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Home > Funding > Funding for Music Creators > All Levels > The Open Fund for Music Creators

The Open Fund for Music Creators

The Open Fund For Music Creators

The Open Fund for Music Creators supports the development of outstanding songwriters and composers of all genres and backgrounds at different stages of their career.

The fund can support projects by songwriters, composers, or artists, bands, producers and performers who are writing their own music or commissioning others.

We understand that music creator needs are different given the current creative and career impact the Covid-19 pandemic is having across the music sector. As such we have adapted the Open Fund and Women Make Music to be more flexible in supporting music creator development needs.

Music Creators’ projects must fulfil all three of our funding priorities:

  1. To support the creation, performance and promotion of outstanding new music in any genre
    We are particularly interested in the quality of the music
  2. To enable the UK’s most talented music creators to realise their potential
    We are interested in how your project will develop the songwriters and composers involved.

If you are a songwriter/composer you will need to tell us why this particular activity is so crucial to your creative or professional development.

If you are a solo performer or small performance group commissioning others, you will need to explain why your project is so important to the songwriter or performer you are working with.

We are committed to supporting UK based songwriters and composers of all backgrounds.

  1. To inspire audiences
    You will be asked to outline who you are reaching and how. This includes audiences at a local, regional, national or international level

What is a music creator?
How much can Music Creators apply for?
What can’t be covered by an Open Fund grant for Music Creators?
When are The Open Fund deadlines?
How do I apply?
How often can we apply to The Open Fund and/or Women Make Music?
We received a grant already through The Open Fund or Women Make Music. When can we apply again?
Who can’t apply?

What is a music creator

The following are considered by PRS Foundation to be Music Creators:

  • songwriters,
  • composers, or
  • artists, bands, producers and performers who are involved in the composition/writing process

Please see our Frequently Asked Questions page for information on Music Creators we consider eligible and ineligible, including advice on restrictions around financial set-up.

The Open Fund supports Music Creators of all genres and backgrounds and at different stages of their careers, across the UK. Final decisions may be based on achieving a fair balance of supported projects

Through The Open Fund, we support high quality new music projects and therefore cannot support core organisational costs, salary costs or living costs.

Click here to see the full list of other PRS Foundation opportunities for organisations and music creators.

How much can Music Creators apply for?

The Open Fund for Music Creators offers grants of up to £5,000.

Our funding includes support of:

  • Creation of new music
  • Time to create
  • Touring and live performances
  • Recording and release
  • Creative residency costs
  • Fees to creative collaborators
  • Promotion and marketing (when there is also an element of creation and/or performance)

For remaining deadlines in 2020, please note the following adaptations to our guidance:

Funded projects must comply with the latest UK Government advice, lockdown restrictions and social distancing measures. Please be aware that we are still accepting applications which involved live performance or other elements which at time of writing are not allowed but may in the future go ahead. We reserve the right to decline applications on the basis that they do not or will not comply with restrictions and as such encourage applicants to apply caution. Our decision-making and offer process will be more flexible than usual when it comes to proposed activity confirmation-status and you should read our Covid-19 related guidance for applicants for further steer.

We will always focus on creative and professional development and will now consider support and increased prioritisation of the following areas on a case-bycase basis:

  • Music Creator Time – we are supportive of music creators including fees for creation and expect during the pandemic that more applicants will include fees for their own time and work. This might help you to cover professional losses or the costs of working from home
  • Funding for high quality and innovative live broadcast or pre-recorded online content^ which adheres to social distancing rules and is within Government guidance at the time
  • Equipment – we will relax our guidance to enable applicants to apply for equipment or software costs which enable creation or new types of performances where those costs represent up to 20% of the total project budget

We want to stress that we offer flexibility during unprecedented times so that music creators can sustain creativity and careers. We  welcome any innovative ideas music creators have in undertaking high quality performances in new ways to reaching audiences, again all considered on a case by case basis.

For projects involving performance, we will only fund one-off performances in exceptional circumstances and prioritise projects which either involved repeat/multiple performances.

*We define ‘commission’ as a music creator or group engaged by a third party to create a new piece of music.

