All registered Fringe shows are required to fill in a PRS declaration form to clarify the nature of their music use (or lack thereof). You can find further information on the form, and on music licensing at the Fringe in general below.

The PRS declaration form for 2018 has now closed. If you have any questions please email music@edfringe.com.

There are three main types of licence of which you need to be aware:

  • Grand Rights works
    If you are performing a dramatic work (or part of a dramatic work) with specially written music, such as an opera, ballet or musical, you need to get permission directly from the rights-holders. This is usually the publisher.
     
  • PRS for Music
    For most other music, whether performed live or using recorded music, a PRS for Music licence is required. The Fringe Society administers this licence on your behalf and you will find more details about how to submit your information and how the appropriate fee is collected below.
     
  • PPL
    If you are using recorded music, in most cases a PPL licence is required in addition to a PRS licence. You need to contact PPL directly to arrange a licence. Information on the relevant tariffs and how to apply for your licence will be sent round to all companies who indicated that they are using recorded music on their show registration form.

Fees collected by PRS for Music and PPL are then distributed to the relevant artists or organisation.

Every show MUST complete an online PRS declaration form for the Fringe Society, declaring whether you are using music. This applies even if you are not playing music, are playing non-copyright music, or are playing music for which you already have a licence. Full details are given in the FAQs and Tariff below.

A PRS for Music Licence is required for music use whether you are playing that music live, using a recorded version, or via a TV or radio broadcast.

PRS for Music is a not-for-profit music licensing organisation that collects royalties on behalf of over 118,000 members (including songwriters, composers, and publishers) whenever their music is played.

The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 says that permission is required from the copyright owner in order to play music in public – i.e. outside the home and domestic life. A PRS for Music licence makes it easy to get the permission you need, allowing millions of copyright songs to be played live or by any recorded means (for example, on CD or jukebox) or via the internet, TV or radio.

Those who have signed up to the participants mailing list will receive bulletins regarding the music licensing of your show. For more information please contact music@edfringe.com or +44 (0)131 240 1901.

A PPL Licence is required for the use of recorded music e.g. music played through an MP3 player or computer.

PPL licenses the use of recorded music played in public places and broadcast (on TV, radio and online) across the UK. It does this on behalf of thousands of performers and record companies. Members of PPL include major record labels and independents as well as session musicians, ranging from orchestral players to percussionists and singers. The majority are small businesses, all of whom are legally entitled to be fairly paid for the use of their recordings and performances. After the deduction of PPL’s running costs, all licence fee income is distributed to members. PPL does not retain a profit for its services.

The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 says that permission is required from the copyright owner in order to play music in public – i.e. outside the home and domestic life. PPL offers thousands of licensing solutions every year – giving access to millions of songs – at a very low cost.

The Fringe Society operates a bespoke deal with PRS for Music and all shows have to fill in a simple online form about their music use to work out their contributions. The 2017 PRS for Music declaration form will open later in 2017 and links will be provided here when available.

The form will take you through the process of submitting all your relevant information and working out if you need to make any contributions. Any money owed is then deducted from the show’s box office takings before it is paid out by the Fringe Society.

If the online form is not submitted to the Fringe Society, 3% of your box office takings will automatically be deducted from your settlement.

PRS for Music may make random compliance visits throughout the Fringe to check that the information submitted is accurate.

Further information

More information on music licensing can be found on the following websites:

If you have any further questions about music licensing at the Fringe please email music@edfringe.com or call +44(0)131 240 1901.

The 2018 PRS for Music tariff is yet to be confirmed. As an indication of the different kinds of charges that have applied to Fringe shows previously, please find 2017’s tariff below.

Type of Show Music Use Charge
Any show including free shows, with capacity of 1000 or more Any These events must be licensed directly by PRS for Music.

Please call direct on 0800 068 4828 to arrange a licence.
Free show, with capacity of less than 1000 Any PRS for Music will make no charge for music played at these events, in exchange for advertising of PRS for Music’s support.

