Frequently Asked Questions

About Our Big Gig

What is Our Big Gig
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Our Big Gig is a community music celebration which will take place across the UK from the 10th - 12th July 2015. This annual event brings communities together to improve community cohesion and inspire more people to take part in music making opportunities in their local area. 

Who are the organisers Superact?
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Our Big Gig is developed, delivered and managed by Superact. Superact is not-for-profit organisation that uses music and the arts to develop social impact projects. Working specifically in the areas of community development, justice and health and wellbeing, Superact's projects are particpatory and work to improve lives through creativity. Formed in 2006, Superact works across the UK, Europe and beyond and has a proven track record of delivery. For more info visit the Superact website.

How did Our Big Gig start?
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Our Big Gig has grown out of Bandstand Marathon which was the largest closing event of the London 2012 Festival and received celebrity endorsement from Coldplay, with the whole country coming together to simultaneously playing their anthemic hit Viva la Vida at 2:00pm on Sunday 9th September. Over 9,000 amateur and voluntary musicians took part in the day and audiences of over 200,000 attended free events across the whole of the UK. Our Big Gig followed in 2013 and 2014 and here we are now in 2015!

What is the date of Our Big Gig 2015?
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Our Big Gig will take place across the UK from the 10th - 12th July 2015

Do I have to register to be part of Our Big Gig?
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Yes. If you would like funding to support your gig you need to register a project with Spacehive. Superact will pledge £200 to projects that meet the Our Big Gig criteria:

  • You'll need to have your fundraising target set to between £500 and £4,000 (Spacehive's fees will be added automatically)
  • Set a fundraising campaign deadline of 30th June
  • Have a gig that is taking place between 10th - 12th July and is in England
  • Have a gig that is free and open for anyone to attend
  • Have public liability insurance

Can I be part of Our Big Gig if I don't require funding?
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Yes please do still register to take part and benefit from:

  • Our Big Gig Branding
  • Attend a free Our Big Gig training event
  • Receive an Our Big Gig Banner
  • Have your event featured on our map and promoted in our national and regional press

What support will Superact offer me?
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  • Funding of up to £200 for events that meet the criteria
  • Free training and support
  • Banners for events
  • Marketing material templates

Please note that financial support is currently unavailable to those in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. 

Can fundraising for charity take place at Our Big Gig events?
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Yes, we are happy for people to fund-raise for charity at individual events. If you plan on doing so please make sure that you have all the necessary collections licenses in place.

Are there performance or workshop opportunities available at Our Big Gig events?
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If you do not wish to organise an Our Big Gig event but would like to simply take part and perform, please complete our online registration form

We will ask you to supply your contact details, musical background/ experience and geographical information. This will then allow us to pass your information on to one of our local Community Event Organisers and they will contact you directly if there are any performance opportunities at local events.

The full list of events and locations will be posted online in June 2015.

Programming is undertaken by our local Community Event Organisers on the ground in local communities. Therefore we cannot guarantee any performance opportunities; we can simply forward your enquiry. If you do not hear back by the 1st July then please assume that on this occasion there are not any performance opportunities. 

What's happening with events in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland?
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Unfortunately, we currently only have funding available to support events in England.

As a result of this, any community group outside of England wishing to take part in Our Big Gig would need to secure their own funding and arrange for necessary translations on any Our Big Gig marketing materials. 

Whilst we cannot at present offer financial assistance, we would be very happy to offer advice, share our digital resources and promote your event on the Our Big Gig website (as long as it meets our criteria for an Our Big Gig event). If you would like to register your event please complete the online application form. 

I live outside the UK; can I have an Our Big Gig event?
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Unfortunately we are not currently accepting international applications for Our Big Gig. Watch this space though as plan will be developing in 2016 to potentially link with the Olympic Games in Rio when we hope to go global!

Superact are delivering a number of other projects internationally so check out the Superact website for more information on other opportunities.

Planning your Our Big Gig Event

Do I need insurance?
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Yes, most public venues require you to have your own Public Liability Insurance. You will need to provide evidence of your existing insurance in your application to Superact or provide evidence of your plans to obtain insurance before the event.

