Before applying for our Next Level Awards, please make sure you’ve reviewed the eligibility criteria, terms and conditions and application guidance below to give you the best possible chance of submitting a strong application.

Who is eligible? 

To apply you must:

  • Have a track record of making 40% of your income from music over the past two years or longer. Exceptions apply for musicians with a long-term health condition and/​or disability that impacts your ability to earn.
  • Be aged 18 or over, living in the UK, with the right to live and work in the UK and with a UK bank account
  • Not have more than £10,000 savings or access to other capital that could fund your planned activity

Full eligibility criteria can be found here. We strongly recommend you read these before making an application.

Beyond this, to receive this award you have to:

  • Be able to deliver the activities we’d be supporting you for within 12 months of receiving the funds
  • Have control over one or more aspects of your career, i.e., self-managing, self-releasing or self-producing

This support is categorised as Band 4.

No. This support is for individual musicians.

However, you can use the funds towards participation in a group project as long as the money is spent on the eligible items (below) and you can show how your involvement will help your own career in music.

In the application is it important you focus on your own music history and goals and not your group’s history and goals.

If multiple members of your band or group are eligible then you can apply as individuals but we will only fund the same project once. The applicant who is approved will need to be involved in all other aspects of the support and other band or group members will not be able to attend the events or advice sessions.

If multiple members of the same group are eligible then we will consider funding different projects delivered by the group, but we are highly unlikely to fund multiple projects from the same group or band at within 12 months of each other.

You are welcome to apply to us for physical health, mental health or financial welfare support at any time if you need.

However, you can only apply for, and take part in, one creative and career service at a time.

How do I apply? 

You can apply for Next Level support within the following windows:

  • Monday 22 April — Friday 24 May 2024
  • Monday 1 July — Friday 2 August 2024
  • Monday 16 September — Friday 18 October 2024

If you are eligible and have read the guidance on this page then the link to begin your application can be found at the bottom of this page.

Applications are made using our online portal. You will need to log in or create an account and a profile.

We want everyone to be able to access our services, so if you have access requirements then please find out more about how we can help here.

Competition for our support is very high and, as a charity, we need to ensure our funds are used to their greatest impact, so it’s worth knowing what we are looking for in an application to help us understand your opportunity: 

  • Timing and urgency: you’re at a pivotal moment in your career when our support could really help you move forward, rather than seeking support for a project you could do at any time
  • Long-term: you can show us how this support will help you pursue a larger and longer-term project than ever before, which will grow your music career and income in the long term
  • Network building: you’re already working collaboratively and building the right connections for your career, and you have clear goals for the networks you want to build through this support
  • Career-focussed: you can tell us very clear goals in your music career and how our support will help you achieve them
  • Track record: you can show consistent dedication to your music over time

When you make an application, we will need you to provide us with details of a referee, as well as 3 months of your most recent bank statements from all your current and savings accounts.

We use these statements to verify that you are earning at least 40% of your income from music, that you are within our household income threshold and do not have any ineligible capital.

Full eligibility details here.

What can I apply for? 

Your budget of up to £3,000 might go towards some of the following:

  • Expenses associated with your creative practice, e.g. contribution to per diems, travel, rehearsal space hire
  • Session musician and crew fees (e.g. stage manager, sound engineer, tour manager or lighting technician)
  • PR and marketing (including social media campaigns) — this should not make up more than 50% of your total budget
  • Content creation (e.g. video, audio, promotional photography, artwork and design)
  • Recording (studio hire, engineering, mixing, mastering)
  • Travel and accommodation for live and touring opportunities
  • Your own time, e.g. taking the time you need to create, undertake planning, promotion and other key activities — this should not make up more than 30% of your total budget
  • Performance-related equipment*, including speakers, amplifiers, headsets, microphones or touring breakables
  • Visa advice, and visas and carnet costs — this should not make up more than 50% of your budget
  • Manufacture and distribution
  • Merchandise design, production and distribution
  • Musical equipment or software/​hardware to produce, collaborate or distribute*
  • Event costs including venue, promotion etc.
  • Courses, mentoring and coaching opportunities
  • Registration fees for conferences relevant to your career progression

*Equipment costs should not make up any more than 50% of your budget. Please note we are unable to fund the purchase of musical instruments, including laptops.

We want to be alongside you, providing you with all the support and resources you need to take your career to the next level.

Based on feedback and ideas from musicians, we’ve built this programme to provide opportunities that will build your career skills and confidence, as well as your peer and industry networks.

If you are successful, you will need to take part in the following: 

  • Online Welcome Meet Up to meet our team and the other Awardees 
  • 121 Support Session to discuss your career goals and how we can support you 
  • 6 hours of 121 Business Advice from industry experts 
  • Online Peer and Industry Meet Ups with other Awardees 
  • Delivering your own music project, which we will provide up to £3,000 towards 
  • Online surveys to help us continually improve our support to you before, during and after the support 

You will also have an option to participate in: 

  • Monthly online peer drop-ins with other musicians 
  • A healthy practice session delivered by BAPAM 

Here is what we can’t currently support:

  • Activities that take place within 12 weeks of a submitted application
  • Formal courses of study, training or research (e.g. undergraduate or postgraduate study)
  • Continuation of regular one-to-one music lessons
  • Attendance as a performer at showcases already supported by funds like the International Showcase Fund (e.g. SXSW, CMJ, A3C, Womex, Reeperbahn, Folk Alliance International, Canadian Music Week)
  • Ongoing overheads, e.g., rent, utilities and insurance
  • Buying or insuring vehicles
  • Costs associated with entering competitions
  • Activities that have already occurred 
  • Equipment and instrument costs that make up more than 50% of your total request to us
  • Contribution to a larger project where the financial support we provide is less than 30% of the total project cost, and where you have been unable to show why taking part in the project will benefit your personal career in music

You must spend the grant within 12 months of the date you receive it.

What happens next? 

We try to assess these as quickly as possible and we will let you know within 12 weeks of submitting your application if you have been successful.

Please don’t apply for anything due to happen within this 12 week period.

We cannot fast track applications or provide updates on when you will hear whether you have been successful.

Please note, if you don’t provide all required information for us to assess your eligibility or application we will pause your application while we wait for more information from you and this will slow down the process.

This service is for your long-term career development and the financial support is only one part of it.

We have found that accessing some guidance before starting a project enables musicians to make best use of their financial support so you will need to have undertaken at least one and a half hours of our business advice sessions before you can receive the first financial support.