Music Grants UK

Are you looking for music grants in the UK? If so, then this article should be of interest. Recently, we've been scouring the web for funding opportunities for music.

All of the endowments that we've found are listed below. In total, we've listed 28 grants for you to investigate.

Performing Arts Grants: £50k to £200k

These are some of the largest grants that we’ve seen. They are available for organisations rather than individuals.

  1. Youth Music Network (£2k up to £200k): Grant programme for non-profits and schools for developmental music-making projects. Focus must be on disadvantaged youths. Also for projects that support the development of the workforce, organisations or the wider music making sector.
  2. Barbara Whatmore Charitable Trust (£100k): The Trust funds cultural projects in the UK (especially East Anglia). Areas financed include: schemes or bursaries for classical music education to enable young career musicians.
  3. Catherine Cookson Charitable Trust (£100 to £100k): Fund to support arts and culture projects, particularly those that support young or disadvantaged people.
  4. Arts & Health SouthWest's Backstage Trust (£50k average): Grants for registered charities for projects involving live performing arts. In specific, they focus is on theatre and music projects.
  5. Foyle Foundation Main Grants Scheme (Mostly £10k to £50k): Scheme will fund performing arts projects that foster knowledge acquisition and learning. Will consider financing the core activities of smaller organisations or organisations that aren't currently receiving recurring funding from an arts council.
  6. BPI’s Music Export Growth Scheme (£5k to £50k): Available for independent UK music companies. Specific purpose must be to assist with overseas marketing campaigns.

Performing Arts Grants: £5k to £50k

These are the small and medium sized grants we’ve seen. Who these funders will support varies. Some are available for organisations, some for individuals, and some will fund both.

  1. Ragdoll Foundation (Up to £20k): For UK not-for-profit organisations. Focus on projects involving children and young people using the arts and creative media. Will consider multi-year financing.
  2. PRS’s Momentum Music Fund (£5k to £15k): For UK based artists/bands to reach the next level of their careers. Activities eligible for support include recording, touring and marketing.
  3. Foyle Foundation Main Grants Scheme (£1k to £10k): For charities working at grassroots and local community levels. Will fund a wide range of activities. Unlikely to support newly set up charities without a track record. Charities must have a turnover below £150,000.
  4. Boost Drinks Challenge (£1k to £10k): Grants will support a range of community groups, including CICs and music groups.
  5. Help Musicians Fusion Fund (£5k): For projects that feature collaborations between musicians and other creatives. This includes lighting designers, visual artists, and others.
  6. Belgae Trust (Up to £5k): Grant funding for smaller charities and projects with a value of less than £100,000.
  7. Leche Trust Grant (Up to £5k): Funds music, theatre and dance projects evenly.
  8. Theatres Trust Small Grants Scheme (Up to £5k): For charities and not-for-profit groups. Applicants must demonstrate the value capital improvements to their theatres would make to their local communities.
  9. Elephant Trust (Up to £5k): Priority financing available for artists in the fine arts and small organisations. Aims to help artists to undertake and complete projects when frustrated by a lack of funds.
  10. Didymus (Up to £5k): Will funds projects that help promote the arts, for organisations with an income under £2m.
  11. MOBO Help Musicians Fund (£2k to £5k): Funding for supporting the career ambitions of highly talented artists and groups. Will sponsor recording, visuals, production, PR, promotion, touring and more.

Performing Arts Grants: Less than £5k

These are some of the smaller grants we’ve seen. They are mostly geared towards individuals, although some do fund small businesses too.

