Music Venue Trust has published an open letter calling on PRS members to lobby the PRO to stop demanding the tariff live performance minimum fee – currently set at £38 – from grassroots music venues.
The charity, which works to safeguard the small venue network, is asking writers, publishers and performers to support its request that PRS unilaterally apply the standard fee, which is 3% at present, effective immediately.
“We have been asking PRS for Music to take urgent action on minimum fee since March 2015, and it is now 18 months later,” states the letter, which can be read in full here.
“Minimum fee applied to these shows is resulting in over payment of royalties substantially above and beyond 3%; venues like Green Note in Camden (capacity 60) or Louisiana in Bristol (100 capacity), where 3% of the door takings almost never amounts to £38.
“On a show selling £200 of tickets, where 3% would produce a fee of £6, minimum fee is an effective rate of 19%. This is more than six times the amount being paid by large concert halls or festivals, amounting to an overcharge of £32.”
It continues: “£38 may seem like an inconsequential amount, but across over 400 venues of this type in the UK, putting on over 80,000 shows per annum, minimum fee is removing hundreds of thousands of pounds every year from the venues on this circuit.
“This money would not be due if PRS for Music applied an equitable rate of 3% across the board. All too often, that money simply doesn’t exist.”
A PRS spokesperson told Music Week: “A consultation on the terms of a new live tariff, which naturally includes a review of the minimum charge, is ongoing. Music Venue Trust, among others, is involved in these discussions. However, these are not yet concluded and therefore it is premature and inappropriate at this point in time for us to comment further.”
Earlier this week, Paul McCartney pledged his to support small British music venues in the wake of Venues Day 2016, which took place on Tuesday (October 18) at London’s Roundhouse,