The Association Of Independent Festivals (AIF) has hailed a "significant result" for the festival sector after PRS For Music's new live tariff included a reduced rate for festivals.
Following an exhaustive three-year process, it was announced yesterday that there will be a new royalty rate of 2.5% within the tariff for qualifying festivals (or 2.7% where the licensee elects not to account to PRS in respect of revenue generated from booking fees, administration and service charges), effective from June 11.
The royalty rate for concerts, meanwhile, will increase from 3% to 4% of gross box office receipts per event (or 4.2% based on the same terms). The tariff was originally set in 1988.
AIF CEO 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.”
The review was sent to the Copyright Tribunal last September. 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 and argued that the nature of festivals has shifted, with music no longer being the sole driver in audiences attending festivals.
Direct licensing campaigner PACE Rights Management has also claimed victory after PRS accepted proportional licensing at festivals.
However, the organisation warned that "no solution has been discussed or agreed" as to how the deal made between the Live Sector Parties and PRS will be operated when direct licensing occurs at festivals.
A PACE spokesman said, "The deal seems to have been rushed through, with little or no thought about how it will actually work."
The spokesman said it also appeared that the decision made by the Copyright Tribunal was not consistent with the judgement in a recent decision by the Belgian courts where a coalition of promoters sued Belgian PRO Sabam.