Public Liability Insurance can be secured through a number of providers:

My Community Starter

Tennyson Insurance

Morton Michel – Insurance for groups and individuals

Endsleigh – Community Group Insurance

How many musicians should I involve?
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We would advise having a good selection of musicians programmed to perform throughout your event. By programming a diverse selection of musical genres and programming performers from a range of age groups your event is more likely to appeal to the wider community. We would like to see as many young people as possible getting involved in this year’s Our Big Gig.

Does it have to be four hours long?
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We ask that all events run for at least four hours so as to allow for as many members of the public as possible to drop in and participate in your event. The event can be longer if you wish, but we ask that it is at least four hours so as to give lots of people performance opportunities and to showcase a range of activities.

Do I have to include some form of participation activity?
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Ideally yes. Our Big Gig events should be active and participatory and not just performance based. We want to see members of the public getting involved in local events, having a go at things they have never done before, with the overall aim of getting more people involved in music making and joining community music groups. More information on how to organise participatory activities can be found in our online toolkit and will be covered in much more detail at one of the regional training events.

Can it be any kind of music?
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Yes all genres of music are welcome at Our Big Gig events. We recommend that local organisers programme music which reflects the diversity and interests of the wider community. Organisers should be diverse so as to appeal to as many people as possible.

Will musicians be paid?
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This project is about providing performance platforms for amateur musicians, to give them a chance to perform with their community.

In line with good practice any out of pocket expenses incurred will be covered by the funding given to Community Event Organisers.

On the rare occasion that professional musicians are asked to take part in an Our Big Gig event it is the community event organisers responsibility to arrange payments for artists. However this event is primarily about support amateur musicians. We issue guidelines to organisers outlining the Musician's Union agreement where professional musicians should be paid.

Does it have to take place from the 10th 12th July?
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No. Whilst we are trying to ensure that as many events as possible take place on this weekend we are making some exceptions, so please do get in touch if you have any questions This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Do I need to find a suitable venue?
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Yes, Community Event Organisers are responsible for securing a suitable venue for the event, obtaining any necessary permissions and licenses, programming performers, undertaking event planning and risk assessments and ensuring the overall running of local events.

Feel free to ring the Superact team at any point for advice on guidance if you are unsure on a suitable location for your planned event

Somewhereto_ offer a great network of free venue space for 16 - 25 year olds across the UK

Do I need to have an event license?
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The Licensing Act of 2003 requires that certain activities require a license. As all Our Big Gig events involve performances of live music, the venue that events take place in will need to be licensed.

If you are using a venue run by your Local Authority it is very likely that they will already have acquired a license for it to host public performances. You should however, check with the Local Authority or the venue owners whether it is licensed for the performance of live music.

If you find that the venue is not already licensed you will need to apply in advance for a Temporary Event Notice (TEN). This is a standard procedure costing £21. Check with your Local Authority, as currently de-regulations within Local Authorities means that the circumstances requiring a TEN are now starting to change. If you do require a TEN you need to apply at least 10 days in advance – so don’t leave it to the last minute!

Do I need a PRS and PPL License?
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Copyright exists to protect the rights of the composer of a piece of music (and any significant arranger) to draw a fee from the performance of his or her work.  A general rule of thumb is that copyright lasts for 70 years after the death of the copyright holder. PRS for Music is the official collection agency gathering in royalty payments and information for its members, distributing these on behalf of composers and songwriters everywhere.

Consequently, if you perform music in public you need a licence to do so.

The playing of live and pre-recorded music is licensed by two independent schemes – The Performing Rights Society (PRS) for live music and PPL. They each represent the interests of different rights holders for the use of recorded and live music in public performances. It is important to check whether these licenses are required at your venue. Cost will depend on audience size but for events of up to 500 people it should cost less than £50.

Your chosen event venue may well hold some or all of the necessary licenses for your event to take place. Check with the venue first to see what is included in the hire of the facility.

Where can I find more advice on organising a community music event?
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Come along to one of our free training and information events and download our toolkit

Other sources of information are:

Can I apply to organise an Our Big Gig event as an individual sole trader?
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Yes anyone can register with Spacehive, individuals and organisations

When will the full list of 2015 events be announced?
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We hope to have the full list of events online by the beginning of June 2015. You will then be able to use our interactive map to search for your closest event.

Information for media will be available from the end of May on all Our Big Gig events.

I am a member of the press – who can I talk to about the project?
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Please contact Katharine Lane This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.