Classical Music Concert and Recitals Tariff LC

classical musical concert hero

The revised tariff applies to classical concerts and recitals, giving individual musicians and orchestras the ability to perform any of the works included in PRS’ classical repertoire

The tariff now includes: 

  • a new fixed rate tariff of 6.5% (updating the current rate of 4.8% which has been in place since its introduction in 2003) and a variable rate tariff of 10.5%.
  • as with the previous tariff, programme reporting submission discounts remain available. 
  • a 50% discount is newly available to amateur groups, defined as an individual or group operated by primarily unpaid volunteers and where most revenues are used to maintain the group
  • large orchestras who are members of the Association of British Orchestras (ABO) will able to obtain a licence directly from PRS for Music.

The revised Live Classical tariff will come into effect from 1 September 2023, and will apply to tickets sold from the 1 January. 

Below are some FAQs on the changes.

We will also be hosting webinar sessions with the ABO to answer questions from orchestras. The dates of these webinars will be announced soon.

The Live Classical tariff is used to license the use of copyright music at classical concerts and recitals. These performances usually take place at concert venues, theatres and similar auditoria including outdoor sites. It can also apply to performances of scores composed for film, television, and video games
The current tariff was created in 2003 and was agreed to be fixed for ten years. Following a review of the Live Pop scheme in 2018, the Live Classical tariff was then put forward for review in 2019 and initial public consultations were held regarding our proposals.

After we published the consultation responses, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we paused engagement with the industry until 2022, when many of the COVID-19 restrictions had been lifted from the sector. We also conducted interviews with composers to discuss how their income had been impacted in the intervening time alongside meeting with the major classical music publishers.
The tariff has two rates, a fixed rate which never changes and a variable rate which flexes by how much copyright music is used within an overall programme. In discussions with the sector we’ve agreed an increase to the fixed rate from 4.8% to 6.5%, and the variable rate moves from 8% to 10.5%.

Major orchestras who are a UK-registered limited company with a professional management structure and a member of the Association of British Orchestras are now able to be the customer whereas previously, from when the tariff was initially established in 2003, only a promoter or venue was able to be a customer.

To support grassroots players, amateurs will receive a 50% discount on the updated rates, for qualifying events licensed under this tariff. This makes it easier for thousands of amateur groups across the UK to host events and concerts that include classical repertoire.

Amateurs are defined as an individual or group operated by volunteers, whose performers are primarily unpaid. If a group earns ticket revenue, they may still be considered amateur if the majority of revenue goes towards the running of the group (for example, transportation costs, venue hire, score rental etc). Groups are still considered amateur if they engage a small minority of professionals to assist with the group performances (for example, hiring a conductor, substitute players in the event of illness). If an event is organised by a third-party promoter, it cannot be classified as amateur. Competition performances are not classified as amateur unless they are for performers under the age of 18.

The revenue definition which the % rate applies to has been updated to mirror that of the Live Popular tariff, which streamlines the administration for customers and ensures that in most circumstances a royalty is no longer attributable to complimentary tickets

Small event charges have been simplified. Where previously free events and those with low admission charge had one rate and higher priced admissions had another, we have simplified the scheme for free events and paid events. The new charges for free events are based on attendance starting with the first 50 persons.
The prompt payment discount of 0.3% remains in this scheme for customers electing to license via the fixed rate (discounting the rate from 6.5% to 6.2%). In order to secure this discount a customer must provide full accounting to enable PRS to calculate the royalties due, setlists/programmes for each licensed event and payment within 28 days of invoice.

The minimum fee will continue to be subject to the annual inflationary adjustment.

There will not be a separate rate for live performances of music created as scores for film, TV and video games. As with the current edition of the Live Classical tariff, our specialist team will assess each registered work to determine genre and whether it falls into the scope of this tariff.
This scheme will come into effect from 1 September 2023, and will apply to tickets sold from the 1 January 2023.
All venues, and event promoters that put on live performances need to obtain the correct licence. If a major orchestra wishes to be a customer, then it is the Orchestra’s responsibility to contact PPL PRS directly. If playing at a licensed venue the Orchestra will need to ensure the venue is so notified to avoid being held liable for a licence.
The licence will be administered by PPL PRS, who are our appointed agent. You can find details on how to become a customer on their website.
We have checks in place to ensure that this doesn’t happen.
This should be discussed in the planning stage when events are being booked in with venues. If an orchestra wishes to be a customer, then it is their responsibility to inform the venue.
Amateur groups will receive a 50% discount on qualifying events licenced by Live Classical scheme. The discount does not apply to the minimum charge.
The variable percentage rate depends on the proportion of the programme time occupied by the performance of copyright works for each event and customers who elect to use it do so for every event they license in a given year. If you would like to be on the variable rate for the full year, you need to opt in by the 1 September. You cannot switch between rates throughout the year.

If you do opt into the variable rate you are required to supply all details of works performed at each event within 28 days after each quarter’s events have taken place.

Where the variable rate is selected, the charge for each event shall be calculated by multiplying the duration of the copyright works performed at the event by 10.5%, and dividing that number by the total duration of all works performed at such event.

For example a 90 minute event with 45 minutes of copyright music would work out as: 45 ÷ 90 x 10.5% (the variable rate ) = 5.25% (The final percentage rate will be rounded to two decimal points.)

Contact us

If you would like to contact us, please email:

switching account

Switching your account...