Posted: Friday 22 June 2012
By Emma Aitkenhead
With music festival season upon us and a recent discussion with friends about creating our own festival (triggered by one of those, what would you do if you won the lottery conversations when at Rockness!) - I thought I would look at some of the legal issues behind such ventures.
First and foremost, a business would need to be structured. There are many different structures a business can take, a partnership, an incorporated body, a charity etc. The pros and cons of each option would need to be considered and a decision made based on what would suit the aims of the organisation. Aspects to take into account would be whether to be a profit or non-profit organisation, the liability of the organisers and tax considerations.
A variety of equipment would be necessary which may result in the entering into of hire purchase agreements or leases. In addition, given that staff would be required there would also be employment issues to consider.
Then you would need a brainwave, a name! A logo or some sort of branding would follow and this in turn triggers trade mark considerations. The creation and protection of a trade mark is critical for a business to attain customer loyalty and in turn commercial success.
There would be other intellectual property aspects to consider - the ownership of works would need to be established. For example, if artists at the festival were planning to perform songs written by other people certain permissions or licences may need to be sought. Furthermore, if something was created or invented for the festival it would be important to decide who would have ownership rights.
I can only imagine the levels of risk that would be involved in something like this and would be a massive consideration for an organisation. How would such risks be dealt with? Would you request that participants signed waivers?
Who would be liable? If the organisation is not incorporated then the members may find themselves personally liable for any financial losses or any damages sought for example, if someone was injured.
Insurance would certainly be required, a bit of research suggests that the types of insurance which should be considered are: public liability; property & equipment; product liability; transit; income protection; directors & officers; workers compensation; volunteers; professional indemnity; non-appearance; cancellation and abandonment.
It would seem there’s a lot to think about - for now I’ll just stick to attending festivals!
If you want to organise an event and don’t know where to start contact Claire Anderson our Health & Safety specialist, David Hossack our licensing expert or Austin Flynn who can make sure your cunning idea is protected.