Essential takeaways from BBC Introducing Live: funding

ms banks bbc introducing live

For new artists and those midway through their career, an injection of cash at the right time can be crucial to get you to the next level.

But with the traditional label-artist development model in decline, support doesn’t always have to come in the form of a lucrative advance.

There are loads of other funding options out there from charities, government bodies and trade associations: the trick is knowing where to find them and how best to apply.

We were at the BBC Music Introducing Live 18 event this weekend to hear tips for success from leading experts. Here’s what we gleaned from panels running across the whole three days…

Ms Banks (pictured above, far right)
When you apply for funding, it’s important to have some things on your resume already. Don’t just go asking for money without having any background. Also, get a second pair of eyes to look over your application. If you don’t understand some of the questions fully, still try to answer them to the best of your ability.

Joe Frankland, PRS Foundation
We see our funding as co-investment with artists and industry organisations to support emerging talent. Funding provides musicians and artists with longevity. The music is so important; yes, find smart ways to make money from music, but make good music first.

When applying for funding, try to work out who’s reading your application, look at who’s judging, then think about the language you use. Talk like you do to your fellow musicians or manager.

Rachel Bolland, UK Music
Believe in what you’re doing and then sell it. You have to get the reader of your application to buy into what you do, so take them on your journey.

Writing applications is a bit of a skill; conveying the excitement and worth of your project is vital when writing yours. The best ways to stand out are:

Be honest about level you’re at.
Be clear who is supporting you.
Contextualise your project against the amount you’re asking for.

And don’t use phrase ‘music is my life’!

Chris Tams, BPI
If you’re an artist and don’t think of yourself as a business… think again. You need to, and part of that is looking for funding to support your business. Think of ways to monetise your career, because that’s going to help further your career.

With funding, always answer the questions in applications: it’s amazing how many people don’t and it can really hinder their chances.

Upcoming PRS Foundation deadlines
23 November: International Showcase Fund for SXSW and Eurosonic Nooderslag. Apply now.
3 December: The Writer Producer Fund. Apply now.

BBC Introducing Live is supported by BBC Music and the wider music industry, including PRS for Music.

This year’s event built on 2017’s BBC Music Introducing Amplify, and was broadcast live from Tobacco Dock, London, from 8 to 10 November.