The Recording Industry’s Music Performance Trust Fund (MPTF) provides live and FREE music all year round in the U.S. and Canada. With COVID-19 prohibiting most types of live in-person performances, MPTF has developed a program to present concerts virtually via live stream.
How to produce MPTF-sponsored streaming performances during COVID
There are special rules in place while the plague is upon us. What hasn’t changed is this – there must be a 3rd party who serves as the employer of record. What’s new is that the MPTF is funding 100% of both live and streaming performances during the pandemic. It costs the “employer” nothing but a little paperwork.
For AFM Local 47 members, if you are in need of an employer of record, the Music Fund of Los Angeles may act as the employer. Please contact the President’s Office for pre-approval: 323.993.3182, firstname.lastname@example.org.
For live performances during COVID, the only wrinkle is that you must upload a letter from the employer and/or venue stating that (1) the performer(s) have the venue’s permission to stage a performance, and (2) safety protocols will be followed. Contact the MPTF directly with questions about live performance applications.
Instructions for streaming performances are as follows:
BEFORE THE PERFORMANCE (STREAMING ONLY)
- If you already have an employer of record (or are your own employer): Submit your grant proposal to Local 47 MPTF Administrator Diane Lauerman: email@example.com, 323.993.3156
- If you need an employer of record: Submit your grant proposal to Music Fund of Los Angeles: firstname.lastname@example.org, 323.993.3182
Include a brief description of the performance, the date and time, venue (inc. city/state), cost, and contact information for the 3rd party “employer” and local tech support. Local tech support should be provided by someone who isn’t performing; s/he can be paid along with the musicians as long as you include her/him in the application. If your local doesn’t have a scale for tech support, s/he can be paid as a sideperson, leader, or contractor. Performances must be live-streamed, not recorded in advance, and the stream may not be recorded, captured, or archived in any way. The simplest way to do this is for the performance to be streamed on the MPTF Facebook page. However, streams may be hosted on external platforms if the repertoire is public domain and other strict conditions are met.
Local 47 will then submit your grant proposal to the MPTF for pre-approval. Once a decision is made regarding your streaming event, they will contact you. If approved to move forward, your proposal will then be sent to AFM. The Local will then procure a live engagement contract (L-1, L-2, or LS-1) signed by the contractor/leader and the 3rd party “employer.”
AFTER THE PERFORMANCE (STREAMING ONLY)
- The employer writes at least two checks: one to the leader or payroll service to cover the musician(s)’ wages, extras, benefits, and payroll rollups, and a separate check for the pension contribution(s). Streaming agreements always require a pension contribution. If the live engagement contract also requires a pension contribution, the two contributions can be combined into one check.
- The MPTF will reimburse the employer in full.
- The contractor/leader completes a B-7 report form and sends it to the Local.
- The musician(s) remit work dues to the Local. Alternatively, the contractor/leader can remit work dues for the entire band, or the employer/payroll service can withhold and remit. For MPTF-sponsored performances, the work dues rate is 5% of scale (in this case, scale is the local rate PLUS the 10% streaming fee). Locals keep half (2.5%) of the work dues and remit the other half to the Federation via line 4 of the Federation Work Dues report form.