  1. Michael Tippett Musical Foundation (£500 to £4K): Will finance music-making activities in the UK, especially involving young people.
  2. Help Musicians Do it Differently Fund (£3k): Fund for music creators for recording and releasing music.
  3. Chapman Charitable Trust (£1k or £2k): Supports projects that promote physical and mental wellbeing. Aim must be on increasing access to the arts and culture.
  4. Music For All Community Project Funding (Up to £2k): For projects that bring music to their communities. Focus on helping projects become more financially sustainable.
  5. Help Musicians Transmission Fund (£1.5k): A fund for helping musicians finance their personal development. This can include attending virtual conferences, online courses, coaching sessions, masterclasses, or more.
  6. Social History Society (Up to £1k): Small grants for joint black, minority and ethnic (BME) events.
  7. Philip Bates Trust (Up to £500): Gives priority to organisations that have charitable status or which are not-for-profit bodies. Backs individuals, voluntary and community organisations that develop artistic interests in young people, particularly the West Midlands.
  8. Making Music Livestreaming Subsidy (£150): Available to anyone commissioning an artist to perform a live-streamed event.

Performing Arts Grants: Unknown Value

These are grants we found which we weren’t able to determine a funding amount. We’d recommend reaching out to these organisations to find out more.

  1. Casey Trust: Endowment funds available for UK registered charities, with a focus exclusively on working with children. Priority is given to start-up projects or identifiable new initiatives, rather than continuing programmes. Applications can only be submitted by post.
  2. Black Artists Grant: Support to help black artists in however they need. This could be equipment or materials purchases, travel or research costs, or even just living expenses.
  3. Said Foundation – Amal Grants Programme: Sponsors a wide variety of art projects. Projects should help increase the public's understanding of Britain’s Muslim communities. Or, projects should help bring the UK's Muslim communities together.
  4. Making Music Counsellors Funds: Many local councils have funding available for individual counsellors to allocate to projects and community organisations. Making Music has curated information on some of the local authorities that offer this type of backing.

Round Up

These grants are helping to support new music projects. At StageUp, we help arts organisations distribute their content to arts audiences across the world. If you’re an arts organisation, and you’re interested in working with us, send us an email at hello@stageup.uk.

Stream Theatre Online

Live, theatrical, visceral theatre. Matthew Borne's The Midnight Bell. Andrew Lloywd Webber's Cinderella - these are just two of the many shows available to enjoy live in 2021, with many thousands more coming in 2022 and beyond.

Now that theatres are opening up again, the future is looking up for arts and culture. But as 2020 taught us all, we can't always physically attend the theatre. Global pandemics, time constraints, financial expense, personal health, accessibility - these are several of the many reasons that we choose to watch theatre online instead.

But when you want to watch theatre online, what options are available to you? What websites? What content? What price points? In this blog, we're going to run you through some of the top digital services that exist for streaming theatre.

So get ready to put some popcorn in the microwave. In only a couple of minutes, you'll be ready to enter the wonderful world of theatre streaming.

1. An Arts Organisation's Website

Many arts organisations release digital events on their own websites. Some theatres have started doing this relatively recently, such as Stephen Joseph Theatre, or Creation Theatre. Meanwhile, others have been doing this for years already, like Soho Theatre and the Royal Opera House. So if you want to watch an event from a specific arts organisation, check their own website first!

2. Medici.tv

Next is Medici.tv, one of the world's leading classical arts & culture websites. They host over 150 livestreams each year in partnership with some of the world's most prestigious venues, opera houses and festivals. On top of this, they have a back catalogue of over 2,000 video-on-demand (VoD) performances too.

Medici.tv is a subscription service that required a year subscription to access. They currently charge £99 per year, with a discount of £49.50 for your first year.

Considering all you can access, we'd say that this is a great deal. So for those with classical tastes, make sure to give Medici.tv a try.

3. MarqueeTV

Third, we have MarqueeTV, a streaming service for arts and culture. MarqueeTV provides access to a large catalogue of VoD dance, opera, music, theatre and documentary content. The platform aims to offer a similar service to Netflix, but for arts and culture.

Their database includes content from London Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Shakespeare Company, English Touring Opera, Cheltenham Literature Festival, and many more arts organisations too. MarqueTV is a relatively young streaming service, founded in 2019.

To access content on MarqueeTV requires a monthly subscription. As of writing this, the service currently costs £8.99 per month. We'd highly recommend checking out their content.

