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UK festivals benefit from substantial CRF grants

Glastonbury, Boomtown Fair and Cheltenham Jazz Festival have been awarded substantial grants in round two of the UK government’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund (CRF2).

The 2,700 recipients of the CRF2 were announced last Friday by culture secretary Oliver Dowden, who said Glastonbury’s £900,000 grant would help the festival stage two smaller events this year, including the recently announced Live at Worthy Farm, and would help sustain it until 2022.

Boomtown was awarded £991,000, which the organisers say will secure the future of the festival, and Cheltenham Jazz Festival was awarded £290,000.

Other festivals to benefit in the latest round of the CRF are Sea Change Festival (£126,000), Standon Calling (£418,465), Y Not Festival (£120,000), Towersey Festival £104,000), Bestival and Camp Bestival founder Rob da Banks’ Sunday Best Recordings Ltd (£92,000), Noisily Festival (£78,000), Strawberries and Creem (£75,000) and Nozstock (£32,000).

The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF), confirmed that 70% of the members who applied for a grant in CRF2 have been offered funding, which amounts to over £5.5m with an average grant of almost £126,000.

“We thank the Treasury, DCMS and Arts Council England for this lifeline, and for investing in some of this summer’s independent festivals, enabling them to survive and continue planning in the short term,” says Paul Reed, CEO at AIF.

Thanks to the funding we’ve received from the government’s #CultureRecoveryFund we’re all set to build on our digital…

Posted by Cheltenham Festivals on Friday, April 2, 2021

 

“AIF worked tirelessly to ensure that festivals were eligible for the fund in the first place, and to support and service members at every step – sharing information, engaging funding specialists, organising online sessions and working around the clock to support applications.

“This latest government support is invaluable. However, as with the first round, it is important to note that this money did not reach the entire sector, that it will only support some festivals until the end of June and that hurdles remain before festivals are able to plan with confidence – not least the absence of a government intervention on insurance. It is also critically important that the Events Research Programme explores challenges and mitigations around all types of events including festivals.”

Among the grassroots venues to receive grants from the CRF2 are Hull’s The New Adelphi Club (£30,000), The Louisiana in Bristol (£63,000), Cambridge Junction (£248,083), Brudenell Social Club (£213,853) in Leeds and London’s Troubadour (£272,828).

https://twitter.com/BoomtownFair/status/1377886248363249671

Music Venue Trust (MVT) strategic director, Beverley Whitrick, says: “MVT has worked hard to support eligible grassroots music venues in their applications to this fund and we are delighted that members of the Music Venues Alliance (MVA) have now been awarded almost £16million in support.

“This represents an 80% success rate for MVA members, many of whom had never applied for public funding prior to this pandemic. This money is aimed at securing venues until the end of June 2021.”

Music Venue Trust represents over 900 venues across the UK.

Other successful applicants of the CRF2 include event industry suppliers and service providers such as A&J Big Tops Limited (£545,000), AB Lighting (£79,000) and Symphotech (£60,000).

The CRF was increased by £300m earlier this year as part of chancellor Rishi Sunak’s March budget.

For the full list of recipients, visit the Arts Council England website.

 


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Final £400m on the way as latest CRF recipients announced

Historic London venues including the Royal Albert Hall, Alexandra Palace and Southbank Centre are among the beneficiaries of the latest round of Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) spending, as the scheme marks a milestone £1 billion in funding allocated.

The Royal Albert Hall (5,272-cap.) and Southbank Centre, along with organisations such as the English National Opera, Royal Shakespeare Company and National Theatre, were awarded a share of £165 million in low-interest repayable finance, with the Albert Hall receiving a total of £20.74 million from the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and Arts Council England (ACE).

Hall CEO Craig Hassall says the loan is a “lifeline” that will enable the Victorian arena “restore our minimum reserves and operating finances to a level comparable to before the pandemic struck”.

Elsewhere, a number of venues across the country are receiving grants from the £60m Capital Kickstart Fund. They include the Alexandra Palace, which has been awarded £2,967,600 to enable its 10,400-capacity Great Hall to “continue with a diverse programme of live, Covid-secure events this winter”, and new Manchester arts venue the Factory, which receives £21m towards its completion.

