The popular summer festival season for electronic dance music, better known as EDM, has just wrapped up. During this time each year, fans can choose from a rich selection of EDM music festivals held throughout Canada. Over the course of an evening, day, or sometimes a weekend, fans can let loose and dance while creating memories for a lifetime with friends.

Behind the scenes, many concert promoters who host these EDM concerts and festivals are Licensed to Play by SOCAN. Obtaining a SOCAN licence demonstrates their commitment to running concerts ethically and legally, and ensures that music creators are properly compensated, which in turn, allows them to continue creating their music. A SOCAN licence fosters a mutually beneficial partnership between concertpromoters and their featured music creators.

“We want to ensure that all of the contributors to the music receive their fair compensation.” – Harvey Cohen, of Union Events

As another benefit to SOCAN-licensed promoters, SOCAN has recently worked alongside Re:Sound to simplify the licensing process for those who promote events in nightclubs. While SOCAN collects performance royalties for songwriters and music publishers, Re:Sound collects royalties for artists and record companies. There was an opportunity to create a distinct licensing process between the two societies, to avoid delays and duplication, and enhance reporting for both licences, making it easier for nightclub promoters to do their business.

SOCAN licensee Electronic Nation Canada, the electronic music brand of Live Nation, is one of Canada’s premier electronic music promoters, hosting prominent summer concerts. Most recently, Electronic Nation hosted the third annual Digital Dream Music Festival in Toronto, boasting a crowd of nearly 75,000 attendees and more than 100 artists. The promoter also partnered to host ÎlesSoniq, one of the biggest electronic festivals in Montreal.

“We’ve been growing by leaps and bounds as the scene in general has grown,” says Ryan Kruger, Managing Director, Electronic Nation Canada, adding that being a SOCAN licensee is a necessary pre-requisite to “creating events that make people happy.” He also makes mention of his efforts to showcase local EDM talent during his company’s concerts. “If we are in this business,” says Kruger, “it’s only to our benefit to see a vibrant music scene throughout the market, and throughout the country. We want to support local and Canadian talent.”

Union Events/Union Electronic is also a SOCAN licensee. Recognized as one of the largest independent promoters in Canada, the company recently expanded to devote its Union Electronic division solely to EDM.  The new division has had a busy summer, with concerts across the country, including the third annual Riot Fest in Toronto and the Chasing Summer Music Festival. SOCAN members, including the likes of City and Colour and Tegan and Sara, are routinely featured at their concerts.

Union Events’ “fan first” approach has led to its ongoing success and growth over the years. Managing Partner Harvey Cohen stresses that promoters should be licensed to play, “to ensure that not only the performers are compensated for the time, but that all of the contributors to the music receive their fair compensation.”

And having a SOCAN license does just that. Electronic Nation and Union Events are only two of the more than 125,000 licensees across Canada that recognize the value that music brings to their business. As the EDM scene continues to expand throughout Canada, now is the time for concert promoters to obtain a SOCAN licence. We look forward to continuously developing a network of promoters who’ll enhance their business by being Licensed to Play.

To learn further about SOCAN’s licensing process, or to get Licensed to Play, click here.