Event industry fights music fee hike

Trade bodies from the UK’s hospitality industry are united in opposition against tariff hikes that could see the cost of playing music in pubs, hotels and clubs soar.

According to the body that collect royalties on behalf of record companies, Phonographic Performance Ltd (PPL), late night event venues should be paying more towards their Specially Featured Entertainment (SFE) tariffs.

However, since the SFE tariff was introduced in June 1990, costs have risen by 85.6 per cent and are still growing by around 2.99 per cent year-on-year. Big Hospitality reports that should a PPL consultation on the matter be approved, then rates could rocket anywhere between 1,500 and 5,800 per cent.

Medium to large-sized event venues will likely absorb the changes without problems, but trade bodies are concerned for smaller pubs, clubs and restaurants.

Kate Nicholls, strategic affairs director for the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers, comments: “PPL’s proposals are a clear and unprecedented threat to our industry and it is only right that all parties have come together to fight them.

“With average increases for late night bars and pub restaurants of 2500 per cent, PPL’s plans are nothing short of unsustainable,” she added, reports Morning Advertiser.

Hospitality leaders have stated that they welcome further dialogue with PPL regarding the issue. Its members are made up of the following trade bodies: the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA), the Bar Entertainment and Dance Association of Great Britain (BEDA), British Hospitality Association (BHA), and the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR).