UK Performers Code of Conduct

1. Once agreeing a fee and date, comedians and their agents have a responsibility to audiences and promoters, to keep to their diary commitments where humanly possible.

2. Performers are expected to give the best performance of their abilities, unless a new material/preview/warm up slot has been agreed in advance. Acts should respect every gig, regardless of whether there are 2000 audience members or 2.

3. Acts should arrive in plenty of time before their set, unless agreed otherwise with the promoter beforehand.

4. If an act is running late, they should contact the promoter and/or the MC (if known) as soon as they realise there is a possibility they will be delayed.

5. If an act is already performing a show on a night s/he is being booked for, s/he must inform the new promoter of the details at the time of the booking.

6. The act should also inform the original promoter if taking a booking that may affect the agreed arrival time at the original show.

7. Acts and MC’s should always stick to their agreed slot lengths on stage, unless the promoter tells them it’s ok to be flexible.

8. If a performer runs significantly under time s/he might reasonably expect a conversation with the promoter about their fee, except in circumstances where a performer felt unsafe, or the show management or audience policing made a successful performance impossible.

9. Acts should make the promoter aware of any special technical requirements as far in advance as possible.

10. If a performer needs to cancel a performance for any reason then the promoter must be informed as soon as possible.

11. If cancelling within a week of performance, the performer should offer to make reasonable efforts to find a suitable replacement for themselves, subject to any booking specifications the promoter has, unless the performer is unable to for reasons of emergency.

12. Any replacement act found by the performer must be agreed with the promoter, before confirming with the replacement act.

13. Cancelling within 48 hours of a performance should be an absolute last resort. The motive for cancellation must be reasonable and unavoidable

14. An act headlining at a regional club should not cancel after posters have been printed with their name on, except in exceptional circumstances.

15. An act should never steal another act’s material.

16. If a writer is stealing material and passing it to other comedians, those comedians should cease using that writer. Discussions about recompense may be expected.

17. Acts must contribute fairly to petrol costs (unless a promoter has agreed to pay this) and respect the driver’s car (eg by leaving it clean & tidy).

18. When sharing a lift drivers will endeavour to drop fellow performers near home when convenient, otherwise at a place where further public transport can be safely accessed.

19. The final decision about where to drop a fellow performer may be negotiated but, provided it is in accordance with the statement above statement, rests with the driver.

20. Compéres should always try to make the atmosphere as positive as possible for performers. Compéres should comply with any request from any performer to be introduced in a specific way. Furthermore, the compére should not make any introduction, comment, facial expression, gesture or other perceptible sign to the audience that might create a negative impression based on the act’s gender, sexuality, religion, beliefs, age, experience, disability or class – unless such introduction has been specifically requested by the act.

21. Acts should seek their colleagues’ permission before inviting friends backstage.

22. Performers should not harass other comedians, staff or audience members.

23. An act must never give a promoter’s personal phone number to other acts without getting permission first.  Assume the mobile number you have is a personal number unless you definitely know otherwise.

24. Acts are expected to behave respectfully when seeking work and not plague promoters with calls. Take a hint if they’re not calling back and leave it a while.

25. This document will be reviewed and updated on a regular basis.

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