This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more about our use of cookies click here OK
This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more about our use of cookies click here. OK

Home > Funding > International Showcase Fund > International Showcase Fund: Guidance and FAQs

International Showcase Fund: Guidance and FAQs

International Showcase Fund Guidance and FAQs

The International Showcase Fund offers vital support for artists, bands, songwriters and producers based in England and Scotland who have been invited to play an international showcasing festival or conference.and are able to build further opportunities to network and creatively collaborate around these showcase and conference commitments. Grants of up to £5,000 are available to help cover the costs of travel, visas and accommodation.

The International Showcase Fund is a partnership between PRS for Music Foundation, UK Trade & Investment, British Underground, Arts Council England, the Musicians’ Union, PPL and Creative Scotland and in association with PledgeMusic.

As well as offering grant support, partners offer advice, guidance and workshops for some events. Associate partner, PledgeMusic provides bespoke advice to any applicant wanting to include Direct to Fan income as part of their showcase budget, as well as ongoing support for ISF grantees.

What is Music Export?

So, you or your band is well on the way to breaking in the UK. You’ve had some success with your releases, toured the country OR have been involved in successful and meaningful writing and studio sessions in your home country and are now eyeing territories beyond our shores to develop your career. In short, you are ready to export your music and explore international opportunities to learn, network and collaborate.

The UK is one of the biggest exporters of new music in the world. Every year our finest emerging talent is invited to key music industry-focused festivals and showcasing events to perform to interested international labels, promoters, agents and publishers or attend conferences delivered by the same.

Although it is crucial for an act to attract and secure deals in territories outside of the UK, these initial forays overseas can be expensive. The International Showcase Fund exists to help cover the costs of these trips, enabling artists to connect with and showcase to their potential next label, promoter, music supervisor, synch agents or potential future collaborators overseas.

Which showcase festivals are covered by the fund?

The kinds of events and festivals that are covered by the funding are those that have a mostly music industry audience or delegation. The fund can not support artists to play at festivals for the general public.

Examples of showcase festivals:

SXSW in Austin, USA
Tallinn Music Week, Tallinn, Estonia
JazzAhead, Bremen, Germany
CMJ in New York, USA
Folk Alliance International, Kansas City, USA
Eurosonic, Groningen, The Netherlands
Americana Music Association Festival, Nashville, USA
NXNE, Toronto, Canada
A3C Hip Hop Festival, Atlanta, USA
WOMEX
Iceland Airwaves, Reykjavik, Iceland
Classical Next, Vienna, Austria
Midem, Cannes, France
Rochester Jazz Festival, New York, USA

There are over 50 eligible events each year. Click here for a fuller list. If you have been invited to play an event and are unsure of its suitability, please email bhavesh@prsformusicfoundation.com.

Am I eligible for support from the International Showcase Fund?

  • Are you a band/artist based in England or Scotland?
  • Do you write and perform your own music, that is exceptional?
  • Have you been writing / producing with/for notable talent from England or Scotland?
  • Have you been invited to play at an international event, with a conference element, that is geared towards music industry professionals rather than the general public?
  • Have you got a good profile in the UK (i.e. been featured in the national press/had airplay on national radio/and indie release)?
  • Do you have a list of meetings with music industry executives (i.e. publishers, labels, agencies, etc.) confirmed for when you are at your chosen showcase?
  • Do you have a strong business case for attending this specific showcase (i.e. are you building upon prior success there, or following up on significant buzz surrounding your band in that particular country)?
  • Do you have a strong creative case for attending this specific showcase or conference (i.e. is there a confirmed pool of relevant and potential collaborators also in attendence or based in the relevant city?)

If you answer yes to all of the questions below then you are eligible to apply.

If any of the above doesn’t apply to you, you could still be eligible to apply to one of our other funding options.

Eligible Showcases

There are over 50 eligible events each year. Below is a list of eligible events. We highly recommend the Explore International Music Showcasing Toolkit – an invaluable resource for those considering international events.

If you have been invited to play an event and are unsure of its suitability, please email bhavesh@prsformusicfoundation.com.

January

APAP, New York, USA
Eurosonic Noorderslag, Groningen, Netherlands

February

Folk Alliance International, Kansas City, USA
Millennium Music Conference & Showcase, Pennsylvania, USA

March

Miami Winter Music Conference, Miami, USA
By:Larm, Oslo, Norway
SXSW, Austin, USA
Tallinn Music Week, Tallinn, Estonia
Babel Med Music, Marseille, France

April

Inferno Metal Meeting, Oslo, Norway
Jazz Ahead, Bremen, Germany
Launch Music Conference, Pennsylvania, USA
MUSEXPO, Hollywood, USA

May

Canadian Music Week, Toronto, Canada
Music Matters, Singapore
Classical:NEXT, Rotterdam, Netherlands
Primavera Sound, Barcelona, Spain

June

Midem, Cannes, France
NXNE, Toronto, Canada
Youbloom, Dublin, Ireland
Sonar, Barcelona, Spain
Montreal International Jazz Festival, Canada

July

Rochester Jazz Festival, New York, USA

September

Berlin Music Week, Germany
Big Sound Australia, Brisbane, Australia
Reeperbahn Festival, Hamburg, Germany
Pop Montreal, Canada
Americana Music Festival, Nashville, USA
Lake of Stars, Malawi, Africa

October

Vienna Waves, Austria
Showcase PEI, Prince Edward Island, Canada
Breakout West, Winnipeg, Canada
CBGB Fest, New York, USA
A3C Festival, Atlanta, USA
MaMA France, Paris, Pigalle and Montmartre, France
Amsterdam Dance Event, Netherlands
Tokyo International Music Market, Japan
CMJ, New York, USA
WOMEX takes place in a different territory each year

November

NH7, India
Music Matters Mumbai, India
Iceland Airwaves, Reykjavik, Iceland
Nouvelle Prague, Czech Republic
Rotterdam Beats, Netherlands
M For Montreal, Canada

December

SIM Sao Paulo, Brazil

The International Showcase Fund has rolling deadlines due to varying event organiser schedules.

We recommend you apply for funding soon after being invited to showcase in order to give our panel of industry experts and partners enough time to consider your application to turnaround a decision as quickly as possible.

As a rough guide, our experts consider applications 2-3 months before showcase events take place. While the processing of visas is entirely your responsibility, because the process can take 3 months for some territories, we prefer to receive applications 10-12 weeks prior to the event taking place and must receive applications at least 8 weeks prior to the event taking place*.

*Exceptional Circumstances

Under certain circumstances (e.g. change of management, a late invite from the event, the artist’s ability to fulfil funding partners’ diversity goals) applicants can submit an Exceptional Circumstances Form for partners to consider time sensitive applications within 8 weeks of an event taking place. To do so, please download and complete this form before emailing joseph@prsformusicfoundation.com.

Please note, new applicants and non-funded artists will be prioritised.

All funding decisions are made by International Showcase Fund partners PRS for Music Foundation, Department for International Trade, British Underground, Arts Council England, PPL, Musicians’ Union, and Creative Scotland, in association with PledgeMusic. For high-demand showcase events such as SXSW, a panel of independent music industry experts meets to select artists. Decisions are made based on the criteria stated in our Guidance Pages. 
If as an unsuccessful applicant you are unhappy with the funding decision and believe correct procedure has not been adhered to, please see our Grievance Procedure document. Funding partner decisions are final.