PMOI DIY Guide To: Music Fundraising
A few months ago, I was chatting to fellow blogger Kenny Fresh of FRSH SLCTS about the whole blogging thing, and he asked my thoughts on it and where it was all heading. I told him that for me personally, blogging no longer felt like it was enough - I was frustrated by the transient nature of blogging, and the (sometimes) negative impact the more powerful blogs can have on artists. I started blogging because I was an event promoter and music PR who was excited about music and wanted a place to share it with my friends, but it quickly transpired that I had other skills I could use to help the artists I have covered over the years and I still do. That conversation really stayed with me, and over the coming months you can expect to find new PMOI resources and workshops launching - more info on that soon.
There is a big infrastructure gap for many emerging and independent artists - it's hard to find management and booking agents willing to take you on if you don't have a label deal almost on the table, so artists end up taking on all of those roles themselves. It's not easy, and one of the things that can really help with artist development is funding. A couple of grand to help record your EP, make a video, pay a PR company and cover rehearsal space can make a huge difference, but so many people feel unsure or intimidated by the process. I have worked as a fundraiser years ago so I have some experience, but it took the encouragement of my friend Noah to get me to start applying for funding for PMOI. I've been lucky enough to receive support from the BBC Performing Arts Fund (though the urban music scheme no longer exists) and most recently the PRS Foundation. I've found them to be lovely, knowledgeable, extremely helpful people and I am eternally grateful to them.
I've written this guide to encourage other people to apply for funding, but I would also encourage anyone who is thinking of applying but is unsure to get in touch with funding organisations directly and to ask for their advice - they are only too happy to give it.
*Since this post will go live on the eve of the first deadline for the heavily publicized new PRSF Momentum Music Award, I would also add a note about that here. Over 2000 applications have been started for only 8 places in this quarter. I would highly recommend you either wait for the next quarter, or apply to the PRSF Individuals or Women Make Music schemes (for which application numbers are expected to drop), and in addition to the recently simplified Arts Council Grants for the Arts Scheme.
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