“As well as providing a multi-use space for diverse arts activity,” the Factory will be the permanent home for Manchester International Festival, “which attracts visitors to the city from across the country and creates opportunities for creative freelancers,” reads a statement from DCMS and UK culture minister Oliver Dowden CBE.

“The £1 billion invested so far through the Culture Recovery Fund has protected tens of thousands of jobs”

“Over the last nine months we’ve worked non-stop to make sure we can open the doors safely and keep the parkland well maintained to provide vital green space,” says Louise Stewart, CEO of Alexandra Park and Palace Charitable Trust. “There are many challenges ahead, but for now at least, thanks to this funding, we have some time and resource to deliver our route to recovery.”

The latest grants and loans come as the government makes plans to allocate the final £400 million of the £1.57 billion CRF. Further details of the final round, comprising £300m in grants and £100m loans to help companies “transition back to usual operating mode from April 2021”, will be announced shortly.

According to Dowden, some funding was held back in previous rounds (to enable authorities to assess the “changing public health picture”), and will also be made available to organisations at “imminent risk of collapse before the end of this financial year” in April.

“This government promised it would be here for culture, and today’s announcement is proof we’ve kept our word,” says the culture secretary. “The £1 billion invested so far through the Culture Recovery Fund has protected tens of thousands of jobs at cultural organisations across the UK, with more support still to come through a second round of applications.

“Today we’re extending a huge helping hand to the crown jewels of UK culture, so that they can continue to inspire future generations all around the world.”

More information about the CRF is available from the Gov.UK website.

 


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Academy Music Group, Ronnie Scott’s receive CRF grants

Academy Music Group (AMG), Ronnie Scott’s and London Venue Group (LVG) are among the eight arts and cultural organisations in the UK to receive grants between £1 million and £3m from the second Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) tranche.

Venue operator AMG, whose shareholders include Live Nation, will receive just under £3m (£2,981,431) to “help meet the core operating costs” of its 20 live music venues across the country, including O2 Academy venues in London, Leeds and Liverpool.

While world-renowned jazz club Ronnie Scott’s has received a grant of £1,272,631 to “explore streamed performance opportunities for emerging and established British musicians”. The club says it’s delighted that “the fundamental importance of Ronnie Scott’s” has been recognised.

And venue operator LVG, owned by Mumford & Sons member Ben Lovett, has been awarded £2,358,902 to maintain its venues Omeara (cap. 320), Lafayette (600) and recent addition The Social (250) during closure and “enable them to explore streaming options in the future”.

“We are overjoyed that we are able to ensure that all our members of staff can now look ahead to Christmas without the looming threat of redundancy, and to protect the extended Venue Group family; a team of bright, passionate, capable, industry professionals who we’ve been trying to support however possible since being forced to close our venues back in March,” Lovett wrote on Instagram.

“These grants will help the places that have shaped our skylines for hundreds of years and that continue to define culture”

“These grants will help the places that have shaped our skylines for hundreds of years and that continue to define culture in our towns and cities,” says culture secretary Oliver Dowden at the department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), which has been working alongside Arts Council England to disperse the fund.

“From St Paul’s and Ronnie Scott’s to The Lowry and Durham Cathedral, we’re protecting heritage and culture in every corner of the country to save jobs and ensure it can bounce back strongly.”

Elsewhere, in Scotland, 203 organisations and venues have received a share of £11.75m through the first tranche of the Scottish government’s Culture Organisations and Venues Recovery Fund, delivered by Creative Scotland.

“The Scottish government is determined to do everything within our powers to see the sector through this crisis,” says culture secretary Fiona Hyslop.

“This emergency funding will provide vital support to a wide range of cultural organisations and venues across Scotland currently facing extreme challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic. It has been designed specifically to help organisations cope with the immediate issues they are facing and to help save jobs.

“I am pleased to see such a wide range of organisations supported, from comedy clubs and theatres to galleries and production companies.”

See results from the first round of the UK’s CRF here.

