Licensing threat to future of Balstock music festival

PUBLISHED: 13:00 07 October 2012

Balstock 2012

Balstock 2012


THE future of a charity music festival could be in doubt if organisers cannot come up with funds for a licensing fee.

Organisers for Balstock music festival which has been going for the past seven years have been approached by the Performing Right Society (PRS) to pay more than £1500 to perform next year.

They were approached after the seventh Balstock festival which took place in September where more than 150 acts played in 13 venues around the town.

This year Balstock had more than 600 musicians and a record number of crowds who turned out to enjoy the three day festival which this year was raising money for the Baldock Town Hall Group.

Organiser of Balstock, Graeme LaRoche said: “I completely understand where PRS is coming from but I fail to see a justification for them to ask us for money especially as we are a charity festival and all the pubs will have their own PRS license.”

Mr LaRoche who is currently in negotiations with PRS to come to an agreement to only pay for a licence for the stage on the High Street said the worse case scenario would be Balstock would have to fold for next year as the team is made up of volunteers who work for free to make the festival a hit and already struggle to put the event on.

He added: “My feeling is that Balstock supports the local area and local businesses and also a great amount of local musicians and the music scene.

“We don’t have much financial backing and we work hard for eight months to promote ourselves, this makes things difficult for us in the future and I’m worried we won’t be able to do Balstock unless we downsize.”

A PRS spokesman said: “A festival does need to be licensed and we license all uses of music. It would be unfair on those that do take out a licence if we didn’t license all festivals fairly. To our knowledge we don’t believe that Balstock Festival applied for a discount through our Charity and Community scheme but this is something we recommend all music festivals run for community benefit explore.

More news stories

33 minutes ago

Businesses have also been doing their bit to commemorate the centenary of the end of the First World War.


A bike was stolen from outside a shop in Hitchin on Sunday, and police have now released a CCTV image of a man they would like to speak to as part of their enquiries.

A woman devoted to honouring her father’s memory has been a Poppy Appeal volunteer for 35 years.


House prices leapt up in Stevenage during September – but the market remained flat in St Albans and Welwyn Hatfield.

Most read stories

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Read the The Comet e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

The Comet weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy