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How to Report Live Performances to PRS for Music

If you're performing original material at live concerts, it's likely that you're due royalties from PRS for Music. Use our guidance to find out when to join PRS, the difference between royalty rates, and step-by-step instructions on how to report performances.

Last updated: 08 December 2023

When a PRS Licence is required

When performing live music in premises such as live music venues, clubs, pubs and arts centres, it is likely that a PRS licence will be required for the show.

In most cases it will be the responsibility of the venue/promoter to obtain this licence, but in some situations the responsibility could fall on the artist if, for instance, they are hiring a venue and promoting a show and controlling the box office – in this scenario the artist should check with the venue in relation to the hire terms.

The licence fee is paid to PRS in relation to the show, and this is then administered and distributed, as royalties, to the writers whose works were performed at the show (assuming that the writers are members of PRS).

In order for these royalties to reach the writers, the information (such as the set list), needs to be reported to PRS, and the writers need to be in PRS membership.

How and when to join PRS

The membership fee to join PRS is a one-off payment of £100, or £30 for those under 25.

Membership is individual, so where songs are co-written (either as part of songwriting partnerships or in relation to bands where more than one member writes the songs), each writer needs to join PRS in order to receive their royalties from works that have been exploited.

It is recommended that songwriters join PRS when they feel that their musical works could earn them £100 in royalties over the course of a year, as this would cover the joining fee. As it can be difficult to establish what level of royalties your music might earn over a particular period of time, there is a calculator tool that can help you.

Backdating claims

If you are not yet a member of PRS, but have performed your songs at shows and want to retrospectively claim, there are deadlines according to when in the calendar year you join.

  • If you join between January and June, your joining date will be January 1, so you can report performances as far back as this date.
  • If you join between July and December, your joining date will be July 1, so you can report performances as far back as this date.

There may be some flexibility if your joining date doesn’t allow for a key activity that took place beforehand e.g., if you play Glastonbury at the end of June, and subsequently join PRS in July.

Contact PRS directly with any questions around flexibility on reporting performances.

Register songs with PRS before you report your performances

Before you report live performances, you will need to register your songs with PRS, which includes submitting information about yourself and the other writers (if you co-wrote the songs), publishers (if you are in a publishing deal) and the relevant percentage splits.

How to report live performances to PRS

  • Log into the PRS website
  • Click on Royalties, then select Reporting Live Performances
  • Select Report Live Performance. Input the date of the performance, and then search for the venue using name and part of the address. You can also search for festivals in this way. If you’re submitting details of a festival, ensure that you include the stage that you played on. Once you find the venue, select it.
  • You will then need to upload your setlist by selecting the songs that you performed. You can do this via song title, tunecode or ISWC alongside your name (for tracks that you co/wrote).
  • Click add when the song that you are searching for is shown, and then follow this procedure by clicking add works in order to find the other songs on your set list. You will also need to include any cover songs that you performed, so you will need to know the names/s of the writers involved, and then search for and select the works.
  • If required, you can save a partially-completed set list in relation to a gig, and come back to it later e.g., if you need to obtain some further details regarding the works performed. You will find it under the saved tab on the web page where you report live performances.
  • You will need to fill in the who performed the setlist box with the name of your act i.e., your band name or stage name.
  • If there is a field asking you to select if you were the headliner or support act, it is likely that the show was licensed via the Tariff LP (see below). If you are not asked to select between headliner and support, the show was probably licensed under the Gigs and Clubs Scheme (see below). If you performed as part of a double-headline show, select the headline option.
  • When you have finished compiling the set list and also completing the details about your act, you can opt to submit the performance details.

How to register multiple shows/a tour

Although each performance needs to be reported individually, if you are reporting multiple shows/a tour with the same or similar setlists, you can choose to re-use or adapt a select list which will bring up previously submitted setlists, which you can then choose to copy as they are, or remove/add some songs.

Once you have submitted a setlist, it will be listed under the submitted tab on the web page where you report live performances, and you can then follow its progress.

It will initially show as submitted and then subsequently sent to payment, which means the royalties from that event will be paid in the next appropriate distribution.

PRS royalty rates

Gigs and Clubs scheme

The PRS Gigs and Clubs Scheme is commonly used across pubs, clubs and small venues.

Venues/promoters pay a set licence fee (currently £12.40) per show under this scheme, and this is shared between all the works that are performed at the event and reported to PRS.

For example, if three acts perform original songs and report their setlists, the writers within the three acts will share the royalties according to number of songs/duration of set. Therefore, the headlining act won’t necessarily receive the biggest share of royalties, unless their set is the longest in terms of duration.

Live performances as part of this scheme need to be reported within 12 months (and can’t pre-date your PRS joining date).

Tariff LP (Popular Music concerts)

This licence applies to most concerts that take place in dedicated live music venues, including some grassroots spaces and also larger venues. This tariff doesn’t apply to Classical concerts.

Promoters/venues will pay a licence fee of 4.2% or 4% of box office revenue i.e., ticket sales (depending on the level of information that they submit) subject to a minimum charge of £16 for shows taking place under this tariff.

The songs performed by the headlining act will receive 80% of the royalties, with the sets performed by the support act/s receiving 20% (which will be shared between the acts if there is more than one support).

Live performances as part of this tariff need to be reported within three years (and can’t pre-date your PRS joining date).

Festival Tariff

Festival organisers pay a PRS licence fee of 2.7% or 2.5% (depending on the level of information reported) of box office revenue.

Due to the nature of festivals i.e., multiple acts and stages, it is hard for artists performing original material to calculate the level of royalties that might be payable in relation to their performance. However, it is still worthwhile reporting festival performances to PRS, and any royalties paid in respect of these performances will be outlined in the individual PRS statements that members receive alongside their payments.

Administration charge

PRS take an administration charge from the licence fees outlined above of 23% (subject to a maximum charge of £1,250). Therefore, if you are trying to calculate the approximate amount of royalties that you will receive as a result of a live performance, you need to allow for this 23% to be deducted from the licence fee.

You also need to be mindful of any publishing deals that you have entered into, and the % splits that publishers are entitled to as part of these.

Licensed premises search

There is a searchable database of licensed premises on the PRS website, which shows if premises are licensed by PRS, and how they are classified e.g., as a Public House or a Live Music Venue.

In many cases, venues classified as a Public House will be licensed via the Gigs and Clubs scheme, and Live Music Venues will be licensed under the Tariff LP. However, this isn’t always the case, so it’s worth checking with the promoter/booker if you want to know in relation to your performance.

International concerts

If you have played shows outside of the UK, you will still be able to report your performances and receive your royalties through PRS if there is a reciprocal agreement in place between the collection society in the relevant country and PRS.

You can report international concerts using the same online form. Use the Country drop-down menu in the reporting page, and if there is an option for the relevant country, select it and continue as normal. For details of the tariffs in other territories, you will need to contact the relevant collection society.

International live performances need to be reported within three years (and can’t pre-date your PRS joining date).

View the full terms of use for reporting live performances via PRS.