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Playing a bar while underage

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by MurvintheWalrus, Jul 28, 2008.

  1. MurvintheWalrus


    Sep 21, 2007
    Now how has anyone MODERN DAYS Millenium and forward, gotten to play a bar or club while they were under 21 like 16-21? Do you have to play with older people and sneak in and out or do you make an agree ment. Also anyone in the greater columbus ohio region with experience or hook ups please PM me. Also any good stories of playing a bar underage would be cool. Im trying to kill two birds with one stone, so this might be in the wrong section. Anyway, post away...
  2. My advice is to be upfront with the owner of the club, and make it clear to the servers as well. If you're not there to drink and you can convince everyone of that, it should be cool. But it is up to the owner, period.

    I have students in CO who play clubs underage. I don't know the details of the situation, but they haven't been kicked out yet.
  3. IanStephenson

    IanStephenson UnRegistered User

    Apr 8, 2006
    Different counties, different areas, and even different bars in the same street can and do have different rules. Some of these are at the bar owners discretion, but some of them are in the terms of their license.

    I'd be upfront, because no bar owner is going to risk their business just to let you play - if there is a real problem (legal), when they find out you'll be sent home, and never get booked back. On the other hand if the bar owner has discretion they'll give you the benefit it anyway.
  4. Audiophage


    Jan 9, 2005
    Most places that I played when I was under 21 or play now with others who are under will tend to ID everyone in any bands, and if they are under, in addition to the usual B on both hands, they'll and X's.
  5. ric1312

    ric1312 Banned

    Apr 16, 2006
    chicago, IL.

    When I was in my late twenties we had a drummer that was 19. He smoked! His dad used to be in some touring band and taught him his chops.

    Two things we did:

    1. called the bar ahead of time and explained/ made sure it was alright.

    2. His dad came with him. Sometimes, his mom too, they liked rock and were supportive. Funny, they'd give me the stink eye if the gig was an hour drive away.

    Not sure about the law, but I think if a minor is accompanied by a guardian they can come in so long as they are watched and don't drink. We played about a dozen or so bar/club gigs that way. Only had two owners say it wasn't alright. Found out later one of those places was really rough and had regular fights, so a minor on top of it wasn't welcome.
  6. Deacon_Blues


    Feb 11, 2007
    We did one or two bar gigs when all of us in the band were underage (17, the limit here is 18). We just had to have our parents present and we couldn't buy any drinks. These circumstances were the main reasons we didn't do more bar gigs in the beginning... ;)
  7. I really don't know, when I was in my 20's we played a show 21 and over club and my roadie was 19 and after he set me up he had to wait in the truck:crying:> so a couple years ago I went to a blues festival on Catalina Island and I walked into a bar and see this kid 12 or 13 at the most shredding away on his guitar making the older guys he was playing with look silly.:ninja:
  8. sevenyearsdown

    sevenyearsdown Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sanborn, NY
    I played tons of shows before I was 21. Some places checked ID and X'd my hands. Others didn't do anything with regards to the band. I was in a band with guys who all had me by at least 4 years though.
  9. q1014


    Aug 17, 2007
    I played in a bar im 14 talked to the bartender let her know what was up and then no one asked any question played pool with some friends got drinks (coke) from the bartender and played music its about letting the owner know whats up and not acting like a child
  10. bl2112


    Jul 11, 2008
    I was told it was cool as long as your in the band. I'm 17 and the guitarist is 21. Yea I'm cool, high school senior playing in a collage band:cool:
  11. maxiegrant

    maxiegrant Bassist in Transition

    Nov 26, 2007
    Sellersburg, IN
    Hilarious. I got a work permit at age 17 to play in bars.

    Lived in Denver, CO.

    That was 1986, so things may have changed. But I certainly didn't have to sneak in. At 17 I looked like I was 12, so there was no fooling anyone. I just walked in and presented my work permit and away we went.
  12. Mojo-Man

    Mojo-Man Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2003
    I don't know if it changes state to state? (Ma)
    But, I've played with a 14 year old in a bar.
    They must have parents permission You have he right to make a living?

    They also can have no contact to bar.
  13. Joel S.

    Joel S. Reserved for future witty use...

    Jul 9, 2008
    I know of DJs playing clubs as young as 18, and have run into gigging bands with minors.

    I'm guessing the entertainment laws are different than the laws regarding patrons regarding bars and such.
  14. im 16 and i play bars all the time, but my dad knows the owners so idk whow much that helps.
  15. Guest043

    Guest043 Guest

    Apr 8, 2008
    im 17. i started playing in bars and clubs in and around new york city when i was 14. the genneral agreement is "ill let you play but youve gotta get out of here the second your set is over"

    ive never encountered any real problems with my age.
  16. namraj


    Feb 7, 2008
    I'm 19 and i've played loads of bar gig's, but then I'm in the uk :p, seriously though its only a big deal if the bar want to make it a big deal so either don't tell them you're underage unless they ask (got away with that loads when i was 16 and 17 (this also meant I could drink because I was in the band), or just promise not to drink and make sure the owners trust you on it and stick to your promise.
  17. RedSubway


    Jul 26, 2008
    I'm 17 and my band (a Blues trio, other members are both 18) played a bar without any trouble. It was an open mic too, so it wasn't even an official gig. We played until closing time haha.
  18. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2002
    Well, I'm not sure what your definition of "modern days" is, but I started gigging in bars at 16 (in Ohio...just like you are). The legal drinking age was 18 at the time. As other posters have said, just make sure the bar owner or manager is aware of the situation, and then show yourself to be considerate about the situation and don't try to break the underage drinking laws. The bartender or waitress who would serve you is subject to a mandatory minimum fine of $500. They would certainly not appreciate that.
  19. Dogbertday

    Dogbertday Commercial User

    Jul 10, 2007
    SE Wisconsin
    Blaine Music LLC
    I've played in bars for a looong time (i'm 19 now)... sometimes it was illegal... after 18 it's not here... most bar owners don't know that so I carry a copy of the wisconsin state statue that says that in my wallet at all times... I'd look up your local laws... and if it IS illegal... be upfront with the owner and just don't go near the bar (that's what i do anyway)... not to say I haven't been in on a pitcher a few times with my older bandmates...
  20. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    I played a ton of bar gigs in Boston under 21. I actually played one where our ages ranged from 16-22, but for the most part, I was the only one in the band that wasn't 21. Most bars/clubs would check ID of all the band members, some didn't care, and some even gave me drink tickets without asking if I was 21. It can really vary, just don't do anything stupid or call attention to the fact that you are underage and it's usually not a problem that you're there.