What better way to spend a day than taking in the tastes, sights, and sounds of a winery? People who are looking for a relaxed respite from the rest of the week can even picture the inviting scene – the glass in their hand, the vines growing outside and most likely, music playing in the background.
Don’t disappoint them. Performing Rights Organizations like BMI can help by granting permission to legally perform music in all types of businesses, including wineries, to help set the mood and give customers the experience they daydream about. Why do businesses have to license their music use? Simply put, the law recognizes music as the intellectual property of its creators and anyone using it in a public setting must first get permission from those creators to play it publicly. In essence, music is the product songwriters and composers offer, just like products sold to businesses by other suppliers. And just like other suppliers, licensing fees are how these songwriters and composers stay in business and can continue to create music.
While private events such as weddings, retirement parties, etc., where the invitees fall within the circle of friends and family, are exempt from licensing, pretty much all other types of public performances require a music license. This includes live music, recorded music and non-exempt radio and TV. The good news is that with a BMI license you only pay for the music you play.
BMI represents more than 750,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers and partners with industry associations to offer member discounts for businesses that play music from the BMI repertoire.
Laurie Aldrich, Executive Director of the Virginia Wineries Association had this to say about the program: “Working with BMI has helped our association members understand the importance of licensing their music use and the partnership provides some additional savings off their BMI music license.”
So, which license do wineries need? For music played in your tasting room or on-site restaurant, please download and complete a license for eating and drinking establishments. For music played outside on your winery grounds, please download and complete
a license for venues. Both licenses give you permission to publicly play or perform in those areas any piece of music in BMI’s repertoire of nearly 12 million works.
For more information, please visit bmi.com or call a BMI representative at (800) 325-1395. Please note that if you are publicly performing music represented by another performing rights organization and not BMI, you need to secure a license from that PRO as well.