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AIF warns against ‘absurd’ PRS for Music tariff increase

The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) has spoken out against PRS for Music’s potential increase on fees paid by the association’s members.

PRS for Music currently charges 3 per cent under tariff LP to all concerts and festivals. The collection society recently launched a review of this tariff that could see the fee increase.

AIF believe any rise in fees would bankrupt and close grassroots festivals, and are calling instead for a separate festival tariff that will take into account the unique challenges, tight margins and high-risk nature of staging music festivals. The association points to the ‘multi-venue’ Tariff MS in Ireland as a model.

“It is remarkable and absurd that festivals and concerts sit under a single tariff,” said Paul Reed, general manager, AIF. “With the global recorded industry in transition, independent festival promoters are taking risks on breaking artists and staging high-risk events on incredibly tight margins. PRS for Music’s plans to increase this already inflexible and damaging tariff could mean the bankruptcy of many events that provide a valuable platform for both emerging and established artists.

“There is a clear, unarguable need for a separate festival tariff. This already exists for festivals in Ireland – a clear precedent and a workable model that PRS should consider and which would result in a solution that is fair, transparent and sustainable.”

AIF made its points in a consultation response to PRS for Music.