UK Group Continues Push to Protect Small Venues, Asking for Fee Parity
After London clubs have seen massive closures in the last several years, UK group Music Venue Trust is working to protect London's small venues.This article originally appeared on Billboard
Music Venue Trust, a charity in the U.K. that is aggressively lobbying for the protection of grassroots venues in the country and which drew the support of Paul McCartney earlier this week, is calling for members of PRS For Music to oppose PRS' plans to increase live tariff fees, which it collects from venues as part of its function.
Failure to do so will place further financial pressure on owners of grassroots venues and exacerbate the decline of the U.K.’s live scene, the Trust argues.
At present, PRS charges 3 percent of the gross receipts for a music festival license (with a minimum charge of £38.00, or $50). A review of the tariff was launched last year, provoking the Trust to demand an end to the minimum charge requirement, which, it claims, costs small capacity and grassroots venues “hundreds of thousands of pounds every year.” In its place, the charity is calling for “an equitable rate” of 3 percent to be applied across the board.
“It is not an exaggeration to say that PRS for Music’s refusal to act on minimum fee will be a contributing factor to venue closures,” says an open letter from Music Venue Trust CEO Mark Davyd addressed to PRS for Music members. “We don’t believe that writers, publishers or performers would find it acceptable that a music venue closes because it cannot meet the economic demands of minimum fee.”