PRS & Arts Council Launch Momentum Music Fund

PRS and Arts Council launch funding scheme for English-based musicians. How can electronic music producers benefit?

momentumlogo288x257PRS for Music and Arts Council England have jointly launched Momentum Music Fund to help accelerate the careers of artists who have already gained traction with their music.

The fund is open to artists based in England who have achieved some early success and have the potential to “significantly further their career within the next two years”. Finance can be granted to applicants from a variety of genres, including electronic music, and grants range between £5,000 and £15,000.

Taking the lead from other nations’ support of popular music (PRS told us the fund was inspired in particular by Canada’s FACTOR and effective funding models in place in France and Norway), the fund’s focus is on commercially viable artists. As such, Brian Message (Chairman of the Music Managers Forum) reckons “this initiative will help drive both cultural and economic growth and is the future of arts funding”.

The focus on the applicant’s career as a business is made clear in the guidelines. Applicants at the right level will have at least one of the following: manager, label, lawyer, PR/plugger, agent, or publisher, and you must provide a summary of your career to date, an outline of what the money will be used for and why, your business goals over next two years, a budget outline, and a marketing plan for any funded activity.

Given the fund’s heavy emphasis on commercial viability, and the tendency for some electronic artists’ careers to develop outside of the commercial sphere, we sought some clarity from Sarah Thirtle, Communications and Events Manager at PRS, about how electronic artists might benefit from the fund:

 

Attack: Applicants must be full-time musicians – can you be more specific about what you mean by full-time musician?

Sarah Thirtle: Full-time musician could include earnings from music teaching as well as performance, session work, etc.

Are producers who are forging a musical reputation, and whose ‘featuring’ credits on other artists’ tracks could springboard a solo career, eligible?

Record producers are not eligible to apply for the funding – it is for the main, featured artist or band. However producers could benefit indirectly as it may well be the case that some acts will want to use the funding to work or collaborate with a producer.

Does the fund support collectives of artists/collaboration projects?

Momentum offers funding for a solo artist or a band-focused project. It can’t support collectives of artists.

Are DJs eligible for funding?

If the DJs are [also] creating/recording/performing original music of their own, yes!

The guidelines mention that applicants at the right level will have at least one of the following; manager, label, lawyer, PR, agent or publisher. What if an applicant is their own agent or label?

To stand the strongest chance we suggest applicants do have external representation from management, label or agent.

Eligible activities for funding include UK touring, studio time, marketing a release – can your application cover more than one of those activities? 

If it covers more than one activity it needs to have a strong business case for career development.

If you are applying to the fund to assist with touring costs, do the dates need to have been confirmed before?

Yes, or at least firm offers for shows to show a strong business case.

Could you tell us whether anybody who works in electronic music will be on the round table for assessing applications?

Yes…we have independent advisors from across all popular, electronic and rock genres to assess applications.

 

Deadlines for applications are: 28th June, 30th August and 11th October 2013, and 24th January 2014. Check out the Momentum Music Fund website for detailed guidelines and how to apply.

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  • Words: Zara Carey
  • Date: 26th June 2013