Photographing & Filming at Festivals

1 Introduction

Parents/carers/guardians often want to be able to celebrate the achievements of their children when taking part in Festival activities through taking photographs or films. Festival organisations will also want to promote their activities to encourage increased participation. The Federation therefore recommends that only individuals officially registered with the Festival be allowed to carry out photography and/or filming during the Festival.
This information sheet is designed to help ensure that appropriate and proportionate safeguards are put in place regarding photography / filming and the subsequent use of the images captured. Festivals must therefore take all necessary steps to protect children and young people from the inappropriate use of their images in resources and media publications, on the Internet and elsewhere. This guidance applies whether images are taken using cameras, mobile phones or any other equipment.

2 Legal considerations

Most venues will be privately owned spaces and a clear policy for photography and filming can therefore be set for the duration of the Festival. It is always worth checking with the venue for any specific terms and conditions they may have relating to photography and filming which may be contained in the hire agreement. Where venues have multiple uses the Festival’s policy would only apply to the parts of the venue in use by the Festival at the time.
The artistic copyright of any images taken will rest with the officially registered photographer(s). By registering the official photographer(s) the Festival also has the right to control how the images can be used, this should be done by written agreement with the photographer(s).
Anyone attending the Festival (and entering a privately owned space) must comply with the policies (e.g. photography and filming) set down by the Festival. If a person fails to comply then they can be legally asked to leave as he/she will be committing a Trespass offence against the private owner’s policies.
If filming is to take place then the onus ultimately will fall on the festival to ensure all necessary copyright permissions have been obtained, including where applicable:
– Filming rights of the piece being performed (e.g. Musical Theatre)
– Choreography rights of the piece being performed (e.g. Dance Choreography)
– Intellectual Property rights of the adjudications given by the Adjudicator if filmed
– Brand/Logo copyrights may also be enforced by large / global corporations for both photography and filming.
If in doubt about a particular performance or the use of a brand/logo then it would be prudent to choose something else to film.

3 What are the potential concerns when filming children and young people?

Any organisation working with children and young people should have concerns about the risks posed directly and indirectly through the use of images (photographs and videos) on websites, social networks and promotional publications.
The British and International Federation of Festivals
for Music, Dance and Speech
Festivals House, 198 Park Lane, Macclesfield, Cheshire, SK11 6UD
Tel: 01625 428297 Fax: 503229 E-mail:
Provided by the British and International Federation of Festivals for Music, Dance and Speech – August 2014

Identifying children -The main risk is that the publication of images can be used as a means of identifying children when associated with personal information (e.g. this is X who lives at y; X is a member of the z dance academy). This information can make a child vulnerable to an individual who may wish to contact and start to “groom” that child for abuse – online (e.g. through websites or social networking) or through direct contact in the off-line, real world.
Collateral exposure – This may occur when children and young people are inadvertently included in the photographs of others without consent being obtained.
Split Relationships – Information placed on the internet has also been used by estranged parents (e.g. in adoption or domestic violence circumstances) to identify, trace and cause significant difficulties for children.
Idealistic opposition – In addition the content of photographs can itself be inappropriate, or be used or adapted for inappropriate use. It is possible that inappropriate or adapted material can find its way onto sites showing child abuse images, and that inappropriate images can be shared between groups of offenders.
It is important that Festivals are aware of the risks and take appropriate steps so that the potential for misuse of images can be reduced.
The Federation advises Festival member organisations to adopt the following principles:
• the interests and welfare of children taking part in Festival activities is paramount
• children and their parents/carers/guardians have a right to decide whether their images are taken, and how these may be used
• children and their parents/carers/guardians must provide written consent for their images to be taken and used
• consent is only meaningful when the Festival ensures that children and their parents/carers guardians understand the nature of potential risks associated with the intended type, use and distribution of the images.
Easy rules to remember are:
• Where possible do not include the name of a child whose image is being used.
• If naming a child or group of children in an image, only use their first names, as this will reduce the risk of inappropriate, unsolicited attention from others.
• Avoid the inclusion of other detailed information about individual children.
• Where the image is to be used as part of a story about an individual child (e.g. Young Musician of the Year) then particular attention should be paid to ensuring permission is gained from parent/ carer/guardian and the child so that everyone is aware of the way the image is to be used.
• Where parents/carers/guardians do not wish the image of their child to be used at all, then the responsible adult attending the Festival should ensure that their child is not included in official photos. See section 6 below for recommended texts to include in the syllabus.
• Be clear about how, and for how long, images will be securely stored (including how access to the images, associated consents and other information will be controlled). N.B. The retention of images may require the Festival to be registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office for Data Protection
• Only use images of children in suitable clothes/costume to reduce the risk of inappropriate use.
• Images should positively reflect young people’s involvement in Festival activities.
• With regard to the actual content it is difficult to specify exactly what is appropriate given the wide diversity of performing arts disciplines involved. However there may be some Festival activities (e.g. ballet) where the risk of potential misuse is much greater than for other performing arts disciplines. Where possible the content of the photograph should focus on the performance rather than on a particular child and should avoid full face and body shots.

