Vortex board member Oliver Weindling has gone public on his Towerofjazz blog on a sudden cost increase now facing the small club, putting on music seven nights a week, with a capacity of just 90 people. A five star review in the Financial Times today…but no easy solution to a problem like this.
“Any thoughts?” he asks.
(Photo above, Omar Puente at the Vortex by Helena Dornellas)
Weindling writes as follows:
PRS has confirmed to the Vortex that its PRS payment has gone up, from the summer this year, from £8 a night to £32 a night (a quadrupling!) This, I understand, is the standard rate for all small venues.
We find this a shocking increase to us as a club which already operates on a knife-edge. On many nights the club itself, after payments to the band, hardly has enough to cover core costs, let alone an increased PRS payment. To cover it, we would require, on average, an increase in audiences by over 10%, if the full increase were to be met from the club’s share of door income.
So it certainly puts the club at risk, by now having to pay an additional £8000 a year, if we are going to be able to stay as a 7 night a week jazz venue, which is unfunded.
They have listened, but have been unwilling to react, to our plea about helping new composers and PRS members. They have put us in the same boat as any small venue. Even fully improvised music is subject to the same conditions.
The complaint is that a) the increase represents a quadrupling; and b) it is backdated.