4. Digital Theatre

Another highly esteemed streaming service for arts and culture is Digital Theatre. Digital Theatre produces films of stage productions in high-definition that can be downloaded or streamed as video on demand via their website. They additionally have an educational arm, Digital Theatre Plus, which combines award-winning productions with high-quality learning resources to help students study while watching videos of arts events.

Similar to MarqueeTV, they also have a monthly membership program. The service currently costs £9.99 per month or £99.99 for a year.

Recently, Digital Theatre have also started allowing 48-hour rentals for £7.99. Or for first-timers, they also offer a free trial. These different pricing options make Digital Theatre an easy recommendation.

5. NT at Home

In response to the pandemic, National Theatre launched their own streaming service, NT at Home. They launched in April 2020, and by May the service had already been deemed a massive success, reportedly reaching tens of millions of people in its first two months alone. According to National Theatre, their early digital viewership levels were the equivalent of all three of their venues "being completely filled for 11 years.”

On NT at Home, you can access a range of unforgettable and unequivocally British theatre. Their pricing is currently identical to Digital Theatre, costing £9.99 per month, £99.99 per year, or £7.99 per rental. With more plays added every month, and with a large back catalogue to offer, NT at Home is a truly brilliant service worth checking out.

6. Amazon Prime

For those of you with an Amazon Prime account, great British theatre is now beginning to appear on Amazon Prime Video! There's currently only several titles available, but they are some show-stoppers including Soho Theatre's Fleabag and Hamlet featuring Benedict Cumberbatch. As a quick fix option for streaming theatre, Amazon Prime Video small collection is an easy recommendation.

7. Stream.Theatre

Next is Stream.Theatre, a streaming service theatre which offers a wide variety of live streamed arts programming. Audiences can browse shows, buy tickets and watch productions all within the platform using a video player specifically conditioned for real-time live streaming. They are one of the young digital services on our list, launching in September 2020.

In terms of cost, each event is rented individually. Prices for events vary from roughly £5 to £15. Stream.Theatre also host a lot of Broadway content, so we'd suggest that any broadway aficionados review their catalogue immediately!

8. YouTube

This list wouldn't be complete without mentioning the theatre content that's available on YouTube. Many arts organisations have their own channels on YouTube, and some of them even release full performances for free too. National Theatre, for instance, was very kindly releasing a free stream every week on YouTube for over 16 weeks. So if you're passionate about theatre, you should see what some of your favourite arts organisations are offering on YouTube.

9.StageUp

Lastly, we are humbly adding ourselves to this wonderful list of digital streaming services. We, StageUp, are an events platform for arts and culture.

Our vision is to create a home for performing arts communities. A place to connect with arts events, and a place to connect with arts organisations. We're currently launching our service in Q1 2022. If you're interested in learning more about us, you can send us an email at hello@stageup.uk, or schedule a call with us.

Government Grants for Performing Arts

If you're looking for funding for performing arts, there are many different methods that you may have considered or used to raise funding. These include taking donations, holding fundraising events, applying for grants, and more.

Below, we've curated a list of where to find government grants and some non-government grants that are currently available to UK arts organisations.

1. The Arts Councils

Naturally, we have to first mention the arts councils. Which arts council you should approach depends on which country you're located in. Within England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the arts councils work in partnership with artists, arts organisations, and public policy to enable arts to better enable arts and culture. For each arts council, you can find out more about the grants they offer at the following addresses:

  1. Arts Council of England: They offer different grants available to individual artists and practitioners, cultural organisations, and other groups. So whether you're producing dance, music, theatre, or something else, it's worth reviewing what the Arts Council of England is currently offering. A list of some of the grants they currently offer can be found on their website.
  2. Arts Council of Wales: If your work is based in Wales, there are likely grants from the Welsh arts council that you should consider. Currently, they're offering several different funding opportunities for smaller proposals, larger ones, international work, and other types of work too.
  3. Arts Council of Northern Ireland: The arts council in Northern Ireland do routinely open new grants, so if your work is based there, it's always worth reviewing what grants they are currently offering.
  4. Creative Scotland: There's a multitude of grants available on the Creative Scotland website, many of which are offered on an ongoing basis.
  5. Arts Council of Ireland: Outside of the UK, if your work is based in Ireland, you may want to consider looking at the Irish arts council's website for a multitude of grants.

