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These are tough times. Everyone knows that. In the Covid vacuum some people have been trying to make things happen, create events, get musicians playing and crews working on very tight margins as live stream events.

It’s zero help to hear that the PRS want to take 17 per cent of the gross for these events virtually shutting them down. In the real world promotion is a knife edge. Most promoters work on tight budgets and don’t have huge swanky London based offices and salaries like the PRS.

This needs a rethink…

The Music Managers Forum (MMF) and Featured Artists Coalition (FAC) have written to PRS for Music, the UK performance rights organisation, to protest a proposed new tariff for livestreamed concerts, which the associations criticise as “unworkable” and punitive to artists.

The MMF/FAC letter, which can be read in full here, is countersigned by more than 50 artist managers, including representatives for Dua Lipa, Biffy Clyro, Liam Gallagher, Bicep, Fontaines DC, Gorillaz and Yungblud, as well as a group of FAC member artists and songwriters.

The proposed tariff for live streams, described by PRS as a “temporary experimental and non-precedential rate structure”, has been devised without any consultation with industry. It would see a fee of up to 17% of gross ticket sales levied on livestreamed events, and would apply retrospectively to events which have already happened.

Even for the smallest events (those grossing under £50,000), the tariff would be 8% – double the 4% generally charged on a physical concert under the existing tariff ‘LP’.

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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.

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