October 12, 2014
Burnham-On-Sea theatre hit by 'shock' bill for music copyright costs

Burnham-On-Sea's Princess Theatre has been landed with a shock bill for thousands of pounds by the Performing Rights Society, it has emerged this week.

The theatre has received an unexpected bill for £3,368 to cover music copyright costs from recent performances, the Town Council was told.

Princess Chairman Cllr Peter Burridge-Clayton told a council meeting that the bill had come as a surprise, adding that the theatre was unaware the cost would be a liability.

But he reassured fellow councillors over the unplanned bill. "It's been caused by a communication problem and has come as a shock, but we are dealing with it," he said.

"We previously understood that musical groups would have to pay their own PRS costs, but it's actually us as a venue," he added.

He added that the performing rights charges have ranged from £35 for a band performing live music to a tribute band cost which required 2% of the total box office takings.

The Town Council's Princess Management Committee has decided to make several changes to its hire changes to cover the costs in the future.

"From next year, all bookings will be charged for their cost of the Performing Rights Bill. Lettings will have it as part of the charges in booking the venue," said a spokesman.

"For community events involving music, the theatre manager has some discretion to stagger the increase over 18 months if a need can be provided."


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