2. The National Lottery

The National Lottery funds work across England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland, and the UK as a whole. They work with people to develop ideas and create opportunities. They have teams all over the UK, within each country.

They fund charities, voluntary organisations, and projects that improve the health, education and environment of communities. Their website includes a full regularly updated list of all the grants that they offer.

3. Nesta's Arts & Culture Finance Fund

Nesta is an independent charity that was previously a government department called the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts. They offer blended loan/grant funding for cultural projects. This is worth considering if the contribution margin that your project will be generating can cover the loan portion of the funding.

4. Esmée Fairbairn Foundation

The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation is one of the UK's largest independent funders. They were founded in 1961, and their active portfolio contains over 900 grants. They are highly transparent about the grants that they give. Details of many of the projects they've funded can be found within the annual reports they release.

Approximately 75% of the grants that they fund go towards arts projects. You can find out about how to apply for their grants on their website.

5. Youth Music

Youth Music is a UK-wide charity funded predominantly by the National Lottery via Arts Council England. They mainly fund young people living in areas of social and economic need.

However, they don't typically fund dance and drama. Instead, the charity funds music activities run by not-for-profit organisations for people aged up to 18. That doesn't mean the music has to be performed in front of a young audience, but it does mean your project should be supporting young people. They fund projects of hugely different sizes, from as small as £2,000, to upwards of £200,000.

6. The Paul Hamlyn Foundation

The Paul Hamlyn Foundation are one of the UK's largest independent funders. Its mission is to use its resources to create opportunities and support social change. To do this, they partner with inspiring organisations and individuals.

The projects they fund revolve around creating social change and overcoming inequality. Their grants are organised around a set of key strategic priorities. Each priority has a grant available for it, so it's worth reviewing these priorities and identifying which one your project best fits under.

7. The Foyle Foundation

The Foyle Foundation is a grant-making trust which distributes grants to other UK charities. They do not offer grants to individuals. For arts organisations, they run both larger grant schemes and smaller grant schemes which they detail on the main page of their website.

8. The Belgae Trust

The Belgae Trust is a family-run charity that collectively manages the trust. They support a range of different causes relating to the personal interest of their board members. This includes education, IT, health, the environment, and of course, the arts. To apply for one of their grants, you need to download an interest form from their website and email them directly.

Where can I find even more grants?

This shortlist is only the tip of the grant-iceberg. Across the internet, there are some really great resources available online that are continually updated with new funding opportunities. We would highly recommend that you give these resources a look too:

Daniel Hallissey's Funding List

Daniel Hallissey is a freelance writer & creative who writes material for fringe, small, and medium-scale productions. On his website, he also maintains a comprehensive list of funding options for the arts. This listing is both thorough and up-to-date, so it's definitely worth checking out.

My Funding Central

My Funding Central is a search engine for funding opportunities. On their website, you can find funds for charities, voluntary organisations, community groups, and social enterprises. There is a subscription fee to this service, although the service can be free for smaller organisations.

Good Luck!

We're planning on writing more blogs on contributed income sources in the future, so stay tuned for more information to come. If there are any topics you want us to cover in more detail, you can reach us at hello@stageup.uk.

Music Licensing 101

Different Types of Copyright Licenses

For those wondering how to get a license to use copyright music, the path forward can be somewhat mystifying. To help, we've created a quick guide to music copyrights.

What is a copyright law

A copyright is a set of rights that copyright owners possess. This gives them copyright protection over their artistic work that allows them to prevent others from using it. In order to use a copyright, you generally need to seek permission from the copyright owner and pay a music license fee.

A copyright owner may assign control of certain parts of its artistic work to others. Sometimes a copyright owner may assign all the rights of their musical work over to another party. Yet other times, they may choose to retain certain controls over the artistic work.

