Air Force Bands may perform for public and civic events if the event is of general interest or benefit to a local, state or national community. However, Bands may not participate in events that are commercially sponsored; are designed to increase business traffic or raise charitable donations; or are associated with a religious or ideological movement, such as a Christmas parade, beauty pageant or political gathering. A religious facility is an authorized site for a public concert when the event is of community-wide interest, non-sectarian, and broadly promoted. Air Force Band concerts must not be part of a religious service. An Air Force Band performance in a religious facility does not imply federal endorsement of any particular religion or ideology. With the exception of concert tour performances, requestors may be required to fund a Band's travel, lodging and per diem expenses for performances outside of their geographical area of responsibility.
Air Force Bands may perform for a wide variety of public and civic events. However, these performances generally fall into one of two categories.
Patriotic openers, approximately 15 to 20 minutes in length, serve to initiate the formal portion of a military, civic or governmental event. In this setting, a Band may perform a program of military and patriotic selections prior to the formal presentation of the Colors. The musical program must include the national anthem unless the ceremony includes a recital of the Pledge of Allegiance. During patriotic openers, a Band may not provide music for entertainment, such as dancing music, cocktail and dinner music or concert and show music.
Public concerts in a traditional concert hall, outdoor venue or parade must be free and open to the public. However, a Band may perform at fairs, exhibitions and similar events with admission fees if the performance is incidental to the primary event, and no additional fee is charged to hear the Band play.