After consultation with venues late last year, OneMusic is set to radically change the way hotels and bars with a dancefloor or nightclub proposition will be licensed under the Recorded Music for Dance Use (RMFD) tariff.

Where a venue previously held a licence with both APRA AMCOS and PPCA, under the combined OneMusic licence the RMFD rate will drop from $2.27 per attendee to $1.87 per attendee. Under the proposal, venues that are already licensed under OneMusic will also see a decrease in the RMFD rate.

The decision comes after feedback from venue operators that the majority wanted to move from a rate based on capacity to one based on attendance, citing that their dancefloor and nightclub offers were not always filled to capacity. Under the new rate, the fees will be calculated by the number of people in the nightclub at one point in the night, and will be capped at the capacity of the space. So if your turnover of people for the night (those coming in-and-out through operating hours) exceeds more than your capacity for that space at any one time, you will not be charged for more than your capacity.

“This is not only coming out of consultation with operators, but is our way of assisting venues with dancefloors to reopen those spaces, after being hit so hard by COVID,” stated OneMusic director – general licensing, Catherine Giuliano.

OneMusic has waived RMFD fees while dancefloors have been closed, and has also lobbied governments at the Federal and state levels to provide assistance to live music venues. That lobbying has resulted in many grants that venues with a live music proposition can apply for. While nightclubs miss out on that level of support, Giuliano says the decrease in fees is the way the music body is helping support an underappreciated sector of music entertainment.

“Nightclubs are the unsung heroes. They represent recorded music, which is a whole genre, like electronica. It’s a whole cultural aspect out there, particularly for younger people. And that’s their experience of music, it’s how they get into it. So nightclubs are really important, and there should be more incentives and grants for them – this is our contribution to get them back on track.”

In another show of support, the less significant Featured Recorded Music fee – where a DJ plays in venue not for dancing purposes but for background/ambience – will remain at its current rate, rather than increasing as was proposed early last year. Giuliano stated that its rate will not be reviewed for at least another year.

OneMusic is expecting to bring in the decreased RMFD rate by 1 April, and is urging any more feedback from venue operators by 26 February.

Vanessa Cavasinni

Vanessa Cavasinni is the managing editor of Australian Hotelier and Club Management, trade publications for the pub and club sectors respectively. Vanessa has been at the helm of Australian Hotelier since...

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