 


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UK grassroots music venues saved by emergency grants

Iconic London venues The Troubadour and The Clapham Grand are among the 135 at-risk grassroots music venues across England that have been saved by the £3.36 million Emergency Grassroot Music Venues Fund.

The fund, which was announced by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and forms part of the UK government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund, was topped up by an addition £1.1m from the original £2.25m pot to help as many venues as possible.

The Arts Council England has now awarded the grants of up to £80,000 to help some of the country’s most vulnerable venues cover on-going running costs incurred during closure, including rent and utilities.

Emergency grants of the maximum amount have been awarded to venues including The Troubador (cap. 136), where Adele and Ed Sheeran performed in the early days of their career, and The Clapham Grand (cap. 1,250), where the UK recently held its first socially distanced show since the coronavirus lockdown in March.

Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, says: “This government is here for culture and these grants today show we are determined to help our exceptional music industry weather the Covid storm and come back stronger.

“This fund will ensure these music venues survive to create the Adeles and Ed Sheerans of the future”

“Grassroots music venues are where the magic starts and these emergency grants from our £1.57 billion fund will ensure these music venues survive to create the Adeles and Ed Sheerans of the future.

“I encourage music fans to help too by supporting music and cultural events as they start to get going again.  We need a collective effort to help the things we love through Covid.”

Mark Davyd, Music Venue Trust, says: “We warmly welcome this first distribution from the Culture Recovery Fund which will ensure that the short term future of these venues is secured while we continue to work on how we can ensure their long term sustainability.”

“Both DCMS and Arts Council England have worked very quickly to fully understand the imminent risk of permanent closure faced by a significant number of grassroots music venues across the country, and the funding they’ve brought forward creates a real breathing space for under pressure venues.”

Elswhere in the country, the recently saved Manchester venues, Deaf Institute and Gorilla have been granted £15,000 and £31,000 respectively. The full list of recipients can be viewed here.


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UK Culture Recovery Fund details revealed

The British government today (29 July) set out application guidance for £622 million in grants, as part of its much-anticipated £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund.

The first round of funding – allocated through Arts Council England (for arts and cultural organisations, including music businesses), the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic England (heritage sites), and the British Film Institute (independent cinemas) – totals £622m, with £500m reserved for Arts Council England (ACE).

The £500m ACE fund (which includes the £2.25m for grassroots music venues announced earlier this week) will allow cultural-sector businesses to “reopen/restart their operations, where appropriate” or “operate on a sustainable, cost-efficient basis, so that they are able to reopen at a later date”, according to the ACE guidance for applications, which open on Monday 10 August.

The fund, which is open to companies based in England, will support costs incurred between 1 October 2020 and 31 March 2021 including staff salaries, freelance employment and operation costs; maintaining buildings while closed; redundancy pay-outs, debts incurred during the Covid-19 pandemic; and reflating cash reserves of up to eight weeks of turnover.

Grants of between £50,000 and £3m are available; all applications over £1m will be referred to a Culture Recovery Board, appointed by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). The board is chaired by businessman Sir Damon Buffini, with the music sector represented by Claire Whitaker, formerly owner and director of jazz promoter Serious.

“Help is on the way to our much-loved cultural and heritage organisations”

A further £258m is reserved for a second round of grants later in the financial year, in addition to £270m in repayable finance. More details on the outstanding elements of the £1.57bn package – worth £1.15 billion to “cultural organisations” – will be revealed later this year, a DCMS spokesperson tells IQ.

“Help is on the way to our much-loved cultural and heritage organisations with our £1.57 billion fund,” says UK culture secretary Oliver Dowden. “This support package will protect buildings, organisations and people to help ensure our wonderful institutions, big and small, pull through Covid.

“Today we’re publishing guidance so organisations know how to access help. We’re also calling on organisations to be creative in diversifying their income streams and the public to continue supporting the places they love, so this funding can be spread as far and wide as possible”.

Adds Nicholas Serota (pictured), chair of Arts Council England: “Arts and cultural organisations are an integral part of public life in villages, towns and cities across the country. We warmly welcome and are pleased to be administering this vital investment from government, which will help ensure as many organisations as possible survive the existential challenge posed by Covid-19 so they can continue to serve their communities safely in the future.”

