The Recording Academy has raised its annual membership fees from $100 to $150. The increase begins on Aug. 1, but any dues submitted on or before July 31 will reflect the old rate.
Since the last time the Recording Academy increased membership in 2000, the organization has organized over 650 events across 12 Chapters, provided $110 million in aid through MusiCares and actively supported the passage of numerous bills at both the state and federal level to protect creators’ rights, in addition to celebrating and recognizing Grammy Award nominees and winners.
According to Academy CEO Harvey Mason jr., if the fee increase causes a member a hardship, they will make accommodations to help, as they did during the pandemic. Mason reports a small but significant percentage of members were granted a fee waiver during the pandemic and that some people paid double dues during COVID to support people who weren’t able to pay.
“If people do have hardships [with this fee increase], we’re going to continue that policy,” he said to Billboard. “It’s not about trying to extract money from people that don’t have it. It’s just trying to make a fair value. So, when someone says we can’t afford to play $150, we’re going to say, ‘OK, what can you afford? Oh, you can’t afford it, No problem. We want you as a member regardless.’”
The Academy also has a waiver policy on entry fees. All professional and voting members of the Recording Academy receive five “courtesy entries” per year. If they choose to enter more than five entries, they must pay. This year, the fee is $40 for entries made between July 17-31, $75 for entries made between Aug. 1-23 and $125 for entries made between Aug. 24-31.
The Academy reports any member burdened by the entry fees can request the fees be waived by reaching out to the awards department. It justifies charging a fee for any member making more than five entries, saying, “The per-entry fee structure encourages entrants to consider the value of each entry and make mindful decisions to put forward work that they truly believe is Grammy-worthy.”
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