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Yourope: Direct licensing ‘needs more work’

Yourope members have spoken of the need for a smooth direct licensing process, as the European festival association's membership reaches a record high of 93

By IQ on 15 Mar 2018

Two Door Cinema Club at Yourope member festival Sziget in 2017

Two Door Cinema Club at Yourope member festival Sziget in 2017


Although it wasn’t as big a deal as feared last summer, direct licensing is on the agenda for members of European festival association Yourope as the organisation reaches its 20th anniversary year.

This season, some Yourope festival members got invoices from acts that bypassed collecting societies, opting to collect the songwriting fees themselves. The problem is, say festivals, while this is a reasonable thing to do, there isn’t a smooth direct licensing process yet.

Collecting societies still claim to offer blanket licences that cover 100% of songwriting fees, which is no longer true. Certain artists take their live performance rights and license it themselves, and the collecting societies need to come up with a mechanism that allows them to adjust their own invoices, which don’t cover 100% of rights.

Collecting societies still claim to offer blanket licences that cover 100% of songwriting fees, which is no longer true

This isn’t helped, the organisation says, by a “very aggressive approach” from the agency representing direct-licensing artists, giving promoters only a few weeks’ notice about an act on the festival’s bill that is licensing directly. Festivals say it isn’t enough time to find a solution that may involve talking to the collecting society or to the artist’s management.

At its recent meeting at Eurosonic Noorderslag, Yourope members heard its Take a Stand campaign has grown to include 14 European associations and 87 festivals from 22 countries. The campaign aims to encourage social cohesion in society by promoting awareness and tolerance for all cultures, genders, races, religions, sexual orientations, colours and origins.

In other positive news, the association now has 93 members, the “highest number ever,” says general secretary Christof Huber. Among its members are Exit (Serbia), Pukkelpop and Rock Werchter (Belgium), Le Printemps de Bourges (France), Sziget (Hungary), and Lollapalooza Berlin and Rock im Park (Germany). Huber says he would love to see the total reach 100 by the end of the year.

 


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