Chapter 10: 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.
Under the Liquor Act 2019, upon receipt of a liquor license, licensees are informed of prohibited areas within their premise where children either aren’t allowed, or are only
allowed in the presence of their parent or legal guardian. The Director has the ability to change the declared prohibited area of a licensed premise and is required to provide the
licensee with written notice of any changes.
A child is only able to enter a prohibited area of a licensed venues under two provisions:
- The child is an employee permitted by the Director.
- The child is at least 16 years of age and is able to licensee with an acceptable form of
Regardless of whether or not a child is permitted to enter the prohibited area of a licensed premise under the provisions listed above, the licensee or their staff must not serve or supply liquor to anyone under the age of 18.
Licensees can apply for a temporary adjustment to a prohibited area for a specific period of time (i.e. an underage music event), however the Director may require additional steps be taken by the licensee and their staff to ensure the safety of children in the venue. Licensees can apply in writing for a temporary adjustment with Licensing NT and pay any subsequent fees at their nearest Territory Business Centre.
Some of the common licensing stipulations for venues hosting an underage music event include:
- If alcohol is permitted to be served, a visual aid (such as wristbands), may be necessary to easily identify overage and underage patrons.
- 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 additional crowd controllers attend the events.
- 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
In addition to Licensing NT’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 Licensing NT’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.
- 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.
- 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 our 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.
- 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 separate 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.
Youth NT is the website for the Office of Youth Affairs in the Northern Territory Government. It contains information regarding the government’s youth programs, youth event grants and youth services, as well as the downloadable Little Event Guide for youth events.
The City of Darwin runs Launch Darwin as part of the Young Darwin Youth Strategy and is regularly informed by the Council’s Youth Advisory Committee and young people themselves. Their staff mentor young people to run a range of programs and events for their peers. Their upcoming workshops and events are regularly updated via their Facebook page or you can find more information on their website.
Alice Springs Youth Action Group
Alice Springs Town Council’s Youth Action Group (YAG) is an advocacy group comprised of young, local individuals, who meet once a month to discuss youth issues, devise initiatives to promote positive youth-engagement in the community, and make recommendations to Council. You can contact the Youth Services Officer on 8950 0500 or email YDO@astc.nt.gov.au.
For questions or concerns regarding the adjustment of existing licenses or license requirements for underage events contact Licensing NT on 08 8999 1800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.