What is that noise coming from the garage? Surprise! Your kid has started a band.
You might not appreciate the music (or the racket), but forming a band can be a great creative experience. And while some bands are just an excuse to strum a guitar, look cool, hang out with friends, and brag to potential dates, others become real performers, with gigs and everything. Here’s what you need to know if your budding musician’s band has aspirations of leaving the basement.
The band needs a place to practice, and if it’s going to be on your property, make sure the kids comply with local noise restrictions. In most communities, loud music after 10:00 or 11:00 pm is a violation. Although extremely loud music can trigger a complaint from annoyed neighbors at any hour of the day.
If the band is going to play at actual gigs, they might be required to pay to become insured on the venue’s policy. Or they might need to obtain their own liability insurance policy that protects the venue from any damage done to the facility. It might also cover the value of the instruments and equipment (you likely will have some coverage for this through your homeowner’s insurance policy).
Set up a business
If your kid’s band is accepting gigs and getting paid, it’s time to help them set up a bank account, track their earnings, pay taxes, and discuss how they will share the profits. It’s best for the band to choose one member as the financial person (with that person’s parents closely involved).
If the band is going to cover songs by other artists and do so in a public venue, they technically must obtain permission from the copyright owner. However, the venue will almost always have a license from a performing rights society. If not, it’s up to the band to get permission. Probably won’t end up being a problem, but good to be aware.
Sheet music is also copyrighted, so the band needs to buy it rather than downloading it for free from some website. If the band wants to make YouTube videos of their performances, a mechanical license is required for the songs. Again, these are all good things to be aware of, but more likely than not, nobody will serve up a cease-and-desist over it.
Once you’ve checked all the boxes, sit back, relax, and don’t forget your earplugs.