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APRA AMCOS to pay royalties for cancelled gigs

Media Published Monday 7 February 2022

Omicron wave hit when live music was set for a comeback.

This is a one-time payment for cancelled AU/NZ performances that were to take place 1 Oct 2021-28 February 2022.

Submissions are now closed - payments due in late March.

APRA AMCOS has announced that it will pay $1.5m in live performance royalties to members for gigs, concerts and festival appearances that were cancelled due to impact of the latest wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The initiative will provide direct financial support to music creators who lost royalties from performances that were scheduled to take place in Australia and New Zealand from 1 October 2021 to 28 February 2022. It follows a similar initiative in 2020 when APRA AMCOS brought forward performance report payments from November to May.

“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,” said APRA Chair Jenny Morris.

“The APRA Board has approved this initiative 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.

“When a gig is cancelled, many are affected financially, professionally and personally. But there is an intangible cost as well when our artists are unable to bring communities together, connect with their fans and when they miss out on the career development that literally can only happen on stage.”

With federal, state and territory health departments consistently failing to consult with the music industry when establishing public health orders that dictate closures, venues, performers and organisers are left to make difficult decisions, often at the 11th hour.

While the recent announcements of schemes for Victorian and New South Wales major events is a crucial first step, APRA AMCOS continues its call on government at all levels to provide wider support to a range of businesses.

“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,” said APRA AMCOS Chief Executive 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.”

The cutoff to submit is 28 February 2022 with payments to be distributed in March. For members who did perform live during the period, the live performance royalty will be fast-tracked for payment in March.