Local Authorities

Whether playing music in a community hall, leisure facility or council-owned theatre, you will likely need a licence from PRS for Music if you are playing music controlled by us. A licence is required when the use of music is live, background, conditional upon an admission charge or restricted to employees. Our licence gives you the legal permission you need to play the songs you want.*

How can PRS for Music help me play music in a local authority building?

  • Submitting programme and set list details guarantees an accurate assessment of your fees. You will only be charged for the music we control or that of our affiliated societies.
  • You will have a hotline direct to licensing specialists.

What happens to the licence fee?

Royalty Route

How are PRS for Music charges assessed?

We use over 40 tariffs to ensure suitable charges are applied. The tariffs which may relate to your live venue/concert are:

Additional charges may apply if you're playing music in other ways or areas.

Further information for copying, broadcasting or using music online.

Many of our tariffs have been negotiated with national trade associations or representative bodies. In a few cases, PRS for Music tariffs have been set by the Copyright Tribunal. PRS for Music will apply the nearest equivalent wherever particular performances do not fit the exact scope of a standard tariff. 

How do I get a licence?

If you need a new licence for a live music venue or you are putting on a concert at a venue not already licensed by PRS for Music, please contact us on 0203 741 3621 or email live.newbusiness@prsformusic.com

If you are putting on a concert in a music venue that already holds a PRS for Music licence, this event should be declared to us by the venue and all charging will be arranged through them.

If you have a query regarding an existing venue or concert licence please contact us on 0345 300 6033 or email live.musiclicence@prsformusic.com

Alternatively, fill in your details below and we will direct your query to the correct department so that they can contact you.

What is the process?

Proprietors of local authority premises are primarily responsible for music use at all such premises under their control. For example, if they are the head of the youth service department, they must complete the music use schedule with details from all youth clubs/centres they are responsible for.

  • Local authorities must ensure that all premises they are responsible for, and which are using copyright music, have the appropriate licences in place prior to music use. Please note that in most instances you will need a licence from both PRS for Music and PPL.
  • Full details for all premises at which music is used should be declared, as well as details of box office receipts for individual variety shows and popular and classical music concerts.
  • With regards to outdoor events that the local authority are going to assume responsibility for, these need to be declared during the annual review.
  • To avoid liability for music licence costs at outdoor events on local authority-managed spaces (e.g. parks or town centres), local authorities must follow our new process regarding events run by third parties and notify us prior to each event
  • Programme and set list forms can be submitted electronically (or posted) for all live performances of music under the relevant PRS for Music public performance tariff.

The public performance of PRS for Music’s repertoire requires a licence to be in place prior to use. Events such as carnivals, fireworks displays, Christmas markets, Christmas lights switch-on events, dance displays, authorised busking and live music performances all need to be covered by an appropriate licence if they use music from the PRS for Music repertoire.

While we appreciate that the vast majority of promoters act in good faith and take out the appropriate licences, there have been instances where event promoters have failed to fulfil this requirement. This has, in some cases, resulted in the local authority being found liable to cover costs of licensing these third party events at a later date. Therefore we propose the following three scenarios:

Outdoor Events organised by Local Authorities

Outdoor events that are organised, promoted and executed by the local authority, will be licensed directly to the local authority and should continue to be declared during the annual review of their PRS for Music licence.

Outdoor Events Organised by Third Parties

The following two options are available to local authorities for outdoor events that are organised and executed by third parties, but take place on land (e.g. parks, town centres, etc.) that is managed by a local authority:

1. Option One

The local authority can assume responsibility for covering all or some third party events on their own PRS for Music licence.

2. Option Two

PRS for Music can license the event promoter directly.  However, this option will require the following steps to be taken for each event:

a. Notify PRS for Music prior to the event taking place. The notification needs to be received as soon as the local authority have confirmed that the outdoor event has been granted permissions to take place (e.g. when a Temporary Event Notice or equivalent has been granted).

b. The PRS for Music third party event notice form has to be completed, with details of the planned event and contact details for the third party organiser (telephone number and email address).

Fill out the form to enquire

Please note that this policy relates only to outdoor events. Events within a fixed premises will continue to be licensed to the body responsible for the premises.

If you have any questions regarding this policy, please do not hesitate to contact your PRS for Music account manager to discuss this further.

Are there any circumstances where I may not need a licence?

*PRS for Music licences cover the majority of music originating from the UK and all over the world. However, if you play music outside of PRS for Music’s control, you may need an additional licence from the relevant copyright owner(s). You will also require a TV licence if you are using a TV in your premises. In the unlikely event that all the music you play is out of copyright or is not controlled by PRS for Music, you do not need a PRS for Music licence. In some cases you may also require a licence from PPL. PPL collects and distributes royalties on behalf of record companies and performers. Further info at ppluk.com. All music licences are required under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. It stipulates you must gain the permission of the copyright owner if you play music in public (anywhere outside the home environment).