The deadline for the first round of applications is 21 August 2020.

 


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London’s Macbeth in Arts Council funding first

The Macbeth in Hoxton, east London, has become one of the first recipients of Arts Council England (ACE)’s new Support Grassroots Live Music fund.

The 300-capacity pub and venue has been successful in applying for £15,000 from the £1.5 million fund, which launched at the Great Escape in May, to support and develop its cultural programme.

“The last ten years have been incredibly challenging,” comments Mark Robinson of the Macbeth (pictured). “We know that hundreds of venues across the country were forced out of business and we really struggled to get through very tough times. This turns a corner for us, with a grant that will enable us to support and develop our programme.

“Arts Council England funding really puts us on the map as not just a great night out, but also a culturally important space that really matters to artists and to audiences. We would like to thank ACE for the opportunity of this fund and to thank Music Venue Trust for all the support they have given us in the last few years. To all the other venues out there thinking about applying: if the Macbeth can do it, you can too.”

Music Venue Trust (MVT) says it and Arts Council England have been working closely together to ensure venues have all the support they need to make an application. A special funding area at MVT’s Venues Day 2019 has been created for venues can book one-to-one appointments with ACE relationship managers and with other funders, including PRS Foundation.

“Their success demonstrates that this really is a fund grassroots music venues can apply to and get support from”

Claire Mera Nelson, head of music at ACE, says: “Arts Council England’s Supporting Grassroots Live Music fund was created in response to the needs of small venues across the country just like the Macbeth, and we are delighted that they have been successful in obtaining a grant to support a developing and expanding programme.”

At Venues Day, she adds, “we are looking forward to ensuring venues of all kinds understand how to register and apply for our grant funding”.

“This is another huge step in recognising the cultural value of our grassroots music venues, and we are so delighted it is the Macbeth that is leading the way,” adds MVT’s Mark Davyd. “Mark and his team at the venue have been through every kind of challenge you can imagine, only recently having to engage again with our emergency response team for support on a licensing review.

“Their success demonstrates that this really is a fund grassroots music venues can apply to and get support from. At Venues Day we want to make sure that every venue that wants to make an application has the skills and the opportunity to do so.”

Venues Day 2019 takes place at Islington Assembly Hall in London on Wednesday 9 October. Venue delegates who wish to book a one-to-one meeting with ACE staff during an afternoon session should contact MVT at info@musicvenuetrust.com.

 


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MMF’s Accelerator programme to return in 2020

The Music Managers Forum (MMF) and YouTube Music have announced that the Accelerator Programme for Music Managers will return in 2020, following a successful inaugural year.

The initiative, lauded as the first-ever independent funding and professional development programme designed solely for music managers, aims to increase the number of sustainable full-time management businesses, offering a combination of financial and educational support.

The programme currently benefits 24 managers across England and Scotland, who have received year-long grants of up to £15,000 and more than 80 hours of manager-specific education courses, through backing from Arts Council England and the Scottish Music Industry Association.

Applications for those wishing to participate in the 2020 programme open on Tuesday 15 October.

“MMF are absolutely thrilled that YouTube Music recognise the importance of Accelerator and that the programme will return next year,” says MMF’s strategy and operations director Fiona McGugan.

“Accelerator has already offered a career-changing experience for 24 upcoming music managers”

“It has already offered a career-changing experience for 24 upcoming music managers, and we look forward to sharing some of the impact data and successes in time for the opening of 2020 applications.”

Roz Mansfield, YouTube Music artist partnerships managers, comments: “As well as supporting the next wave of British talent, we also want to support the people who work tirelessly behind the scenes to make the industry function, grow and succeed.

“We at YouTube Music are so proud to be a sponsor of MMF and their Accelerator Programme and look forward to seeing what these talented managers go on to do next.”

Accelerator business partners include Music Ally, CMU Insights, Harbottle & Lewis, Sheridans, Simkins, Simons Muirhead & Burton, Music Insurance Brokers and SRLV. MMF aims to confirm and expand partnerships for 2020 before the programme begins.

