Music License

Live music guide for Venue and Event Organizer #

If you are here you are probably considering using music to entertain your attendees. Whether your entertainment provided is by a DJ, a band, or even if you’re simply playing music from your Spotify account, it’s important to understand that you need a license. The correct type of license to have for live events is called as the name precisely says:

Public Performance: This type of license is for any piece of music that’s performed publicly. Before you get ahead of yourself, playing a song recording is still a public performance. A public performance license is one of the easiest to obtain as this license is procured through one of the rights agencies.

Who is responsible for a License? #

Technically, the performer, event organizer, and venue operator involved with producing the performance are responsible for licensing the music that is performed. The law says all who participate in, or are responsible for, performances of music are legally responsible. However, in practice, the venue or event promoter/organizer is the sole party responsible for obtaining the correct music license do are the one who gets the ultimate benefit from the performance. They are the ones who will be penalized for copyright infringement.

How do I get a public performance license? #

Business owners in the United States should contact the three rights agencies that handle all public performance licensing in the United States, ASCAPBMI, and SESAC, to inquire about obtaining public performance licenses. Expect to report your playlists to these agencies, and share a small percentage of your revenues for royalties, which the agencies then distribute to the copyright holders.

To obtain public performance licenses in the United States, please contact the following performing rights agencies:

1-800-952-7227 ASCAP

 212-220-3000 BMI

 615-320-0055 SESAC

Outside of the United States, please contact your local performing rights society. You can see the full list here.

Sign In


Reset Password

Please enter your username or email address, you will receive a link to create a new password via email.