LONDON (VIP-NEWS) — UK based charity organisation the Music Venue Trust is calling on the UK music industry`s licensing body, PRS, to drop minimum fees for small venues.
Grassroots music venues in the UK have seen a dramatic decline in recent years, with the number of small venues in London falling by more than a third between 2007 and 2015.
The trust is now calling on PRS for Music members to lobby for the replacement of the minimum fee with a percentage tariff in order to stem the decline of grassroots venues.
An open letter from the trust`s chief executive, Mark Davyd, described grassroots venues as the "bedrock" of the way new and emerging artists are developed in the UK, and said venue closures presented a serious challenge to the industry.
"Now we need your support so the music industry also plays a role in this effort, ensuring that the terms and conditions demanded from these venues are at least equitable so that we all work to support grassroots music venues and the vital work they deliver," Davyd said.
The minimum fee set by PRS is currently £38. However, the trust is requesting that it waives this fee for the smallest venues and instead moves to using PRS` standard fee, which is 3% of takings, across all venues.
It argued that for venues with the smallest capacities, 3% of takings "almost never amounts to £38", and can result in small-scale venues paying more than six times the rate of large concert halls or festivals.
It went on to say that it has lobbied PRS to take action on the minimum fee since March 2015, but the company has instructed the trust to wait for the outcome of its next tariff review, in nine months` time.
A statement from PRS for Music sent to Music Week said: “A consultation on the terms of a new live tariff, which naturally includes a review of the minimum charge, is ongoing. Music Venue Trust, among others, is involved in these discussions. However, these are not yet concluded and therefore it is premature and inappropriate at this point in time for us to comment further.”
A report published in 2015 by the Music Venues Taskforce – set up by former London mayor Boris Johnson – warned that the steep decline of grassroots music venues in the UK could hav