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APRA AMCOS to pay members over lost royalties due to cancellations

APRA AMCOS, a joint copyright management organisation, has announced it will pay out AUD$1.5m ($1m/£795,000/€943,000) in live performance royalties to members for gigs, concerts and festivals that were cancelled due to the latest wave of the pandemic.

The scheme from Australasian Performing Right Association and Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society (APRA AMCOS) will offer financial support to music creators that lost royalties from performances in Australia and New Zealand.

The events eligible must have taken place since October 1 last year, covering events up until the end of this month.

A similar initiative was introduced by the organisation, which jointly represents 100,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers in Australia and New Zealand, in 2020.

APRA chair Jenny Morris said: “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.

“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 make from the live performances of their songs.”

She added: “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.”

APRA AMCOS members can already submit their claims for cancelled performances, with the cut-off date for submission being February 28.

Dean Ormston, APRA AMCOS chief executive, said: “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.

“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.”

Image: Daniel Chekalov on Unsplash