The Association of Independent Festivals is celebrating a hard-fought victory for its members today after PRS for Music announced a new Tariff LP today with changes that will see reduced rates for festivals.
PRS’ Popular Music Concert Tariff (Tariff LP) covers the licensing policy and charges for the use of copyright music controlled by PRS for Music at popular events and festivals.
It was announced today that there will be a new royalty rate within the tariff for qualifying festivals, with the royalty rate reduced from 3% to 2.5% or 2.7%. The higher rate of 2.7% will apply where the licensee elects not to account to PRS in respect of revenue generated from booking fees, administration and service charges.
The royalty rate for concerts meanwhile will increase from 3% to 4% or 4.2% based on the same terms. The new tariff will be effective from 11th June 2018 and will apply to events on-sale on or after this date.
A consultation on Tariff LP launched in April 2015, AIF made the argument for festivals to be treated differently to concerts at an early stage; provided a detailed response to the consultation and made key contributions during numerous meetings with the other live industry parties involved and PRS.
AIF has long campaigned on this issue since the consultation, publicly calling for a separate tariff to be implemented for festivals, as well as warning against the catastrophic impact of any PRS rate increase for such events.
AIF argued for a separate tariff that would reflect the unique infrastructure costs of staging festivals in comparison to concerts and the multi-arts content that is a key factor in so many of its members’ events. In addition, AIF highlighted the fact that festivals are a key incubator for emerging musical talent.
The trade body also argued that the nature of festivals has shifted, with music no longer being the sole driver in audiences attending festivals – consumers attend for the overall experience.
AIF’s audience research support this: 51.5% of over 2,000 respondents to AIF’s 2017 audience survey, when asked, “When buying a ticket for a festival what is the single most important factor when deciding which one to attend?” replied that it was “the general atmosphere and overall vibe, character and quality of the event”.
Only 6.5% replied “headline acts” and 29% replied, “the music generally”.
AIF Chief Executive Paul Reed said: “AIF is pleased that, having made the case and called for festivals to be treated differently to concerts at an early stage of the process, this has been acknowledged in the new Tariff LP with a reduced rate for festivals. By working with PRS and our partners across the live industry – including the Concert Promoters Association and others – a resolution has been reached. We have all worked hard on this issue over the last three years and it is a significant result not only for AIF members but the entire festival sector.”