You can apply for financial support of up to £5,000 towards the cost of performing live and touring.

Live performance and touring can have a huge impact on your career — allowing you to build your fanbase, increase confidence, improve your craft, test new ideas and generate income.

This support focuses not only on helping you to perform live, but also on your wellbeing and long-term business development.

Awardees receive: 

  • up to £5,000 in financial support towards touring and live activities 

  • one-to-one business advice sessions tailored to your needs and delivered via experienced music industry professionals

  • personal health consultation with British Association for Performing Arts Medicine (BAPAM), covering all aspects of your physical and mental health, with specialist referrals where required

This support is for professional musicians and music creators of all genres and disciplines.

You can be a solo artist, composer, group member, songwriter, producer or a multidisciplinary artist.

We are not able to support organisations.

To apply, you must:

  • Deliver your supported activities within 12 months of accepting the grant. Please note, your activity should not start any earlier than three months from the submission of your application
  • Be aged over 18
  • Be in financial need, without significant backing towards touring or live performance from a record label, publisher or private investor
  • Not have more than £16,000 in savings
  • Already have an active career and be able to clearly demonstrate your work to date
  • Have the right to live and work in the UK
  • Currently be living in the UK
  • Have a UK bank account

If applying as a group:

  • At least 50% of members must meet the criteria as above, including the lead applicant
  • You must have been established and playing together regularly for at least one year

To help you with your touring & live activity, you can apply for up to £5,000 to assist with the cost of performing your music and getting it out to the world. This could include: 

  • Touring expenses (e.g. accommodation, transport and fuel costs, venue hire, ticketing)
  • Session musician and crew fees (e.g. stage manager, sound engineer, tour manager or lighting technician)
  • PR and marketing (including social media campaigns)
  • Content creation (e.g. video, audio, promotional photography, artwork and design)
  • Merchandise (design and production) 
  • Access to creative spaces (rehearsal and writing rooms)
  • Travel and accommodation for festival appearances, but only where these are part of a tour (two or more dates)
  • Costs of performance related technology, equipment — speakers, amplifiers, headsets, microphones, projectors etc — or touring breakables — guitar strings, plectrums, tuners, batteries and drum sticks etc (these should not make up more than 50% of your budget)

  • Visas and carnets (these should not make up more than 50% of your budget)
  • Travel, public liability and contents insurance (not including vehicle insurance)‡

Please note we are unable to fund the purchase of musical instruments, including laptops.

‡We can support a contribution towards your travel, public liability and contents insurance for the duration that you’re on tour. You would need to work out the percentage of the total cost based on how many days you are going on tour for and detail your workings within the notes tab within the budget section of the application form. 

Here are the activities that we can’t currently support through this fund:

  • Activities that take place within 3‑months of a submitted application
  • Equipment costs that make up more than 50% of the total request from Help Musicians 
  • Applications that are solely for visas and/​or carnets. 
  • We are unable to pay artists fees or top up low performance fees (this includes providing a fee for unpaid performances or festival appearances). Please note that we can still support session musician costs
  • One off festival appearances that are not part of a tour (ie. 2 or more dates)
  • Activities that are not primarily music or career development focused
  • Formal courses of study, training or research (e.g. undergraduate or postgraduate study). For information on how we can support this, please visit Support your Studies
  • 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, for example rent, utilities and insurance
  • Buying or insuring vehicles
  • Although we won’t exclude applications that are asking us to contribute to a wider project, this application shouldn’t be seen as a top-up fund for larger funding bids. (10% of your total budget or less would be considered as top-up funding)

  • Costs associated with entering competitions
  • Activities that have already occurred
  • Costs relating to the purchase of musical instruments (including laptops) and/​or the upgrade/​maintenance of existing instruments

  • Costs towards planned tours or live performances in Russia or

    Belarus with state-sponsored and/​or state-funded venues or companies

Please note that if you have received financial support from this fund in the last 12 months then we will be unable to support your application.

We understand how challenging and expensive it is to go on tour, and how vital performing and building your audience is for a musician. 

We want to support musicians to sustain a career in music and believe that musicians should be fairly paid for their performances. This is why we have made the decision not to subsidise artist fees or top up low paid performances. By subsidising income, we would not be supporting a sustainable way of earning an income through touring activity.

As part of this support, you’ll receive six hours of dedicated one-to-one business advice from industry experts to help you to shape or rethink your business plans.

You may be wondering how to promote your next release, be looking to find new ways to distribute your music or build an online fanbase.

We’ll pair you with up to two expert business advisors who can help you with a range of topics.

You can choose the topics of expertise that would suit you best when making your application, including:

  • Branding, marketing, and social media
  • Career development and achieving your goals
  • Digital commerce including​‘direct to fan’ sales and streaming
  • Finances, taxes, and self-employment
  • Funding
  • Legal and contracts advice
  • Music business strategies (publishing, distribution, promotion, and licensing)
  • Navigating careers in specialist music genres
  • Publishing and Royalties
  • Touring and Live
  • Project Management

Through our partnership with BAPAM, you’ll be able to explore your own health practice, identify and develop achievable health goals, plan a schedule that helps you develop your career sustainably, and access expert clinical help for any performance-related conditions. This is available at any time during the duration of your grant. 

Further support for your wellbeing, physical and mental health is always available. 

Yes. You can apply for this as part of a larger application of up to a total of £5,000.

The maximum amount for each type of support is as follows:

There is high demand for this support, and in 2022 the charity was able to support around one in five applications from the funds available. We do understand that this process can be challenging, and we are here to support you, but due to the volume of applications our guidance cannot guarantee a successful outcome. 


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