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timparki
06-03-2016, 02:40 AM
This issue has risen it's head recently in respect of the club of which I am chairman. We stated off as a fairly informal gathering, initially at someone's house then moving to a local Girl Guide Hut, where we now practice weekly.

As the club grew in membership we eventually decided that we needed to become a bit more formal and how have a Chair (me), Vice-Chair, Secretary and Treasurer and a written set of club rules.

In the UK there is a risk that an organisation organised along these lines is considered to be an 'unincorporated association'. This essentially means that the committee members are personally liable for the club and it's assets and debts.

So as an example, if we agreed to play at a gig where the organiser was charging for tickets, we fail to show up and then some people demand a refund, the committee members could be personally liable for the costs. This could also apply if people injure themselves during a weekly practice, at a gig, etc., although we could get insurance to cover this.

Has anyone had this debate before and considered how to deal with the issue? We could go back to having a completely informal structure, e..g tear up the rules and the committee resign, but would this get us off the hook?

Any thoughts greatly appreciated!

Down Up Dick
06-03-2016, 03:45 AM
Ahhh, big Government . . . :old:

good_uke_boy
06-03-2016, 04:33 AM
Do you have any lawyers (barristers?) among your members? Sounds like questions for one.

Down Up Dick
06-03-2016, 05:14 AM
And now, Lawyers . . . :old:

good_uke_boy
06-03-2016, 08:55 AM
And now, Lawyers . . . :old:

Yes, but presumably they'd be nice, happy, musical ones.

Tootler
06-03-2016, 09:09 AM
Sounds like you might need public liability insurance. If you are going to perform you almost certainly will.

While you can take it out personally, you can often get it cheaper, especially for small events if you can affiliate your group to some appropriate organisation. I ran a ukulele group through our local U3A which meant I was able to take advantage of their insurances. I belong to a Ceilidh band and we are affiliated to the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) and they provide us with public liability insurance for events of up to 200 people. Affiliation costs us 75 a year (approx). You can also do it through the Musicians Union though they were quite a bit more expensive, though possibly cheaper than directly through an insurance company.

If you are using a Guide Hut, is it possible you could arrange something through them?

Caveat. I am not a lawyer, I am just speaking from personal experience.

jimavery
06-03-2016, 11:54 AM
Hi Tim, and welcome! It's good to see you and I'm glad you're doing well.

I recently discovered "Making Music" which I guess would be the nearest thing to an official organisation for amateur music groups in the UK
https://www.makingmusic.org.uk/membership-and-insurance
I've not spoken to them at all though, so can't vouch for them but if I were in your position I'd probably give them a call. I noticed they were there as they are partnering with the BBC for their "Get Playing" initiative.

Cheers,

Jim

natchez
06-03-2016, 04:54 PM
Hi Tim, and welcome! It's good to see you and I'm glad you're doing well.

I recently discovered "Making Music" which I guess would be the nearest thing to an official organisation for amateur music groups in the UK
https://www.makingmusic.org.uk/membership-and-insurance
I've not spoken to them at all though, so can't vouch for them but if I were in your position I'd probably give them a call. I noticed they were there as they are partnering with the BBC for their "Get Playing" initiative.

Cheers,

Jim

This sound lie good idea to investigate. As a retired lawyer, I am a big believer in some insurance for protection.

Ukejenny
06-04-2016, 11:51 AM
Not sure how things compare with the UK and the US, but, please let us know what you find in your investigation. We host a uke fest every year, but we don't charge money for admission and we don't pay anyone who participates, just so we won't have to have event insurance.

PereBourik
06-04-2016, 01:28 PM
Do you have any lawyers (barristers?) among your members? Sounds like questions for one.

Wouldn't they be solicitors?

Tootler
06-04-2016, 01:29 PM
I'd forgotten about making music. They are well worth investigating.