Re:Sound recently applied to establish a fee structure on the airing of recorded music to accompany live entertainment; receptions, conventions, assemblies and fashion shows; karaoke bars; festivals, exhibitions and fairs; circuses, ice shows and fireworks displays; parades; and parks and other public areas. The Board has recently authorized the fees. That’s where the press got the idea that parades and weddings are going to be out of business.
Now, we’ve the theory straight, sort of, let’s look at the numbers. In a parade, Re:Sound will be able to charge $4.39 per float with recorded music. That’s only half of the already existing SOCAN rate of $8.78. That’s right: you should have had a SOCAN licence for that float in the Canada Day parade before you crank up the volume on “Bud the Spud.”
Actually, parades and parade music are small potatoes. Re:Sound is expecting to draw in less than $3,000 from them. The big-ticket item is “receptions, conventions, assemblies and fashion shows.” Those expected to pull in over $1.5 million per year, again at about half the existing SOCAN rate, but don’t cancel that wedding just yet.
Let’s assume that weddings constitute one quarter of all of those receptions, conventions, assemblies and fashion shows. Now according to one website I checked, you can expect about 157,866 weddings in Canada during 2012. If my mental arithmetic is right, that means that each wedding will cost about $2.50 more than the facility holding the event already pays. That may not be small potatoes, but it’s still a few truckloads short of amounting to a hill of beans, at least on a per-wedding basis.
Speaking of weddings, I discovered a website called Our Wedding Songs dot Com, which suggests appropriate songs for each element of a wedding; the ceremony, the bouquet toss, the garter toss, the father and daughter dance and so on. I notice that for “first dance” songs, “From this Moment” by Shania Twain places a respectable ninth. “Bud the Spud” doesn’t seem to be on the list at all.
What’s the top song on the list? It’s “At Last,” sung by the late, great Etta James, but someone else wrote it; she’s just the performer.