PPL’s New SFE Tariff

PPL has radically changed the structure and level of fees charged under its Specially Featured Entertainment (“SFE”) tariff, the tariff that applies to playing recorded music in public as part of discos, dances and DJ sets/presentations. The new SFE tariff was introduced on 1st January 2023.

The major change to the tariff structure is that a Disco/DJ event will now be charged based on the actual attendance and not as previously on an average attendance. PPL will require the reporting of actual attendances in written or digital formats for individual sites going forward. A new reporting spreadsheet is required by PPL and can be obtained by emailing david@davidnewham.co.uk

Attached are some FAQs that you might find useful along with the new PPL tariff rates.

If you have any questions about the new tariff contact David Newham Associates on david@davidnewham.co.uk and we will answer any queries about the new tariff as soon as possible.

PPL’s New Specially Featured Entertainment (“SFE”) tariff



Full details of the new SFE tariff and more detailed guidance notes can be found at


  1. What types of premises does the new PPL SFE tariff PPLPP299 apply to?

It will apply to SFE events taking place at pubs/bars, nightclubs, hotels, restaurants and cafes.

SFE events at other types of premises will continue to be licensed under the existing PPL SFE tariff PPLPP001

  1. What is an SFE Event?

SFE events include playing sound recordings in public as part of discos, dances and DJ sets/presentations (the latter is where a DJ is used to play the sound recordings).

The tariff applies regardless of whether the recordings are played at the venue (for example, from vinyl, CDs and memory devices such as hard drives) or are transmitted to the venue (for example, by an internet stream).

  1. When will the new SFE tariff apply?

The new SFE tariff comes into force on 1 January 2023.

Fees for SFE events at pubs/bars, nightclubs, hotels, restaurants, and cafes will be charged under the new SFE tariff if they take place in a customer’s Licence Year that starts on or after 1 January 2023.

For example, if the start date for a customer’s licence is 1 July 2022, the new SFE tariff will first apply to SFE events taking place at their site(s) from 1 July 2023 onwards.

  1. How are the fees calculated?

In both Tariff 001 and the new SFE tariff, the fees are based on the attendance at and the duration of the event. The way that attendance is calculated under the new tariff is however changing (see below)

  1. What records do I need to keep?

For each SFE event you need to record the duration of the event and the total attendance at the event.

To calculate the total attendance at an event, you must count all persons in the premises (including guests but excluding staff) when the SFE event starts and then count every additional person (excluding staff), subject to the guidance below, that enters the premises during the SFE event. The total attendance for that event is the sum of the original persons in the venue plus any additional attendees who arrive throughout the event.

For example, if you have 50 persons in the venue when the SFE event starts and over the course of the event a further 125 people visit the premises, the total attendance for the SFE event is 175 people (50 + 125).


If a person exits the premises, or relevant area within a premises, during an SFE event for a brief time, e.g.: to smoke or to use their mobile phone, they should not be counted as an additional attendee at that event on their return to the premises or relevant area of the premises. Save for these situations, each person entering the premises, or relevant area of the premises, must be added to the count for the attendance record.


For SFE events where it is not possible to count all persons attending the event you should make your best assessment of the total attendance at the event and record this figure once the event is finished.

PPL PRS will be providing an excel spreadsheet, in advance of 1 January 2023, to assist you with recording and providing the information required under the tariff. If you do not wish to use the spreadsheet, please keep a written/digital record of the total attendance and duration of the event for each event

  1. How will PPL PRS calculate my fees in the first year?

As part of your licence review process, PPL PRS will firstly review the events that you held in the last year for which you were charged under the existing SFE tariff.  The purpose of this review is to check whether the number of events held and the attendance at and duration of these events were in line with the licensing detail used to calculate the charges for that year.

PPL PRS will then use these figures, subject to any anticipated changes, to provide an estimate for the year going forwards.  You will need to take into account the changes in the way that attendance is reported under the new tariff when providing estimates of attendance for the forthcoming year.

Throughout the year PPL PRS will ask you to keep a record for each event of the total attendance at the event and the duration of the event.

As part of your annual review PPL PRS will then compare the actual figures to the original estimate and an additional invoice/credit note will be raised as required.

If you have any questions or issues concerning the new tariff or the renewal process generally, please contact:.

David Newham Associates (DNA) Tel: 07967 681908
Website: www.davidnewham.co.uk   Email: david@davidnewham.co.uk