Music licensing regulations could force Melbourne’s gay and lesbian bootscooting troupe out of next year’s Pride March.
The New Frontier Dance Association said the costs involved in licensing music means they are unable to perform to their chosen tracks.
NFDA spokeswoman Monika Pocervina said the group had tried to dance to music played at Pride March in past years, but members were disenchanted at not being able to clog and bootscoot to their favourite country tunes.
-œThey play doof-doof music and we can dance to some, but we need tracks to bootscoot and boogie to that people know, she said.
The NFDA group draws strong crowds at Pride March, Midsumma and ChillOut.
-œPride is a bit of a question mark with us for next year. People are saying if there’s no music we can dance to, we’re not coming, Pocervina said.
-œWe can’t afford to use our own country music CDs that we buy at the shops. I’ve been line dancing for years and I’ve never come across this.
The NFDA is a voluntary group and although it holds an Australasian Performing Rights Association (APRA) licence for their regular events, it could have to pay hundreds of dollars for Pride March to have an additional Phonographic Performance Company of Australia (PPCA) licence.
-œWe will plod along, but it’s hard enough getting other things paid from our own pocket, Pocervina said. -œWe think Pride should help pay the gap because they are the event organisers.
Pride March president Brett Hayhoe said it was an issue most groups in the parade had dealt with two years ago when Pride was forced to impose restrictions in response to Mardi Gras having to repay thousands of dollars in music royalties.
Pride March now exclusively uses tracks from music label Vinyl Pusher, which waives licensing fees for the march day.
Hayhoe said Pride March does not have the money to license every group taking part.
-œFor us to get a blanket licence would cost us thousands -” it’s just too much, he said.
Hayhoe said NFDA still had the option of going direct to the record company to sort out a deal.
Groups marching in Pride March are responsible for licensing their own music with APRA and the PPCA if not from Vinyl Pusher.
Midsumma general manager Adam Lowe said Midsumma works with APRA and the PPCA and pays a number of tariffs, including one for background music.

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