Full details on how to apply to the programme will become available here.


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£1.5m funding breakthrough for grassroots music venues

Music Venue Trust (MVT), the UK charity that protects and improves grassroots music venues, has announced a new £1.5 million Arts Council England fund dedicated to grassroots live music, alongside several other industry-led initiatives.

The Supporting Grassroots Live Music funding strand was announced at an event co-hosted today (10 May) by Arts Council England and Ticketmaster at the Great Escape in Brighton. The ring-fenced fund is part of the Arts Council’s National Lottery Project Grants, and lines up alongside other input from Live Nation, Ticketmaster and the O2 Arena to further fund the charity’s Pipeline Investment Fund, which tackles the root causes leading to music venue closures.

“Grassroots music venues are essential both for our world-renowned music industry and communities across the country, and there needs to be a collective effort from both the public sector and music industry to support them,” says Arts Council England chief executive, Darren Henley.

“With this fund we’re ensuring that grassroots venues and promoters working in genres such as rock, pop and hip-hop have the support they need to create the best possible environment for artists and audiences.”

“Grassroots music venues are essential both for our world-renowned music industry and communities across the country”

MVT and Arts Council England will work together to assist venues in accessing the funding, ensuring that tangible improvements are made to the sound, lighting and facilities for both artists and audiences.

“This is obviously a huge day for grassroots music venues. The real support they need and have been crying out for has arrived,” says MVT chief executive Mark Davyd. “We want to ensure that venues across the UK are able to access the support they need to become real centres of excellence.

“Britain’s artists and audiences deserve a world class, industry leading, grassroots touring circuit. Delivering that circuit is the responsibility of everyone in the music industry, cultural sector, and government. We believe everyone has a stake in getting this right,” adds Davyd.

“When our grassroots music venues thrive, the whole industry benefits.”

Alongside the major funding announcement, MVT today announced other breakthrough steps in funding from the live music industry that directly supports grassroots music venues.

Representatives within the industry have been meeting with the trust since January to identify mechanisms for reinvestment in the grassroots veneus.

Live Nation will assign its contribution to the Apprenticeship Levy funds to MVT in order to support apprentices in grassroots music venues, while AEG will introduce guest list donations at major events and venues that will fund the scheme.

In addition, Ticketmaster will offer ticket buyers the option to donate to MVT while purchasing music tickets across its UK platform. Direct donations from major companies will also help to support the MVT Emergency Response service, which helps venues with noise complaints, licensing and planning issues.

Ticketmaster UK managing director Andrew Parsons states that the donation option will give  “unparalleled visibility to MVT and the significant work they do to keep grassroots venues alive and well for us all.”

“When our grassroots music venues thrive, the whole industry benefits”

“All of today’s announcements are a huge step forward for grassroots venues – venues that are the beating heart of the music industry, without them British talent doesn’t have a place to grow into the next Lewis Capaldi or Mabel,” comments Parsons.

“Today is a good day for British music,” says Live Nation executive president of touring, international, Phil Bowdery. “Live Nation and Ticketmaster’s support and funding, taken together with the new Arts Council England fund, is a massive boost to those venues and the musicians who play in them.”

For AEG Europe’s vice president of programming, Emma Bownes, today’s announcement is “an important step in protecting small music venues and supporting the emerging talent that use these spaces to hone their craft.”

Discussions with the Pipeline Investment Fund stakeholders, governments and funding bodies in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will continue across the next few months to deliver more options for the music industry to support grassroots music venues through the Pipeline Investment Fund programme.

 


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MMF reveals managers to benefit from Accelerator programme

Music Managers Forum and YouTube Music have announced the 24 beneficiaries of the Accelerator Programme for Music Managers (APMM). Under the programme, the chosen managers will receive funding to develop their businesses, as well as tailored training and expert mentoring.

APMM, lauded the first-ever independent funding and professional development initiative designed solely for music managers, launched in October last year.

The programme aims to aid the development of upcoming music management businesses, awarding grants of up to £15,000 and offering high quality educational support, delivered in partnership with CMU Insights and Music Ally. The programme receives additional backing from the Arts Council England (ACE) and the Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA).

