Music Funding Available to Independent Musicians

There's financial help out there to take the next step!

Tom Keel for DMS - 19 Jun 2024
Emerging Artist Series

On the back of PRS For Music announcing it paid out a record amount to its songwriters in 2023, we thought we would shout about some forms of funding out there from the likes of PRS, for up and coming artists to help propel their careers, and we hope press those all important records.

It has never been easy starting out in the music industry.

Ask any musician and they will tell you stories of working part-time jobs to fund their musical aspirations, and the difficulty they faced when it came to not only making a living, but funding the whole heap of things that a successful release requires – such as studio time, mastering, PR, music videos and physical manufacturing, to name but a few.

A lot of up and coming musicians aren’t aware there are in fact a whole load of funding opportunities out there, specifically tailored to helping up and coming musicians with the seemingly unsurmountable costs. These funds are there to specifically aid and hopefully propel independent artists to the next stage of their careers. However to those not in the know, these opportunities can often pass musicians most in need by.

Here at DMS Vinyl, we've put together a useful article with what we think are some of the best funds out there, so independent artists...go check it out and hopefully it can help you press a project of your dreams!

Before immediately setting time aside to get stuck into applications, we must mention that not all of the funds are open to applications all year round. Some have a small application window once a year, others run quarterly, so its best to do some research before working out which ones are best for your project.

Ok lets get stuck into it...

The PPL Momentum Music Fund offers grants of £5,000-£15,000 for UK based artists/bands to break through to the next level of their careers, with a specific focus on recording, touring and marketing. Having run since 2013, you only have to look at the previous acts to have received the grant – Sam Fender, Little Simz, Ezra Collective, Kae Tempest – to show how it really can help propel you towards a sustained, fantastic music career (also don’t forget to register your works with PPL so you receive your royalties!)

PPL Momentum Music Fund

The Arts Council England’s work alongside the National Lottery makes them arguably the biggest funding of the arts in the UK. They offer funding opportunities for a great range of projects and you can find a really comprehensive guide on how to apply here. We’d highly recommend this as we’ve had several successful applicants come to DMS to press their records as part of their successfully funded project.

Arts Council England's Lottery Fund

Help Musicians UK have their Next Level awards, which offer grants of up to £3,000 as well as some great career advice and networking opportunities to individuals. The funding can be used for a whole range of things, including manufacturing and merchandise design, so is another great fund to help press some records or CDs. Find the guide on how to apply here. We also highly recommend Help Musicians UK if you are ever struggling mentally or physically, as they are a fantastic charity that offer help to musicians who need it.

Help Musicians UK's Next Level award

For the younger musicians out there, Youth Music have their NextGen fund, which offers 18–25-year-old creatives grants of up to £2,500 to support them in their musical project. Specifically aimed at those whose lack of finance holds them back from pursuing their goals, this funding can be granted to Singers, Rappers, Songwriters, Producers, DJs, A&Rs, Managers and Agents, right through to roles that have yet to be defined.

Youth Music's NextGen fund

The Featured Artists Coalition (FAC) once a year runs an exciting fund in combination with Amazon Music, called Step Up. Not only do successful applicants receive grants of up to £8,000, but there is also a broader package of benefits that come with the grant; including content creation opportunities with Amazon Music, mentoring opportunities, one-to-one support from the FAC, a one-year FAC membership and more.

Featured Artists Coalition's Step Up fund

There are lots of other funds out there too!

We have mentioned just 5 funding bids, but there are a huge number of other funds out there, so make sure to do your research and when submitting your applications, be as detailed and in-depth as you can - it will make a huge difference in being successful or not! Best of luck.

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