Hexagon to go non-profit, stop paying ASCAP fees
The Hexagon, a live music club in Station North run by a collective of volunteers, will no longer pay fees to music licensing organizations such as ASCAP and BMI, officials announced this week.
The club is on its way to becoming a non-profit, according to board member Leeann Brown. It has reached non-profit status in the state, and is on the path to becoming a 501(c)(3). Effective immediately, bands and DJs who perform at the club can only play music that's original, fair use or in the public domain. ...
If you're not familiar with ASCAP, BMI or SESAC, they represent hundreds of thousands of musicians/songwriters/etc. from all genres.
Unable to pay the bill, the Hexagon negotiated the fee down to about half the original sum, and was able to cover the costs for last year. When ASCAP approached the club about paying for 2010, the Hexagon refused.
"It would be going against our mission statement to support these organizations," Brown said.
The only other club that has publicly refused to pay ASCAP and co. and continued to operate is AS220 in Rhode Island, Brown said. The Hexagon's board looked at AS220's model, which helped them make the decision to stop paying licensing fees.
This decision does, Brown said, present a potentially risky situation for the club.