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MU Orchestral Foreign Touring Code of Practice (non ABO)

Last updated: 29 February 2024

General provisions

  • All substantive details of a tour to be agreed with orchestra representatives and/or MU, which must be available to players prior to engagement. This must include the provision of safe transportation of large or heavy instruments or their hire if local arrangements are to be made available and take account of time differences for long flights across multiple time zones. 
  • Single accommodation to be at least 4 star or equivalent with full breakfast provided where possible, or the financial equivalent. 
  • Cost of visas fees and required inoculations to be borne by the engager, along with associated travel costs. 
  • Travel insurance to be provided by the engager: to include health, medical expenses, disablement and death cover, clothing/suitcase. 
  • Per diems to be provided for each day of the tour based on the recommended HMRC rate for each place to be visited. 
  • The insuring of musical instruments remains the responsibility of the player owning the instrument. 
  • Adequate meal breaks should be scheduled for each day or part thereof. 
  • Where travel or other substantial arrangements are to be amended at short notice e.g. much delayed flight, it must be by consultation and agreement with the players affected by such change. 
  • EU Working Time Directive applies in all European Countries and provides for a minimum 11 hour overnight break for all workers and employees. 
  • The engager should be mindful of regulations for cross border movement of musical instruments containing CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) protected species.  
  • For the avoidance of doubt, acceptance of a ‘live’ engagement does not place the musician under any obligation to permit his/her performance to be broadcast or recorded. Any media activity will be under the terms as outlined in the MU Orchestral Concert Rates (Non ABO)

Outward travel days on tour 

  • Early/late call fees from the normal centre of a musicians employment apply for travel to airport. 
  • A free day shall follow a travel day when travelling intercontinental. 
  • Where transport to airport is not provided by management, travel payments apply as per the MU Orchestral Concert Rates (Non ABO).
  • Where practical flight tickets and (initial) per diem payment (in relevant currency) to be handed out at final UK rehearsal or at airport prior to departure.
  • Upon arrival abroad, where transport from airport to hotel/venue is not provided by management, reimbursement of travel cost will be made.
  • A full concert fee shall apply for outward travel days, except where the time of departure from the normal centre of the musician’s employment is after 6pm, and there is no performance or rehearsal upon arrival. In these circumstances a half concert fee can be paid. 
  • Per diems will apply from time of arrival abroad. However, where players have lengthy captive prior to or during travel, for example at an airport, PD’s will also be offered. 

Days on tour 

  • A full concert fee is to be paid for each full day of the tour including travel days and free days. 
  • Where a musician is required to travel independently, the full cost of such travel will be reimbursed. 
  • The minimum time between arrival at the hotel for an overnight stay and leaving the following day should be no less than 8 hours. 
  • For the avoidance of doubt, travel time cannot be counted as free time and must be properly accounted for, including the time taken to and from the venue. 

Return travel day 

  • Per diems to apply until time of departure to return to the UK.
  • If arrival in UK to musician’s normal centre of employment is before 12 pm a half fee is payable; if after 12pm a full concert fee is due. 
  • Early/late call fees apply for travel from UK airport to normal centre of employment.
  • The airport to which the orchestra returns should be the same airport as the one they departed from, unless transport is provided to the normal centre of employment.
  • Where transport from UK airport is not provided by management, travel payments apply as per relevant agreement.

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