Music community left short changed by new PRS Virtual Concert Tariffs

Art & Culture


Announcements of a new scheme to charge tariffs on virtually attended events during the coronavirus pandemic is set to affect the livelihoods of musicians, artists, promoters and technical crews across the country, jeopardising thousands within the music community. 

PRS – a UK based agency responsible for collecting royalties for musicians announced that virtual events, both posthumous and in the future will be subject to weighty fee’s which will leave many out of pocket during a period of unimaginable decline for an already struggling industry. UK Music, an independent organisation, estimated that the music industry had halved as a result of the pandemic leaving thousands jobless and struggling. 

Many promoters, musicians and artists have turned to virtual events in recent months, hosting events online in an attempt to raise support and funds. Within the electronic music community these have been well and widely attended with the likes of Club Quarantine and shows by Bicep to name but a very few. 

PRS has announced that any virtual event which did not gross less than £500 will be subject to a newly introduced license fee. For any event which grossed more than £500 a direct tariff will be implemented as part of a percentage based licensing system. These measures are brand new and have been met with heavy criticism from a broad sector of the industry, describing the new fees as a “cash grab”. 

Matt Wickings from Eventcube and Corsica Studios describes the potential impacts on the industry. 

“Online streaming has given a much needed platform for creativity to artists over the last ten months, so to impose a levy on those with smaller audiences and to have the guile to even back date it, means it will effect those who have been hit hardest by Covid disproportionately.”

More details HERE