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Week 2 – The Song Is Performed At A Local Pub


electronic performing live

Pure-Horse have gone and landed themselves a slot at a battle of the bands gig at the Red Lion; a pub located three roads off the high street in the city centre. It’s an establishment with a flat roof and a strong musk. The regular patrons did not request live music, their preference being the horse racing on the TV and apart from that, abject silence. Alas, the landlord’s son has convinced him to let him put on this catastrophic idea of a concert. It’s the kind of gig where the band have to buy tickets first and then sell them to unwitting family members who feel obliged to support their nieces/nephews. It’s basically a nightmare. The kind of gig you’ve all done at the genesis of your musical careers and vow never to play again the second you walk off stage (the ‘stage’ being the corner of the pub, where the bass player is hidden behind a fruit machine that, it should be noted, still hasn’t been turned off). Pure-Horse are the last on what is an ill advised six band line up and the atmosphere is now quite spicy. One wrong glance here or a spilt pint there and chaos is sure to commence. Nervous, uncomfortable and placid, they race through the first three songs of their set at a tempo previously unrehearsed. The locals are unimpressed and have long since passed the inherbriative stage of ‘jolly’. A few jeers are jeered after the fourth song finishes and just as the drummer begins to suggest wrapping up the set early and escaping whilst they still have all their teeth, the guitarist starts playing the intro to The Song. The following three minutes are worthy of a humanities’ student third year thesis. The gammon-faced, skin-headed, beer-bellied-sporting customers have morphed from sour faced statues and are now conga lining out of the bar, hugging strangers and texting spouses apologising for their shortcomings. The Song has the ability to change people. Pure-Horse triumphs in the battle of the bands competition. Their prize? Eight pints of obviously watered down Carlsberg. They do not accept their winnings.

So when do they get paid? – Approximately 9 months.

The wonderful news here is that pretty much every gig you play results in performance royalties being generated for the copyrights you’ve entertained the masses with. Be it at the local Red Lion pub or Wembley Stadium, you’re going to get some cash and it’s pretty important to make sure you collect it – it is yours, after all.

Within the world of performance royalties for gigging there are two categories: Gigs & Clubs and Major Live Events. We’ll come to major live events further down the road of Pure-Horse’s journey (spoilers, sorry), but for now we’ll focus on…

Gigs & Clubs.

Essentially these are gigs in venues where live music isn’t the sole purpose of the venue and putting gigs on is one way they get punters in to make money. Anywhere that has music playing (be it gigs, jukeboxes or DJ etc.) has to have a license from the PRS to do so and as part of the Gigs & Clubs scheme you’ll pocket around £5 per show, regardless of how many songs you play. The journey of that fiver looks a bit like this…

  • That venue will say to the PRS; “We’re this capacity, we have live music on three days a week, karaoke once a week and we have a jukebox the rest of the time.”
  • The PRS will then say; “Well then your license is £XXX” a year please.”
  • Then when you play a gig at that venue, we say to the PRS; “Our songwriter(s) played a gig at that venue on this date and they performed these following songs which we have registered with you.”
  • Then the PRS will take £5 from that initial license fee and pay it to you, the songwriter, and your publisher.

So to stress; the venue/promoter isn’t paying you this directly and you’re not upsetting anyone by claiming these royalties which are rightfully yours. In the past I’ve had artists say to me; “we’ll stop getting gigs if you go around pestering them for money”, and, as I just hopefully explained, that simply isn’t the case.

If you’ve never collected these royalties before then in certain circumstances you can back claim for gigs up to around 12 months in the past. As mentioned above; these royalties have already been paid by the venue to the PRS, so not collecting them is basically a bit silly. So collect them please. We’ll do it for you of course. We’re nice like that. Our very fancy technology actually interacts with services such as Songkick and BandsInTown, so if you already have all your gigs on those, then it’s easy to import them into your Sentric profile with just a couple of clicks. Nifty.

NEXT: Week 3 – The Song Is Recorded.