Thursday, 2 August 2012
Songwriters give everything when they perform live. Playing the live circuit can be a tough but exhilarating road to walk down. APRA’s Live Performance Returns (LPRs), which are due by August 31, make the journey a little bit easier by rewarding songwriters for their efforts onstage, paving the way to a more fruitful career.
We spoke to Jen Cloher, a singer-songwriter from Melbourne, about what Live Performance Returns mean to her.
When did you first submit a Live Performance Return?
I’m pretty sure it was around 2003 when a friend showed me his Live Performance Return. He’d scored close to a thousand bucks just by playing a gig or two each week at his local. It was the first time I could see that there were actual returns so I went and lodged one the next year.
What was it like receiving your first Live Performance Return?
There’s nothing like the feeling of seeing your music make you money! It usually feels like you’re paying everyone else before you see a cent so it’s a bloody great feeling! I put the money from my first LPR toward a new Jim Dyson electric which he handmade for me at his workshop in Torquay.
I’m all about making my music business sustainable these days - no more borrowing or running up a debt to create projects. It’s an endless cycle and it starts to kill your spirit after awhile. Any kind of income stream for my music is something I’m interested putting the time into.
Why should artists submit LPRs?
It’s income so claim it! When you’re starting out, most of the time you walk away from venues with nothing. In fact, after you’ve paid for sound, promo and supports you’re usually down. At least your LPR income is something to balance that expenditure.
Why do you perform live?
Performing live is the whole reason I write music. Music is about playing with others and to others – it’s what music has always been about.
APRA’s Live Performance Returns are due before August 31 and can be completed online.
APRA has also produced a video ‘How to Complete your LPRs’ that provides a step-by-step breakdown of exactly what songwriters need to do to make sure they get paid.
For more information on what performances can be claimed, read APRA’s Live Performance Returns FAQ information sheet.
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