This advertising will be the responsibility of the Fringe Society and Fringe venues.

Shows are still required to submit a PRS for Music declaration through the Fringe Society form.
Other* shows, with capacity of less than 1000 Shows using only incidental, curtain music and music during scene changes PRS for Music will not make a separate charge for these, assuming a background music licence is in place for the premises.

Shows are still required to submit a PRS for Music declaration through the Fringe Society form.
  2 mins or less PRS for Music will make no charge for music played at these events, in exchange for advertising of PRS for Music’s support.

This advertising will be the responsibility of the Fringe Society and Fringe venues.

Shows are still required to submit a PRS for Music declaration through the Fringe Society form.
  Over 2 and no more than 15 mins 0.5% of total ticket receipts

Please submit a PRS for Music declaration through the Fringe Society form.
  Over 15 and no more than 30 mins 1.5% of total ticket receipts

Please submit a PRS for Music declaration through the Fringe Society form.
  Over 30 mins 3% of total ticket receipts

Please submit a PRS for Music declaration through the Fringe Society form.
Music show, with a capacity of less than 1000 Any 3% of total ticket receipts

Please submit a PRS for Music declaration through the Fringe Society form.

 

  • Free shows - Shows where no charge is made for admission.
  • Music shows - Shows defined as music shows, musicals or operas in the Fringe Programme.
  • Other shows - Any show except for music shows and free shows as defined above.
  • Music use includes all licensed music used as part of the featured performance, not including background music before or after performances or curtain music, incidental music and music during scene changes (as defined). The duration of music use does not include background music, curtain music, incidental music, unlicensed music or scene change music.
  • Background music - Played before the performance starts and after it finishes, e.g. as the audience are taking their seats or leaving, assuming that this does not form part of the performance.
  • Incidental music - Music which does not form a featured part of the show and which is unimportant to the action, and, in a theatrical show, which is not audible to the characters or performed by/to the characters. For example, incidental music does not include music used as part of dance routines or to convey the story taking place in physical theatre.
  • Curtain music - Music as the curtain rises or falls (or as performers enter or exit at the start or finish of the show), which does not form a featured part of the performance.
  • Scene change music - Between scenes, where no performance is taking place, and which does not form a featured part of the performance.
  • Unlicensed music - Music not licensed through PRS for Music or affiliated organisations. Including copyright expired music, complete musical works (Grand Rights works) and music written by a composer who is not a member of PRS (or a PRS affiliated organisation).
  • Total ticket receipts - Gross receipts (but exclusive of VAT) from all tickets sold, regardless of the point of sale, including sales made via the central Fringe booking system, via the venue or any other means. Where the Fringe Society is reliant on the venue or performer to provide additional details of ticket receipts, if the total ticket receipts are not provided, the Fringe Society will assume that all other tickets were sold (for the purposes of applying a charge).
  1. Where copyright music is used you will be charged based on 100% of total ticket receipts, regardless of the point of sale. If you are VAT registered, the PRS charge will be made on your ticket sales net of VAT.
  2. VAT at the standard UK rate, will be applied to your charge.
  3. If the Venue or the company fails to submit total ticket figures we will assume all tickets not sold via Fringe Society Box Office were sold out.
  4. The appropriate amount will be deducted from the final box office settlement in September.
  5. If you fail to complete and submit a form to the Fringe Office, 3% of your Fringe Box Office takings will be automatically deducted from a 100% of your total ticket sales.
  6. If you have no music you must have declared this in Section 1 of the online form or the above will apply.
  7. The duration (in minutes) of music refers to the accumulated total of all music played throughout the show, not the length of any individual extract.

Note: The licence from PRS for Music covers only music and rights controlled by PRS for Music, and those of its affiliate societies worldwide. Any performances of copyright music not controlled by PRS for Music (or its affiliates) are not covered by the central licence and show producers are responsible for their own arrangements.