Monday, August 25, 2008

Live Music At The Warehouse

I received a letter from ASCAP, one of three companies that represent the music industry. It appears that they are going after the smallest of venues: coffee shops, markets, private businesses including camps (for singing around the campfire), and more. You should Google ASCAP and see all the complaints. They tried to go after the Girl Scouts but that backfired as the artists complained (I guess they stated to look like money grubbing performers out to make a buck on a bunch of girl scouts singing around the campfire). That's a sign of the times since CD sales are down and top performers are looking for any revenue they can get (not to mention ASCAP which gets about 10-15% if the over 1 billion they take in). What they are legally entitled to is royalties. They get a minimum of $10.00 per live performance for a venue our size. Once ASCAP gets there's, then BMI and other one will come for their share. The fines imposed by the courts are out of proportion to the offense with fines in the thousands per song. Many a small door have eliminated live music because of this. We see no alternative other than ending the live music. I'll be informing the


Bonnie said...

Fred that is a very sad turn of events for At The Warehouse. I have always thought that the live music made our venue special and delightfully warm and friendly. It will not be the same without Mike Thomas and Mark Davenport and all of the other wonderful artists who have entertained us over the last year. I am sorry that you have been forced to make such a difficult decision but it sounds like ASCAP is holding all of the cards in this matter.

Michelle said...

I agree with Bonnie - the music has been an integral part of the whole warehouse experience. What exactly are they asking you to do?

North Albany Blogger said...

ASCAP wants $10.00 per performance. Once they are connected, you then will probably have to deal with two other companies that also get royalties: BMI and I forget the other company name. So figure an additional $30.00 per performance. I know it won't be the same but I don't see how we can absorb more than we already pay ($600.00 per month).