The Brag Media
News February 7, 2022

APRA AMCOS to pay $1.5m in live performance royalties for COVID-cancelled shows

Senior Journalist, B2B
APRA AMCOS to pay $1.5m in live performance royalties for COVID-cancelled shows

Live performance royalty cheques will continue to roll in, even for those musicians whose shows were scrapped due to the Omicron variant.

Today (7 Feb), APRA AMCOS announced it would pay $1.5 million in royalties to members for cancelled gigs that were scheduled to take place in Australia and New Zealand from 1 October, 2021 to 28 February 2022.

The initiative is an extension to payouts made in 2020, when APRA AMCOS moved forward its performance report payments to May from November.

“Just as it felt like things were starting to open up and live music was ready to kick off a successful summer season, the latest COVID-19 wave once again cancelled live events causing substantial financial loss and emotional strain to our members and the broader industry,” comments APRA Chair Jenny Morris in a statement announcing the royalties.

The announcement was made as another event, So Frenchy So Chic Festival, scheduled for Saturday, 19 February in Sydney, was scrapped citing the current NSW public health orders banning audiences from dancing and singing.

The APRA board approved this royalties measure “so that swift action can be taken to support our members and pay them for the royalties they would have made from the live performances of their songs,” Morris notes.

Jenny Morris

The Omicron wave was a kick to the gut for a music community eager and ready to get back on stage.

With health departments at all levels “consistently failing to consult with the music industry” when establishing public health orders which determine if the show can go on, the PRO states, it’s the artists and organisers who are often left to make the call, usually late in the game.

“APRA AMCOS is putting royalties into the pockets of our members for the performances they intended to play. They planned, prepared and practiced and through no fault of their own, once again they lost work and income,” comments APRA AMCOS CEO Dean Ormston.

“We urgently call on government leaders to provide direct support to the artists, sole traders and small to medium businesses through a wage subsidy program, ongoing crisis support through Support Act, micro-business grants and a national insurance scheme.”

Dean Ormston

Dean Ormston

Ormston recently told TIO that, during the month of December, typically a peak period for live music activity, business was at just 6 per cent of the pre-COVID period, based on the association’s data.

While emergency funds for major events have been announced in recent weeks and months by the Victorian and New South Wales governments, APRA AMCOS reiterates its call on government at all levels to provide wider support to a range of enterprises.

The deadline for APRA AMCOS members to submit for royalties is 28 February 2022 with payments to be distributed in March.

For members who did perform live during the period, APRA notes, the live performance royalty will be fast-tracked for payment in March.

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This article originally appeared on The Industry Observer, which is now part of The Music Network.


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