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National Gig Rates

Published: 12 October 2020 | 15:04 PM Updated: 26 October 2020 | 17:07 PM

Recommended minimum rates of pay for casual engagements in pubs, clubs and at functions, April 2020.

Pay for casual engagements

For groups performing in pubs and clubs of up to 3 hours
For groups performing at functions of up to 4 hours
Setting up time
The engagement is payable at the full hourly rate from whatever time the musician is required to have his/her instruments and equipment set up.
Hourly rate of £42.50 payable at time and a half, therefore £63.75 per hour (or part thereof)

Distance Fees and Travel Expenses

Distance fees Fuel fees Congestion / Toll Charges /
£10.50 per hour pro rata

Travel time and mileage
51p per mile

HMRC guidance
All charges to be paid
by engager


Group A Group B Group C
Group D
£29.83 £25.76 £20.53 Negotiable
Electric guitar (incl amp); Bass guitar (incl amp); Double bass Bass sax, Tuba Contra bassoon; Baritone sax;
French horn + 1 other brass instrument;
Trombone + 1 other brass instrument or bag of mutes;
Two saxes; Cello; Bass clarinet; Pedalboards
Drum kit; Percussion; Harps; Keyboards; P.A.


15% of fee for each additional instrument


Minimum of 15 mins per 2 hours playing

Late fees 

Payable when time of return is midnight to 2:00am: £26.94

Overnight stay

Payable when return would be after 2:00am: £106.27


Payable per day to cover meals and expenses: £48.01


Guidance Notes

The MU’s live rates are based on an hourly rate which a self-employed musician needs to charge in order to earn an income, relative to their training, experience and expertise. Individual negotiations can be made based on these minimum rates.

​If you are self-employed, you do not have a contract of employment with an employer. You are more likely to be contracted to provide services over a certain period of time for a fee and be in business in your own right. You will also pay your own tax and National Insurance Contributions. You do not have employment rights as such if you are self-employed as you are your own boss and can therefore decide how much to charge for your work and how much holiday to give yourself. You do have some legal protection. You must not be discriminated against and you are entitled to a safe and healthy working environment on your client’s premises. Self-employed women who have recently left their jobs may be entitled to Maternity Allowance.