PRS Foundation invites applications to its Early Career Promoter Fund (application deadline: 15 July 2024)

The Performing Rights Society Foundation’s Early Career Promoter Fund is offering direct grant funding and capacity building support to early career, independent music promoters based anywhere in England and working in any genre.

In recognition of the important role promoters play in supporting the talent pipeline and bolstering music ecosystems, the Fund will offer grants to contribute towards the costs of the booking, programming and promotion of gigs, concerts, club nights, showcases, tours, festivals and other performances.

Managed by PRS Foundation and funded by Arts Council England using Supporting Grassroots Music funding from DCMS, the Early Career Promoter Fund will also help to address underrepresentation, ensuring support reaches a diverse range of promoters, and proactively encouraging grantees to support a diverse range of artists and music genres nationwide.

The deadline for applications is Monday 15th July 2024.

Applicants can request grant support of up to £3,500 to support a range of activities around the booking, programming and promotion of events including:

o Gigs.
o Concerts.
o Club nights.
o Showcases.
o Tours.
o Festivals and stages at festivals.
o Multi-venue events.
o Other performances, and
o Eligible applicants must be based in England and funding will be available to early career independent music promoters.

Funding partners will prioritise ‘early career’ promoters whose practice is still developing. Since grant support can cover costs relating to music events and promotion, plus capacity building, they will prioritise those with a clear need to develop their skills and better establish themselves locally, regionally, and nationally.

Based on discussions with live sector bodies, the Foundation will allow promoters to self-identify as ‘early career’ and provide the following guidance to help potential applicants to determine whether or not they will be deemed eligible by PRS Foundation and external advisors.

The Foundation is highly unlikely to support those who are completely new to booking and promoting shows, and most eligible applicants will have promoted at least two events (or will bring relevant transferable skills from other similar and relevant roles).

Similarly, the Foundation is unlikely to support those who can be deemed as established promoters regionally or nationally.

More established promoters should instead apply for support through Arts Council England’s Supporting Grassroots Music Fund.

The Foundation does not apply age limits and want to be clear that ‘early career’ eligibility can apply to any age group.

It is likely eligible grantees will be operating on a small-scale in terms of the capacity of events they have been promoting, and the scale or setup of their business.

Most eligible promoters will be working part-time as promoters and supplementing income elsewhere.

The application form will ask applicants to describe the scale of activities and level of income in order to establish whether applicants are too established for this fund

Most eligible applicants will be considered as ‘out-of-house’ promoters rather than ‘in-house promoters/bookers’ at venues or festivals, or employees working for one specific venue or festival.

Those employed by major live companies (e.g. Live Nation, AEG, Academy Music Group, Ticketmaster) are unlikely to receive support via this fund, and it is unlikely those working for large-scale live promotions companies will be considered eligible – particularly where intended career development outcomes can and should be supported by these companies rather than through this funding.

The Foundation will also consider applications from artists promoting music events which develop their own promoter brands and promoter careers and the development of scenes but not their own development as artists. While a much smaller proportion of funding will be allocated to self-promoting artists/creators in this context, this fund recognises the growing demand and importance of supporting artists to develop promotion skills, which may help to fill infrastructure gaps, support DIY scenes and address certain barriers and inferred presentation.

For more information, please visit the PRS Foundation website.