The music licensing company PPL has announced this week that a new 'Specially Featured Entertainment (SFE)' tariff will be implemented from 1 July 2019.

The current tariff rates have been in place for 30 years.

The tariff applies to nightclubs, pubs, bars, restaurants, cafes and hotels where a DJ is used to play the sound recordings and/or there is dancing by patrons in the venue to the sound recordings.

The tariff will be set by measuring the actual number of people attending an event as opposed to the number a room can hold. This means that the operator will be expected to maintain accurate records. The fee will increase dependant on numbers attending in bands of 25. So, if you have 99 people attending you will fall into one band and if you have 110 people you will fall into the next band.

There will be two new smaller tariff bands for events with attendees of 1 - 25 and 25 - 50. PPL have advised that in many cases this will help to ensure that licensees with small events will pay less for such events than they are paying under the current tariff.

For existing licence holders, the new tariff rates will apply to renewals dealt with after 1 July 2019. So, if your renewal date is prior to 1st July then you will avoid paying the higher tariff until 2020.

The new tariff will have a phased introduction over a five year period starting at an initial rate of 4p per person per hour and increasing each year until the fees reach 9p per person per hour by 2023.

For further information please visit PPL website.

If you are playing live or recorded music you may require a licence from PPL/PRS. You can access the information by visiting the PRS for music website.