The recent news that comedian and musician Bill Bailey had his tour van stolen from outside the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall was an unwelcome reminder of the risks performers take when touring the country.
Bailey, who was performing two nights at the venue, went ahead with his show despite two thieves targeting the tour by gaining entrance through a side door, breaking into the production room and stealing a laptop and sets of keys for the production cars. A van parked directly outside the stage door was then stolen along with three crew suitcases and a large selection of merchandise.
“Any musician who plays live is aware of the need public liability insurance. This insures you in case you injure someone else, or cause damage to a venue when playing,” said John Woosey, Managing Director of Insure4Music, a new music insurance brand which provides cover for the specific needs of musicians, bands, DJs, singers and music teachers.
“Sadly incidents involving equipment can also happen, with music gear being stolen out of the back of a van or the head snapping off a treasured guitar.
“It’s often not until the worst happens that people discover the inadequacies of their standard household insurance which may not cover your instruments outside the house at a performance or practice, or in some cases completely exclude them.”
To make sure the same thing doesn’t happen to you, here are a few tips to ward off the show stoppers…
Think about where you park
Sometimes parking is limited outside a venue but if you can try and park in a well lit area that is highly populated. If you’re touring in a van or trailer, one good idea is to back it up against a wall so the back door can’t be opened.
Don’t advertise the fact you’re a band / musician
While it’s tempting to set off on the road with your band’s name spray painted down the side of your bus, just remember you’re not Led Zeppelin and your bus isn’t a plane. It’s probably not a good idea to advertise the fact that there is potentially thousands of pounds worth of equipment in the back of your van.
Invest in some padlocks
Obviously locking your van securely is a must but it’s also worth buying some industrial padlocks. Only the most committed of thieves will try and break through these.
Cover any items you have to leave in the van
It might sound a bit simple but many tour managers swear by the importance of carrying a big dust sheet with them. Covering any equipment you leave in your vehicle is a great deterrent to would be thieves.
Insure your equipment
If you’re leaving your instrument overnight in a car or van, transporting it between your home and where you play or just storing it overnight in a venue, then you’re taking a risk without insurance. Thieves are savvy and they know how much you’ve spent on your kit. Plus most instruments can’t be traced to their owners so they’re easy to sell online or at auctions. Insurance is a cost but it’s one that will allow you to relax and put your energies into your performance.
With 17 years’ experience in specialist insurance, the team behind Insure4Music recognises the limitations of many household policies when it comes to providing affordable and dependable cover for the specific needs of musicians, bands, DJs, singers and music teachers. The result is a specialist music insurance policy that can be built around each individual or band’s requirements, meaning you only pay for what you need and not a penny more.