers of equipment

What will promoters and musicians take into consideration?

o how trade bodies such as the Music Producers Guild (MPG), the Association of Professional Recording Services (APRS), PRS for Music and PLASA support their members and their industries





o how promoters and musicians find and select transport companies for touring
What will promoters and musicians take into consideration?

o how promoters secure funding for and market events.

BUDGET – from venue/bands
What do they need to consider?

Look at how many points there are for each questions. This is how many points you will need to make in your answer. E.g. if it’s worth 2 marks, write down 2 things!
If the exam says “EXPLAIN” it will normally be worth at least 2 marks. Therefore you need to state the answer, and then give a reason why. For example, the question might be:
Questions: Explain one reason why it can be a good idea to have a manager.
Answer: It can be a good idea to have a manager because they will be able to find you places to perform. This means you don’t have to give up as much time on finding venues to perform and they will make sure there are people there to watch you.

If your questions is asking you to “DISCUSS” means you need to consider different aspects of a topic and how they interrelate with other areas of the industry. You also need to discuss the extent to which they are important.

The word IMPLICATIONS may also come up in your exam. This means the consequences of something and conclusions that can be drawn. You should give the BENEFITS and the DRAWBACKS of the issues that are being discussed. For example if the questions was:
DISCUSS the IMPLICATIONS of hiring equipment for a concert.
You might discuss reasons what the benefits would be to hiring equipment (less to move to the venue/cheaper than buying) and then compare it to what might be the drawbacks of hiring equipment (costs if damaged/condition it may be in to start with).
You may also be asked to EVALUATE something. This is normally looking for you to weigh-up the pros and cons of something. Always EVALUATE the POSITIVES and the NEGATIVES and say WHY.
Information from EDEXCEL:

What you need to know about the exam

You will take a written test on the same day and time as other learners – your teacher will let you know the date of the test. You will have 15 minutes of pre-test time to allow you to read the test paper through before the test begins and then you will have one hour to complete it. You should aim to answer all the questions on the paper.

Your written test will contain the following types of questions:

  • multiple-choice questions where you are given a list of possible answers and you have to choose the answer(s) that fit

  • short answer questions where you are asked to give a short answer worth 1–2 marks

  • long answer questions where you are asked to give a longer answer, which could be worth up to 8 marks.

Test tips

  • At the start of the exam, make sure you have read the instructions, that you can see the clock and that you feel comfortable to write.

  • Watch the time – you should aim to spend about a ‘minute per mark’. Some early questions may take less time than this and some later ones may take more time.

  • If you get stuck on a question move onto the next one and come back to that question at the end.

  • The space given for your answer will show you the type of answer required, for example, if two answers are required you may see the answer space divided up for two answers.

  • Remember that you can use more paper if necessary, for example, you may make a mistake or you may need more space for your answer.

  • Plan your longer answers – read the question carefully and think about the key points you will make.

Are there any rules?

You need to treat the written tests just as you would any other formal exam. For example:

  • you should not talk or distract others

  • you can’t take any materials into the room

  • you can’t use any device to store information.

Remember, just as with any other formal assessment, breaking the rules could lead to you being disqualified.

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