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PRS Foundation launches fund for emerging promoters

PRS Foundation has launched a new fund for ‘early-career’ music promoters in England, in a bid to bolster grassroots music ecosystems.

Through the Early Career Promoter Fund, grants of up to £3,500 will be available to support activities, including:

The fund – supported by Arts Council England and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) – will also help to address underrepresentation, according to a release, ensuring support reaches a diverse range of promoters.

The initiative comes as the UK live industry rallies around the ongoing crisis in the grassroots music sector. Last month, artists and managers backed the Music Venue Trust’s (MVT) calls for a compulsory £1 levy on tickets sold for UK live music events above 5,000-cap.

“Independent promoters play a vital role in identifying and platforming talent”

Joe Frankland, CEO of PRS Foundation says: “The grassroots music sector plays a crucial role in bolstering scenes and developing talent while driving the economic, cultural and social success of music nationally. We’re delighted to manage the Early Career Promoter Fund in partnership with Arts Council England and DCMS to offer funding and capacity-building support to hundreds of independent promoters who – alongside venues, festivals, artists and crews – will help to build a more robust and diverse live music sector. We’re looking forward to see who applies and to supporting exciting music events across England.”

Claire Mera-Nelson, director, Music at Arts Council England, adds “We’re delighted to be supporting PRS Foundation to develop and deliver the Early Career Promoter Fund. Independent promoters play a vital role in identifying and platforming talent and helping build audiences through partnership with venues and festivals. Helping develop the skills and insight of promoters at the early stages of their career and backing their energy and enthusiasm will play an important role in securing the future of the grassroots music sector. Today’s Supporting Grassroots Music investment from both Arts Council England and the UK Government reaffirms our commitment to supporting this vital element of the music industry and is an ideal complement to the Arts Council’s own Supporting Grassroots Music fund which is open to more established independent promoters.”

DCMS Culture Secretary, Lucy Frazer, comments: “The UK’s grassroots music sector is vital to helping the next generation of best-selling artists launch their careers and build fanbases. Promoters are a key part of this story, from booking and promoting shows, to hiring production crews and supporting musicians to reach new audiences.

“These government-funded grants will give promoters targeted support so they can provide platforms for a more diverse range of artists, access mentoring and coaching, and build sustainable careers in the creative industries.”

Promoters can apply for Early Career Promoter Fund support from PRS Foundation’s website. Full eligibility criteria and funding guidance will be available soon and the application portal will open on Thursday 2nd May 2024.


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Italy’s Artist First launches promotions division

Italian music group Artist First has launched a new live music promotions division, called Artist First Live.

The new department will be headed by Alessandro Fabozzi, the founder of Milan-based artist management company 432 Srl and digital agency Officine Orange – both of which sold majority shareholdings to Artist First in recent years. Fabozzi will work alongside Artist First founder and CEO Claudio Ferrante.

Artists exclusively promoted in Italy by Artist First Live include Le Vibrazioni, Alfa, Francesco Gabbani, Zero Assoluto & Mace. The company has also announced a series of Italian arena dates by UK artist Blue, which will include performances in Rome, Milan, Bari and Padua, with 35,000 tickets sold in less than an hour on pre-sale.

Artist First’s move into live music promotions sees it make a significant leap towards becoming the first Italian music company with a 360-degree offering.

“We are going to be very selective about who we work with to ensure we can fully focus on their individual needs”

Claudio Ferrante, founder and CEO of Artist First, says: “We have launched Artist First Live to work with great artists, domestic and international, who want to perform to Italian audiences. This new division builds on the great work we are already doing in other areas of the industry and brings us closer to our aim of being the only Italian music company to offer an authentic 360-degree service to artists and rights holders.

“We are going to be very selective about who we work with to ensure we can fully focus on their individual needs and to offer a bespoke, transparent, collaborative service. Unlike some of the bigger promoters in Italy who have built their businesses purely on volume we are passionate about music and are approaching things in a much more artist-focused way.”

Founded in 2009, the Milan-based firm deals in distribution, record labels, brand divisions, digital marketing, artist management, talent booking, music publishing and merchandising.

The company works with numerous successful Italian artists alongside a number of high-profile international acts. It also distributes a wide range of labels and has its own roster that includes Gazzelle, Fulminacci, Alfa, Dardust and Zero Assoluto, and has significant shareholdings in a number of other music companies such as Color Sound.


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