Discover the organisations that want to support your career.
Posted: 6 August 2019
For many emerging artists, finding the money to support their career can be a source of anxiety. You might have enough income to cover household bills and guitar maintenance but what about that tour you want to go on? Or the studio time you desperately need to pay for? What happens when your budget just doesn’t stretch as far as it needs to? Luckily in the UK there’s a variety of funding streams available to give your career the kickstart it needs.
PRS Foundation are one of the biggest music funding organisations in the UK, with a variety of different grants available for people at various stages of their careers.
This offers music makers of all career stages a grant of up to £5000 to put towards touring, recording, marketing, residencies or community projects. If you’re in a band that wants to start producing demos or performing outside your hometown then this might be the option for you.
Currently one of the best-known funds in the industry that supplies grants of between £5000 and £15,000. Since 2013 they’ve funded over 273 artists including Years & Years, Kate Tempest, Oh Wonder and Frank Carter. This fund is geared towards musicians that are regularly gigging and writing music and are ready to take the next steps in their career.
PRS also has a range of smaller awards for new artists, some of which include monetary prizes and others that offer mentoring and development programmes. And don’t worry if your role is behind the scenes, PRS also has options available for songwriters, composers and producers.
Help Musicians is a charity that provides support for musicians from all genres and walks of life. Although a lot of their work revolves around wellbeing support and music education, they also provide funding and educational opportunities for emerging artists.
A financial contribution of up to £3000 to help musicians get to the next stage of their career. As well as the grant, they also offer advice on things like business management, safe touring practices and looking after your physical and mental health. If you’re a music creator that works professionally but you don’t yet have industry representation, then this is a good fund to apply for.
A slightly smaller fund of £1,500 to support access to developmental opportunities. Again aimed at working musicians, this money can be put towards short courses in disciplines such as songwriting or sound engineering.
If your musical journey is taking you down a non-performance route, then you might be interested in the Help Musicians funds for collaborative projects or higher education.
Funds from the Arts Council are supported by the National Lottery so they’re able to support requests of over £15,000. However, it’s worth noting that this scheme is available for a wide range of arts not just music, so the application process is competitive. This fund is worth exploring if you’re not eligible for the other funding above or if you’re looking to do something unconventional with your music.
If you don’t feel like you meet the criteria for these particular schemes, then you can always try fundraising on your own. Thanks to websites like Kickstarter, it’s easier than ever to create your own campaign. You can set you funding goal and deadline to fit your needs and promote the campaign on social media. Some people offer rewards to those that have pledged but it’s probably best to stick to digital gifts that won’t cost you anything to produce. Remember though that most of these sites run on an all-or-nothing system so you need to set realistic goals.
Securing the right funding your music career can be a long process and its not unusual to encounter some obstacles along the way. However, there are plenty of organisations and individuals out there who want to support emerging artists so it’s worth persevering. In the meantime, keep playing gigs and promoting yourself online and who knows what mysterious benefactor might come your way.