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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.

Music Creators’ projects must fulfill 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?

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

  • songwriters,
  • composers, or
  • artists, bands, producers and performers who are writing their own music or commissioning other songwriters or composers

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:

  • touring
    • music creator residencies
    • promotion and marketing
    • commissions of new music by UK-based creators*
    • exciting community projects involving high-quality music creators
    • recording
    • live performances featuring new UK music

For projects involving creation (e.g. writing or recording) alone and no performances, we recommend outlining any confirmed or potential performance opportunities within answers relating to future plans

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

We cannot fund marketing/promotion of new music without also funding an element of creation or performance

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

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. We can fund administration costs relating to the project at a maximum of 10% of total budget.

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

When are The Open Fund deadlines?

The 2020 deadlines are:

12th February 2020
8th June 2020
5th October 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. 

Applications open soon

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.

Female-identifying 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 Momentum Fund or The Writer Producer Fund cannot apply to The Open Fund or Women Make Music