Folk singer cops fine after young son’s concert cameo deemed child labour

Next time you plan an event in Germany, you might want to check the ages of your performers, or you might cop charges for child labour.

Yes, this is something that happened. Recently. A German folk singer was fined €3,000 ($4,606) for breaching Bavarian child labour laws after his four-year-old son performed on stage with him.

The singer, Angelo Kelly, received the large fine from the Hassfurt administrative court after his son sang “What a Wonderful World” during an evening open-air concert in 2019, according to North America’s Associated Press.

“During this performance, the child, William, stood for at least 30 minutes on the stage where he played along, sang along and interpreted his own song,” the court said, according to local media.

“This is considered work by the Youth Labor Protection Act.

Under German law, children aged three to six are only allowed to take part in musical performances for up to two hours a day between 8am and 5pm, but authorities said William, Kelly’s youngest child, was on stage until 8:20pm.

Kelly’s lawyer, Julian Ackermann, said the ruling was an overreaction and calling a “brief appearance on the stage in the presence of one’s mother and siblings at a concert given by one’s own father” child labour was “far removed from the facts” and legally wrong, according to AP.

Kelly posted to Facebook confirming he would appeal the verdict.

“As a father, the wellbeing of my children is the most important thing for me,” he said.

“William was and is never obliged to appear with us at our shows. If he did it, it was because he wanted to.”

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