^ Please ensure that you comply with licensing regulations relating to live streams and pre-recorded content. Signed music creators should consult contracts and liaise with record companies and music publishers if needed to ensure that content is cleared for use and for exploitation. 

As per PRS for Music’s Music Streaming Licence page:

  • Those wishing to live-stream via platforms such as Facebook and YouTube should be covered by the existing licensing agreements in place with those platforms. There are currently no licensing arrangements in place with Twitter or Twitch, negotiations are currently taking place with both of these companies. Please ensure you follow the terms of use and copyright requirements of each respective platform.
  • Those wishing to host a live-stream via their own website can apply for a limited online music licence (LOML).
  • If you’d like to discuss live streaming or the possibility of a Music Streaming Licence, please email PRS for Music at applications@prsformusic.com or call the PRS for Music licensing team on +44 (0)20 3741 3888, 9am to 5.30pm, Monday to Friday.

What can’t be covered by an Open Fund grant for Music Creators?

Through The Open Fund, we support high quality new music projects which have tangible musical outcomes and a clearly defined start and end date.

We cannot support core organisational costs, salary costs or living costs. Under our usual guidance we can fund administration costs relating to the project at a maximum of 10% of total budget, however due to the current situation as a result of Covid – 19 we can support an application where up to 20% of the total budget is allocated to administrative costs.

See PRS Foundation’s Open Fund Criteria for full details.

When are The Open Fund deadlines?

The 2020 deadlines and decision dates are:

Deadline: 8th June 2020 / Decision: 18th August 2020
Deadline: 5th October 2020 / Decision:  15th December 2020

All applications must be submitted by 6pm on the day of the deadline. 

When applying, keep in mind that we can only support activity happening after the decision date for your deadline – this will mean your activity must be at least 10 weeks after the deadline.

We will close the application forms for up to 12 weeks after each deadline for system upkeep.

We expect your project to take place within 1 year of receiving our grant.

How do I apply?

Before applying, you must read our Application Stages and Deadlines page, plus PRS Foundation’s Open Fund Criteria. You should also read our FAQ & Tips Section.

The Open Fund for Music Creators is now a one-stage application process instead of two, this means that you will be asked to provide details about the project, how it will benefit the creators involved, the activity timeline and a balanced budget in one application form.

Having received positive feedback from a more diverse range of applicants to video-based applications we are giving Music Creator applicants the option to choose between written answers OR a video submission to decisive questions. *

While the application form may seem longer, we’ve broken down the decisive questions into individual questions so that you have more space (written) to adequately answer the questions and we’ll be launching new video application guidance this year to further support applicants through the application process.

*Please ensure that your video is accessible for at least three months from the deadline date as we cannot accept responsibility for your video link being inaccessible and you will not receive support.

Apply now

How often can we apply to The Open Fund and/or Women Make Music?

Due to high demand, you can only apply once per calendar year to The Open Fund for Music Creators.

Women, gender minorities and mixed gender groups can apply once per calendar year to Women Make Music. Those applicants are therefore able to apply once per calendar year to each scheme.

For example, if you apply unsuccessfully to Women Make Music in February, you may apply to The Open Fund for Music Creators in June or October but will have to wait until the next calendar year before reapplying to Women Make Music. It is not possible to apply to Women Make Music AND The Open Fund for Music Creators in the same deadline and we will simply reject your applications.

We received a grant already through The Open Fund or Women Make Music. When can we apply again?

No music creator can receive 2 grants in one calendar year through The Open Fund/Women Make Music, and we prefer for applicants to wait until their funded project is complete before reapplying.

Furthermore, Women Make Music grantees cannot reapply to Women Make Music and must instead apply to The Open Fund for Music Creators for suitable projects- something that is actively encouraged.

Please note we may prioritise new applicants and new grantees due to high demand and strategic priorities. Grantees must make a strong case for repeated support and cannot be funded for the same project.

Who can’t apply?

Those unable to apply to The Open Fund include:

  • Those not based in the UK
  • Those previously in receipt of The PPL Momentum Fund or Hitmaker cannot apply to The Open Fund or Women Make Music