PRS tariff dispute nears end as all parties reach agreement
The long-running review of the UK popular music concerts (LP) tariff looks to be approaching its conclusion, with PRS for Music confirming it has the support of all “major relevant industry bodies” to push ahead with overhauling the nearly 30-year-old fee structure for shows and festivals.
In a statement released today, a PRS spokesperson says the performance rights organisation has applied to the Copyright Tribunal to “vary the terms of tariff LP”, which has been levied at a flat rate of 3% of gross box-office receipts since 1988.
“This submission has been made with the support of all of the major relevant industry bodies representing the live sector, and is now with the tribunal for its determination. We have nothing further to add at this stage.”
The industry bodies in question are the Concert Promoters’ Association (CPA), Association of Festival Organisers (AFO), Association of Independent Festivals (AIF), Society of London Theatre (SOLT), UK Theatre Association, British Association of Concert Halls (BACH), National Arenas Association (NAA), Glastonbury Festivals Limited and Music Venue Trust (MVT).
A consultation on changes to the tariff closed in September 2015, and it was initially expected the findings would be presented last spring. At the time, PRS denied the tariff LP “only looks upwards”, describing rumours of an across-the-board rate hike as “wildly speculative”. “This has been a thorough, robust and detailed consultation process where we gave every opportunity for the industry to comment and contribute,” it added.
Last June, the Association of Independent Festivals said increasing the tariff would be “catastrophic” for independent festivals, and called for a dedicated PRS tariff for music festivals.
It is not yet known what changes will be made to tariff LP under PRS’s proposals – or if they will even be accepted by the Copyright Tribunal. Responding to IQ’s enquiries as to an expected date for the new tariff, a spokesperson says the decision is “in the hands of the tribunal”.
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