New PRS live music tariff now agreed

Live music - gig

The Copyright Tribunal has just agreed PRS for Music’s new live music tariff for venues and festivals, following three years of negotiations between the collecting society and the live industry.

The tariff, known as LP, will introduce higher rates for most popular music events from 11 June, with a lifeline handed to grassroots venues who submit complete set lists from the gigs they promote.

The general rate rises from three percent of box office takings (excluding VAT) to four percent for those venues disclosing full event revenue information to PRS for Music, including booking fees, administration and service charges.

For venues which do not comply with this requirement, the tariff will rise to 4.2 percent.

The minimum charge for small gigs at grassroots venues reduces from £38 per event to £15 per event, with the minimum charge waivered entirely for venues complying with PRS for Music’s set list reporting requirements.

There will also be a new licensing rate for festivals which meet certain criteria, such as being an outdoor event with temporary infrastructure. The tariff drops from three percent to 2.5 percent, or, where organisers don’t offer full revenue accounting to PRS for Music, 2.7 percent.

The new tariff follows three years of negotiation between PRS for Music and stakeholders across the live industry.

Most parties came to an agreement last September and the tariff was passed to the Copyright Tribunal for consideration, but the final decision was delayed following a third party intervention.

Earlier this week, the Tribunal came out in favour of PRS for Music’s amended proposal.

Paul Clements, executive director of membership, international and licensing at the society, said: ‘I’m very pleased that the Copyright Tribunal has now approved the terms, as agreed between PRS for Music and the Live sector representatives.

‘We have reached an agreement which not only recognises and rewards the huge contribution made by our songwriter and composer members to the live industry but, as importantly, recognises the different needs and strengths of the thousands of venues and events across the UK that are critical to the ongoing sustainability and diversity of the UK live music scene.’

Mark Davyd, founder and chief executive of Music Venue Trust (MVT), told IQ Magazine he ‘warmly welcomes’ the new tariff, adding: ‘It’s a major victory for small venues – especially those under 200-capacity, which desperately needed the abolition of the minimum fee.’