This would mean that when you want to license an artistic work, you may have to get the green light from multiple parties.

Why Songs Have Two Copyrights: Composition Copyrights Vs. Sound Recording Copyrights

A song is in fact two separate artistic works:

  1. A Composition. When you compose an original combination of melody, harmony, and often words, you are creating a musical composition. These are created by composers and songwriters.
  2. A Sound Recording. When you create a recording of a composition, you are creating a new artistic work. This new work implements the underlying composition into a new fixed form.

For example, "Yesterday" by The Beetles is a single composition for which there are over 2,200 separate sound recordings. Each of those sound recordings is a cover of the composition and each has its own unique sound recording copyright.

Music Licensing for Businesses: What is a Music License

A license is when a copyright owner provides an agreement to someone who wants to use their music.

Interestingly there are some cases where you dont need a license to use an artistic work, such as in news reporting or parody. But outside these special circumstances, to legally use copyrighted music you will need to acquire a license.

What is the Music Industry: The Main Parties in the Industry

To explain how the music industry works would take more than one blog post! But to start, you should know that there are broadly four groups that can administer licenses.

Music Publishers

A music publisher is an organization that controls and administers the copyrights of compositions created by songwriters and composers.

Record Companies

A record label is an organization that facilitates the creation of sound recordings. The technical expertise of creating the sound recording is typically handled by audio technicians on behalf of the record company. However, it is the record company that ultimately owns the sound recording copyright.

Collecting Societies

Collecting societies don't own any artistic works themselves. Instead, they simply administer licenses for them on behalf of copyright owners (i.e. publishers, record companies, and artists) who've assigned partial control of their artistic work to the collecting society.

Collecting societies specialize in issuing 'blanket licenses'. These are licenses that other parties may acquire to license all of the artistic works within a collecting society's catalogue simultaneously. Radio stations, for example, rely heavily on the blanket licenses of collecting societies to play a wide variety of copyright music on their stations.

Artists

Artists may retain some control of their artistic works even if they've assigned some control to other parties. A publisher would still have to ask Paul Mccartney for permission to license "Yesterday" by The Beatles to someone.

Different Types of Copyright Licenses

Finally, when you're considering how to use licensed music, it's worth knowing that there are five main categories of usage.

Mechanical Rights

Mechanical Rights cover the right to distribute physical (or digital) copies of a composition or sound recording. To use these rights, one must acquire a mechanical license for the copyright(s) you're using.

Performing Rights

Performing rights cover the right to create a public (or digital) performance involving a composition or sound recording copyright. To use these rights, one must acquire a public performance license for the artistic work(s) you're using.

Synchronization Rights

These are more commonly called 'Sync Rights'. These rights cover the right to create a video that includes the use of a composition or sound recording copyright. A sync license is required to use a composition, and a "master use license" is required to use a sound recording. However, they are very similar licenses that accomplish the same goal.

Grand Rights

Grand rights are the right to perform copyrighted music within the context of new dramatic work. More simply put, grand rights cover the right to use an existing artistic work to synthesize a new artistic work. For example, say you wanted to use the Beatles track "Yesterday" as the basis for a new musical.

Your musical would be an entirely new, stand-alone artistic work. But to create this new work, you would first require the grand rights to "Yesterday". Only then would you be able to synthesize your new work.

Small Rights

Small Rights cover the right to feature (but not perform) copyrighted music within the context of a new dramatic work. More simply put, small rights cover the right to use a copyright to augment an artistic work. Generally, this type of usage falls under two categories of use:

  1. Interpolated Music: Using music so that it "exists" and is audible to characters within your artistic work's dramatic world (i.e. music that characters hear and comment on during a scene).
  2. Incidental Music: Using music within your artistic work's dramatic world. In this type of usage, the copyright music isn't audible to characters within your artistic work's dramatic world (e.g. background music in-between scene changes).

Until Next Time

In the future, we'll be writing more in-depth blogs on some of these topics. If there are any topics in particular you want us to write up, get in touch and let us know!