A Benefit of AACT Organizational Membership, BMI and the American Association of Community Theatre (AACT) have partnered to create a discounted license for AACT Theatre members. This license will authorize the performance of background BMI Music before and after community theatre events as well as during intermission. The Community Theatre license does not cover recorded music during a play or music performed live, such as in a musical revue or a jazz combo performing during a gala reception. (Read more about the need for licensing.)
Is the music you’re playing by a BMI songwriter? Check out Songview, BMI's new data platform that’s making copyright data more accessible and transparent for music users.
The licensing window for theatres to join the BMI License for Community Theatres will start in June and run through September of each year. The BMI Community Theatre license year is September 1- August 31. AACT Member Theatres that sign up through the AACT office will receive a 5% discount on their BMI Community Theatre license fee. Both membership and BMI fees must be received in the AACT office by October 31.
>> See also ASCAP's Community Theatre License for AACT Members. Members get an additional 5% off when they purchase both.
|2023-2024 Rate Schedule
License Year: September 1- August 31.
Both membership and BMI fees must be received in the AACT office between June 1 and October 31.
|Theatre Operating Budget
(rounded to the nearest dollar)
|BMI License Fee||With 5% AACT Member Discount
Members get an additional discount if purchasing both a BMI and ASCAP license from AACT
|$25,000 - $499,999||$226.25||$215.00|
|$500,000 and above||$325.81||$309.00|
2023-24 License Form (PDF) | 2023-24 Rate Schedule (PDF) | BMI Website |
Why Does Our Community Theatre Need To License?
You may be wondering why your community theatre needs permission to play music. Just as you obtain a license to perform a copyrighted play, the same rules apply to publicly performing copyrighted music. Permission must be granted by the copyright owner to perform music publicly and, in most cases, that permission comes in the form of a music license. Under U.S. copyright law, music creators and the owners of copyrighted musical works have the right to permit or prohibit the public performance of their works, which is known as the “public performance right.” This law applies even if you are playing a CD or streaming service, as well as performing the music live. It’s important to remember that songwriters and composers rely on the royalties collected from the public performance of their songs to make a living. A BMI Community Theatre License gives your community theatre access to more than one million songwriters, composers and music publishers and over 20.6 million musical works of all genres. [Return to top of page]
Is the music you’re playing by a BMI songwriter? Check out Songview, a new data platform that’s making copyright data more accessible and transparent for music users.
Celebrating over 80 years of service to songwriters, composers, music publishers and businesses, BMI is a global leader in music rights management. Its mission is to champion the art of songwriting and protect it as a profession, so that new music will always be available. BMI represents the public performance rights in more than 20.6 million musical works created and owned by more than 1.3 million songwriters, composers, and music publishers. The Company negotiates music license agreements with various industries and distributes the fees generated, less operating expenses, as royalties to its affiliated writers and publishers when their songs are performed in public. In 1939, BMI created an open-door policy, becoming the only performing rights organization to welcome and represent the creators of blues, jazz, country, and American roots music. Today, the Company still welcomes all genres of music, representing chart-toppers and perennial favorites that are consistently among the most-performed hits of the year. [Return to top of page]