I'm an amateur musician and I run a saxophone quartet comprising 3 other amateur players. We have a modest repertoire of around 60 titles at the moment, all of which we have bought from retail suppliers, some locally, but mostly from the Internet. We have no photocopied or pirated music.
Up to now we've only played for our frends who've worked in places like residential homes for the elderly and wanted a bit of live music for their residents, or friends who've organised village hall events and want a musical interlude. We've always done these free of charge or at most for a free lunch, (yes there is such a thing!!!), and a cup of tea.
We've never paid too much attention to our legal position on these small informal engagements, though it's always been at the back of my mind, because most of them have been in private rather than public premises.
However, people are getting to know us and we've started to get requests to do wedding receptions and other more formal engagements in the pubilc domain. I'd love to take these on, but we'd have to charge for our services I guess, or at the very least do them for expenses only payment, but I have no idea about our legal position.
So the question is, would it be legal for a group of amatuer musicians to charge a fee to play live music in a public place being hired for the purpose by a private individual or organisation? Any advice on where I can find chapter and verse on this would be welcome.