The 24 successful applicants represent a diverse range of talent across the genres of grime, metal, reggae, pop, drum’n’bass and jazz. The list of beneficiaries includes managers for Mammút, Poppy Ajudha, Voyager and Brookes Brothers.

“Managers are the lifeblood of the music business, our industry will continue to thrive if they have the support to continue focusing on their businesses”

“Accelerator is the first scheme I have seen that is dedicated to supporting music managers as they develop their careers within the industry,” says Rachel Miller of Rachel Miller Management, one of the programme’s beneficiaries.

“The mentorship, training and opportunity to establish a network of peers is going to be invaluable to furthering my management skills and expanding the success of my artists and company.”

Experienced manager and music specialist Paul Bonham will manage the initiative, taking a year-long secondment from his current position as relationship manager, diversity and culture at ACE.

“Managers are the lifeblood of the music business, and our industry will continue to thrive if they have the support to continue focusing on their businesses,” says Azi Eftekhari, Head of YouTube Music Partnerships, UK and Ireland.

“These 24 individuals represent some of the most exciting next wave of management industry, and we look forward to seeing how they use these funds to improve and evolve their business here in the UK.”

The full list of programme beneficiaries can be found here.

 


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AiE to boost disabled artists’ careers with Next Stage

In a departure from its usual work improving accessibility for disabled concert- and festivalgoers, UK music charity Attitude is Everything has launched Next Stage, an initiative aimed at boosting the careers of British artists with impairments or long-term health conditions.

Supported by Arts Council England, Next Stage is inspired by existing industry initiatives, such as ReBalance and Keychange, that encourage greater inclusivity and diversity in live music.

Its goal is twofold:

1) To overcome the “knowledge gap” surrounding disabled musicians
“Deaf and disabled artists have made and continue to make a significant contribution to British music,” explains the charity. “But there is an overall lack of information about their work and livelihoods. For instance, what challenges do individuals with impairments face in studios and at venues? How comfortable are artists with sharing their experiences and needs? What development opportunities need to be more inclusive?”

To tackle this “knowledge gap”, as part of Next Stage Attitude is Everything has created a survey seeking views on issues ranging from access requirements at live shows to studio recording and arts funding applications. Submissions are encouraged from artists, musicians, songwriters, DJs and music creators of all backgrounds and across all genres.

The survey findings will be presented and discussed at the Great Escape in May 2019.

“Next Stage is an ambitious departure for Attitude is Everything”

2) To boost talent development and create more accessible music industry
“UK Music, the industry’s umbrella organisation, has identified a number of challenges that might thwart the future success of UK artists and imperil the UK’s ‘talent pipeline’,” says Attitude is Everything. “It is imperative that disabled musicians are involved in this conversation.

“Talented individuals cannot be allowed to fall through the cracks, and it is vital those with physical or mental impairments receive sufficient support to help develop their art and creativity.”

Drawn from the survey findings, Next Stage’s secondary phase will be to develop a comprehensive artist network, connecting the aforementioned individuals with access requirements to showcase, as well as funding opportunities, breaking down barriers to live performance.

The campaign is also being supported by a number deaf and disabled musicians, including Blaine Harrison of the Mystery Jets, rapper Signkid, Rob Maddison of Revenge of Calculon and Kris ‘Winter of ’82’ Halpin.

“I believe we can build a thriving network of talent”

Suzanne Bull MBE, CEO of Attitude is Everything, comments: “Next Stage is an ambitious departure for Attitude is Everything. We have spent almost 20 years working for disabled audiences and now, with support from Arts Council England, we want to improve accessibility for disabled artists.

“This process will not be easy. The challenges facing deaf and disabled people are often hidden, and rarely discussed publicly. There are a range of stigmas and sensibilities. So our first goal is to collect information through a comprehensive and wide-reaching survey.

“By paying attention to artists’ voices, I believe we can build a thriving network of talent that will enhance British music and benefit all in the wider music community.”

“This project brought music to life – in my language,” adds Signkid.

To take the Next Stage survey, click here.

 


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