Join PRS Foundation & Friends for a webinar aimed at Venues, Promoters and Festivals

Thursday 28th May, 3.30-5.00pm

Zoom webinar link: | Webinar ID: 863-9007-9478 | Or join via:

PRS Foundation’s Open Fund for Organisations offers funding of up to £10,000 to support new music projects led by festivals, venues, promoters and other talent development organisations. Funded projects enable UK-based songwriters, composers, artists and bands to develop and to create and perform outstanding new music.

Covid-19 has had a great impact on the live sector and we have updated our guidance for remaining 2020 deadlines (June 8th and October 5th) to ensure we meet the changing needs of organisations and music creators through our Open Fund. Join PRS Foundation’s Joe Frankland (CEO), Becci Scotcher (Senior Grants & Programmes Manager) and Westley Holdsworth (Grants Coordinator), plus your fellow live sector experts as we outline:

  • About The Open Fund for Organisations
  • Covid-19 related guidance changes and FAQs
  • Grantee case studies
  • Top tips for June and October applicants
  • Dedicated information and guidance for Venues, Promoters or Festivals

PRS Foundation us the UK’s leading charitable funder of new music and talent development, supporting the creation and performance of outstanding music in all genres, at all career levels and across the UK. We have been responding Covid-19 in many ways and wanted to outline relevant information for Promoters, Festivals, Venues, Orchestras, Curators and other talent development organisations interested in The Open Fund for Organisations which offers project funding of up to £10,000 with the following deadlines remaining in 2020:

  • Deadline 2: 8th June (decisions by 18th August)
  • Deadline 3: 5th October (decisions by 15th December)

We moved from a 2-stage process to a simpler 1-stage process earlier in the year which has been popular, and while we acknowledge form-filling is not the natural habitat for all  festivals, promoters and venues, we pride ourselves on the relative simplicity of our forms. Decisions are made by external industry professionals and not by grant-makers which we know makes the approach to applications easier for most – you can talk in your application as if you would to other music professionals.

In normal circumstances promoters, festivals and venues have a relatively strong success rate. All of our deadlines are competitive and we’re experiencing high demand during the pandemic, but you should apply for suitable projects when they think the timing is right. We want your applications, especially if you’re new to PRS Foundation!

We are very aware that Covid-19 presents huge challenges for the live sector, and understand that project funding isn’t top of the list for every promoter, venue or festival. The very real need to sustain businesses and to survive in many cases will trump the need for project funding, and we know many of you will be prioritising accessing Government support and other relief support from hardship funds and through crowdfunding campaigns. We therefore expect and have planned to accommodate more applications from venues, promoters and festivals for Deadline 3. Either way, we’re all ears and want to fund new solutions as well as funding proper live performances when ready. PRS Foundation supports creation and performance of outstanding new music. We’ll adapt of course but that won’t change!

We wanted to share the following points which help you to see Covid-19 related flexibility for 2020:

  • For remaining 2020 deadlines we are allowing organisations working in the live sector to apply for higher levels of ‘admin or organisational costs’. Previously restricted to 10-15%, those in the live sector can now ask for up to 25% of the grant request amount to contribute to staff, admin and organisational costs for running the project. We hope this allowance of up to £2,500 helps a little at this difficult time.
  • We encourage and support fair pay to artists and music creators involved in your projects. Our grant may allow live event organisers to maintain fair fees and good standards despite likely ticket income pressures. We hope this helps organisations to feel more secure and to continue to support exciting, diverse and/or emerging talent which may otherwise be seen as a ‘risk’.
  • We expect for Deadline 2 that we will see higher demand for funding for digital innovation and expect to fund a higher proportion of projects which integrate high quality performance content to help reach audiences. 
  • For Deadline 3, we want to ringfence a proportion of our Open Fund budget for performance based projects, including festivals, tours, gigs, etc. At time of writing (May 2020), it is too early to know when live will return to an extent that we can be confident about activity happening, but by October we expect to know more and want to ensure our funding is available to support quality live activity. We expect most in the live sector will prefer to apply in October.
  • We will apply a flexible approach to the decision-making process which allows organisations to apply for live activities which may or may not need to be rescheduled as a result of the pandemic. We employ external industry advisors to score applications and to make funding recommendations. We will be asking those advisors to score based on our main funding priorities. If recommended for support, organisations will be sent a conditional offer which allows them to submit any necessary activity changes, including rescheduled dates or alternative activities for approval. We hope this gives the live sector confidence that PRS Foundation is committed to sustaining funding for performances.