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Here are eight things it’s important to be aware of before you go on tour, and where to find further resources on our website.

1. Have a written contract

Protect yourself against unpaid fees by making sure that your tour or engagement is covered by a written contract.

Using a contract means you’re armed against nasty surprises on the road – such as venues making deductions from your fee for hidden extras like the hire of PA equipment. MU members can get their contract vetted by the MU for free.

2. Research your venues

Putting a tour together? Check out our database of venues that have committed to the principles of ‘Fair Play’, as set out in our Fair Play Guide.

The Fair Play scheme strives to ensure that artists are appropriately and proportionally rewarded for their efforts. Using the venues that are signed up not only means you’re more likely to get a better deal yourself, you’re also supporting the push to improve conditions for everyone.

3. Check your visa or work permit

If you are going abroad, check requirements well ahead of time. And if you’re going to the U.S., find out which kind of visa you’ll need to apply for.

Many acts really have been turned back by immigration services around the world for not having work permits – so make sure you’re sorted!

4. Get insurance

Make sure you're covered for any legal or medical expenses. Ensure that you have an instrument and equipment insurance, and a PLI.

MU members must register to access free, worldwide insurance for instruments worth up to £3,000, and discounted insurance for instruments up to £150,000.

Members can download their PLI insurance certificate at any time.

5. Make sure your instrument can fly too

Check with your airline ahead of time (ideally before you buy your ticket), or check their policy online by using the International Federation of Musicians (FIM) Airline ‘traffic light’ tool.

Will you be allowed to take your instrument into the cabin? Is there an extra cost for this? In some cases, ground staff and cabin crew may be less aware of their employers’ policies than they should be – so knowing your rights in advance can help.

Find our guidance on international travel with musical instruments.

6. Stay tax savvy

Depending on where you’re playing, you may have to take some steps to avoid being double-taxed on the money you make performing oversees.

Find our video guidance on overseas taxation and social security.

7. Protect yourself

Not all countries have the same standards of health and safety, so you may want to check that your employer has carried out a proper Risk Assessment for touring.

The Risk Assessment is important not just for conditions in your destination country, but for generic touring issues too, such as – travel and rest arrangements, provision of food and liquids, and pollution.

8. Look after your wellbeing

Touring can be stressful and tiring. Simple precautions such as being careful to eat well, stay and active and take breaks can help – but if you are struggling, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help.

Member services

Contract Advisory Service

Protect yourself against unpaid fees by making sure that your tour or engagement is covered by a written contract. Have it vetted by the MU for added peace of mind.

Read more about Contract Advisory Service

Latest news and features

Small blue toy car over a map of Europe.

Take Part in the MU’s New Survey on Touring in the EU Post Brexit

Your answers are key to helping us assess the impact leaving the EU has had on touring musicians, and if our specialist information and guidance has been useful or needs improving. Your feedback is also vital in shaping our work when liaising with government.

Published: 03 April 2024

Read more about Take Part in the MU’s New Survey on Touring in the EU Post Brexit