Help Musicians UK responds to the needs of DIY music creators by launching the holistic Do It Differently Fund

The leading independent music charity Help Musicians UK (HMUK) announces the launch of a new, holistic fund that will provide the most comprehensive suite of support yet for independently-driven music creators.

This pivotal new £200,000 fund for independent music creators offers a 360-degree support package across creative, wellbeing and business

The Do It Differently Fund is now open for applications via the HMUK website and has been designed by Help Musicians UK following extensive qualitative research into the funding gaps and needs of the UK's exceptional DIY talent. 

The UK-wide fund will award 20 creators in its first round, whether they’re a producer, composer, songwriter, musician, vocalist, DJ, beatboxer or beyond, at any stage of their career and in any genre. The fund will offer individuals or bands/ensembles of six members or less, a grant of up to £3,000 focused on either developing experience in touring or recording. A further £2,000 is set aside for each successful applicant to go towards business planning and wellbeing services available directly from HMUK and its industry partners.

Claire Gevaux, Programme Director HMUK, said: "This year we've been listening to music creators and representatives from across the industry and have gained invaluable insights to inform our thinking about the need for a truly holistic package of support for independent music creators. The Do it Differently fund is a direct response to what we heard and by working with our partners we have now been able to create something completely unique where the health, welfare, creative and career development of music creators are of equal importance. We look forward to reading and watching your applications because, as a charity, we're really committed to doing it differently too."

Creative development - The new fund will empower music makers who want to retain their creative independence in either touring or recording. With Do It Differently, artists will be able to access funding for a range of opportunities relating to the creative side of the industry, such as songwriting, composition, recording, releasing, touring and live development. Applicants will need to demonstrate their track record and be able to express their creative journey. In a move by HMUK to be more accessible and inclusive through this latest funding scheme, applications can be made online in either a written or video format.

Business development – Do It Differently will encourage entrepreneurship and business acumen through access to the top industry moguls. Working in conjunction with the respected business expert Jonathan Robinson, former Programme Director at industry think tank MusicTank, Do It Differently will provide access to the best in the business to advise each individual or group in developing sustainable business plans.

Health and wellbeing – HMUK recognises the emotional and physical pressures of being a music creator and will offer a suite of health and welfare opportunities, where needed. Successful applicants will gain access to HMUK’s range of health and welfare services, including the Musicians Hearing Health Scheme and Music Minds Matter, the free support service providing around the clock advice and a listening ear for people in the industry. The Do It Differently Fund will also offer opt-in access to a brand new Healthy Touring programme in association with the British Association for Performing Arts Medicine (BAPAM). The inaugural healthy touring programme will provide a support package to help music creators and their teams to stay healthy on tour.

Jonathan Robinson, former Programme Director MusicTank, said: “I am delighted to be involved with this innovative funding model from HMUK, which goes beyond grant-giving, to provide business development advice and guidance that is truly impactful, in the pursuit of longterm, sustainable careers.

Claire Cordeaux, Director BAPAM, said: “Keeping healthy is an essential part of sustaining a successful career in music and we’re delighted that HMUK is supporting this holistic approach to awards for music creators. We’ve had some top performers, tour managers and psychotherapists advising us on the healthy touring programme and look forward to working with the award winners.”

Jessica McCarten, Community Manager The Rattle, said: “Having participated in the development of Do It Differently via a series of round tables, it’s exciting to see Help Musicians UK listening and acting on the needs of creators in the current climate. Carving a career in music isn’t one dimensional and as well as honing your craft, it’s crucial to also be in tune with your health, demonstrate an entrepreneurial spark and have an understanding of business. Do it Differently will empower musicians in all these areas, allowing them to be confident and in control. We at The Rattle look forward to seeing the fund benefit not only some of our members, but the wider artist community also.

Applications can be made via the HMUK website. The closing date is November 13. For all enquiries and full guidelines please visit: www.helpmusicians.org.uk

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