4 Officially Registered Photographers/Video Filming Operators

An officially registered photographer/video filming operator could be:
• Someone known to the Festival who is specifically booked by the Festival
• A member of the press / media
• An individual associated with one or more of the performers (e.g. a School, an amateur group, etc..)
The Federation advises Festival member organisations to adopt the following principles:
• Provide a clear brief about what is considered appropriate in terms of content and behaviour.
• Carry out an accreditation procedure (see below).
• Clarify and document in advance (ie. a set number of days before the Festival starts) with the photographer details of ownership, retention and access (by Festival staff/volunteers and participants/parents/carers/guardians) to the images.
• Issue the photographer with identification, which must be worn at all times.
• Inform children and parents/carers/guardians that an official photographer will be in attendance at Festival events and ensure they consent to both the taking and publication of films or photographs which feature and clearly identify their child (e.g. close ups, small and large group photos).
• Do not allow unsupervised access to children or one to one photo sessions at Festivals.
• Do not approve/allow photo sessions outside the event or at a child’s home.
• Children, parents/carers/guardians and others should be informed that if they have concerns they can report these to the Festival organiser.
• Concerns regarding inappropriate or intrusive photography should be reported to the Festival organiser and recorded in the same manner as any other child protection concern.
• At some Festivals, organisers and others will reasonably wish to take wide angle, more general photos of festival activities (e.g. opening/closing ceremonies, massed performances / presentations, etc…). Separate to the issue of consents for identifying photographs/footage of individual participants (as above) parents and children should at least understand that these types of images will be taken during, or at specific points in, the Festival. It is not reasonable, practical or proportionate to require parental consents for taking these general types of images, or to preclude it on the basis of the concerns of a small number of parents.
Accreditation procedure: a system should be established. Photographers/Video Filming Operators should register prior to the Festival and their identification details be recorded. Ideally this should be:
• name and address of the person using the camera
• names of subjects (if specific) and
• the reason or use the images are being or intended to be put to
• signed declaration that the information provided is valid and that the images will only be used for the reasons given.
Provided by the British and International Federation of Festivals for Music, Dance and Speech – August 2014

Ideally, identification details should be checked with the issuing authority prior to the event. A clear brief about what is considered appropriate in terms of content and behaviour should be issued. It may include a list of any areas where photographic and recording equipment, including mobile phones, is forbidden under all circumstances (e.g. changing rooms, toilet areas). Unsupervised access to performers or one to one photo sessions at the Festival or photo sessions outside the Festival or at a performer’s home should not be approved/allowed.

5 Unofficial Photography / Filming

The Federation strongly recommends that members do not allow unofficial photography/filming to take place at Federation Festivals and a clear policy to this effect should be published as widely as possible by the Festival in the syllabus, programme, website and at Festival venues. To assist Festival stewards implementing this policy they should be aware of the legal considerations regarding photography/filming in privately owned spaces documented above.
The Federation advises Festival member organisations to adopt the following principles:
• If parents/carers/guardians or members of the public are intending to photograph or video during a Festival then they should be made aware of the Festival’s photography/filming policy and be offered the option to officially register with the festival for this purpose.
• Festival organisers should provide some indication e.g. a badge for each registered camera to help others recognise those who have registered, and respond to those who do not appear to have registered.
6 Public information
The Federation recommend that Festivals adopt their photography / filming policy from the following list:
• no photography / filming during performances with official photography / filming allowed at presentations,
• official photography / filming during performances and at presentations.
The specific details concerning the control of photography / filming should be published prominently in the Festival Syllabus / Programme / Website / Venues and should be announced to the audience prior to the start of each Festival session.
Some recommended wording for Festivals to use:
“No unauthorised photography or video recording is allowed at our Festivals. Where parents/guardians/carers do not wish photos to be taken at all, then the responsible adult attending should ensure that their child/pupil/vulnerable adult is not included in official authorised photos.”
“In line with Federation recommendations we request that any person wishing to engage in any photography / filming at the Festival should seek official accreditation with the Festival in advance by contacting The Scunthorpe Music Festival. The Festival reserves the right to decline entry to any person unable to meet or abide by these conditions. “
“If anyone has a concern about any photography/filming taking place at the Festival then contact the Festival organiser who will be pleased to discuss this matter with you.”

Provided by the British and International Federation of Festivals for Music, Dance and Speech – August 2014