Hard Times For Nightclubs, Raves

July has proven to be tough for nightclubs and dance raves.

The Australian Copyright Tribunal has approved a two-year battle by the Phonographic Performance Company of Australia, which collects public performance royalties on behalf of artists and record companies, to increase license fees.

Clubs will have to pay $1.05 per person from 7 cents for prerecorded music. Dance parties have to pay $3.07 cents per person. Venue promoters say the move will send many clubs to the wall, and the Hotels Association of Australia is looking at legal options. The PPCA said the new rates are still low compared to what clubs and raves charge for entry fee and drinks.

Clubs in New South Wales are reporting a 15 percent drop in revenue since total smoking bans came into effect July 1. But more females and former smoking customers are returning to the venues. The amount of people applying to work in the no-smoke areas has jumped four times.