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You may need a licence from PRS for Music and/or Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL) to play music in a theatre, whether live or from a recording.

PRS for Music administers the rights of composers, lyricists and music publishers in relation to songs, instrumentals etc.

PPL administers the rights of record companies and performers in relation to sound recordings (eg CDs).

You will need a licence from PRS for Music if you play live music. You will need a licence from both PRS for Music and PPL if you play recorded music.

You also require separate licences for music played as part of theatrical productions (eg on-stage or off-stage sound effects) and background music played during the entry and exit of audiences and during intervals.

Licence fees are payable, but these vary depending on the type of licence applied for and from whom.

You can find more information about the type of licence you need, as well as application forms and fees, on both the PRS for Music and the PPL websites.

You can also contact:

PRS for Music
Telephone: 0845 300 6033

Telephone: 020 7534 1070

Find out about call charges.

Fines and penalties

You are infringing copyright and could be sued for damages if you play recorded, copyrighted music in public without obtaining a licence.