skip to main content

ABO and MU Outdoor Working Code of Practice

Updated: 29 February 2024 | 14:26 PM

The MU and the ABO (Association of British Orchestras) have collaborated on putting together agreed minimum standards for outdoor concerts. Even if you are working with a non-ABO orchestra or in a completely freelance setting, this document is a useful reference for those taking part in or organising the engagement.

Orchestral players should make themselves aware of the minimum standards that apply to any large scale or outdoor work they undertake. This newly updated guidance covers the areas of stage access, changing and warm-up facilities, lighting, weather protection, noise exposure, fire safety, risk assessment, special effects and pyrotechnics, seating, electrical supplies, toilets, refreshments, first aid, recording and audiences.

Some of the essential guidance that this document references includes:

Morris Stemp, MU Orchestras Official says:

“Outdoor and large-scale event safety is of particular importance to our members. The use of temporary venues and sites can create unexpected issues and concerns and it is vital that event organisers and engagers properly consider all aspects that affect our members. As well as the unexpected, there are many aspects that should be planned for in advance.

Often large scale events focus on the needs of the audience and musicians are treated as an afterthought. Your engager must consult you on health and safety, how they are controlling risks and looking after your welfare. Your engager has a responsibility to provide adequate and appropriate facilities whilst you are working.

Your engager should be assessing all the risks in your working environment by looking at who might be harmed and how, what they have in place to control the risks, what they need to do to remove or minimise all risks, with clear timelines for actions. You can ask to see a copy of this risk assessment if you have concerns, or you can get in touch with your local MU office to ask for support in checking your workplace safety.”

Please contact your Regional Office for more information.