Arts Council NI ARTIST/Freelancers Survey

In July 2020, the Department for Communities announced a £4 million lifeline for the arts sector in Northern Ireland. An additional £33 million has subsequently been allocated to the NI Executive through the UK Government’s £1.57 billion rescue package for the UK’s arts, culture and heritage sectors.

To help the Arts Council determine where financial support is most urgently required, they have developed a survey for individual artists, practitioners and creative freelancers to find out how Covid-19 has affected them.

The information gathered by this survey will inform ACNI about the impact of COVID-19 on Northern Ireland’s individual artists, practitioners and creative freelancers and will help them to determine where financial support is most urgently required.

Please complete and share with other artists – we feel it is very important that musicians, artists, freelancers get the support they need.

For more details and to complete the survey go HERE

NI Music Prize now seeking submissions

It is that time of year again when we open the submission process for albums and singles! While COVID-19 has greatly impacted live music and events, we are still planning to run the NI Music Prize for 2020. We are working on how we might present the event and more details will be announced soon. For now we are very pleased to announce that the submission process is open from Friday 3rd July – Thursday 30th July.

Any eligible NI single or album must have been released between 15th July 2019 – 14th July 2020

For full details, criteria and submission form go HERE

Oh Yeah now recruiting for Scratch 2020 with support from YouTube Music

The Oh Yeah Music Centre in Belfast opens submissions for Scratch My Progress 2020 and announces talent development partnership with YouTube Music.The Oh Yeah Music Centre in Belfast is now seeking applications from emerging artists for its annual talent development programme Scratch My Progress. Since 2011, the scheme has worked with 35 emerging acts including Kitt Philippa, Careerist, Sister Ghost, Owen Denvir, Wynona Bleach, Gemma Bradley, Strange New Places, Reevah, Vokxen, Alice LA and Sasha Samara to name only a few. Taking the programme to the next level, artists will now also benefit from the involvement of a new partner – YouTube Music.  YouTube Music will be working closely with the artists to build their channel, develop a YouTube content strategy and most importantly, engage in a meaningful way with their audiences. 

Scratch My Progress is a mentoring, showcase and practical support programme for new music. Each year taking 4 acts with potential and supporting them in their development as they navigate their way through the music industry, while developing their sound, profile and skills. The programme also includes other elements of support which are open to artists not participating on the Scratch programme such as the ASK advice sessions, industry workshops, panels, master classes and conference events aimed at bringing musicians closer to the wider industry for advice, discussions and networking.

Over the years artists have had access and one a one to one meetings with visiting industry including PRS, PPL, PRS Foundation, Musicians Union, Help Musicians, First Music Contact and AIM as well as advice from Deezer, DITTO, Domino Records and Body & Soul Festival.  They have availed of guidance from Jeff Robinson PR, Joe Dougan (Shine/Belsonic), Phil Taggart (BBC Radio 1), Francesca O’Connor (Make Waves Management) and Fiona McAuley (YMU Group). Scratch alumni have also gone on to win awards at the NI Music Prize (Kitt Philippa and Sister Ghost) and others have been invited to showcase at The Great Escape, Ireland Music Week, Stendhal and Output Belfast. Many have gained significant radio play from BBC 6 Music, BBC Radio1, BBC Radio Ulster, 2FM, 98FM as well as being listed on various Spotify Playlists and influential Music Blogs.

The main Scratch programme will again offer a select number of acts the chance to showcase and promote their talent, develop their performance and writing skills and gain an in-depth understanding of the business of music. With the current situation surrounding the closure of live music and events in mind, there will also be increased support in developing digital skills in artist promotion, performance and development of online audiences. The scheme is open to applications from artist’s aged 16+ that have been steadily building a profile and feel ready to commit to a more structured programme of support.

Once recruited, the successful Scratch applicants will spend the next nine months in meetings and workshops with music industry professionals, including lawyers and accountants, vocal coaches, PR experts, as well as participating in YouTube Music master classes, streamed performances and more. The team will be encouraged to share ideas in interactive songwriter sessions and receive mentoring in everything from finances and marketing to interview skills and stage management. They will write and record a track professionally for a showcase EP and organise a showcase event at the end of the programme.

Oh Yeah is also delighted to have the continued support of the PRS Foundation as part of the UK network of talent development partners and an additional year of support from the Help Musicians.

Charlotte Dryden of Oh Yeah said:

 “2020 has been an incredibly challenging year for artists and that is why as we emerge from this pandemic, supporting emerging talent is going to be more important than ever. While live music is still very uncertain, there’s no evidence that music creation has slowed down. Artists have carried on creating exciting new work and we are committed to providing opportunities for new talent to realise potential, build profile and raise confidence. We are really grateful for the on-going support of PRSF and Help Musicians and we are delighted to have YouTube Music on board now too. The opportunity to really tap into the potential of digital platforms and content creation for new artists is very exciting and we can’t wait to see who we will be working with this year.”

Dan Chalmers, Head of Music, EMEA, YouTube Music said…..

We’re so glad to be working with the Oh Yeah centre on Scratch My Progress to help young artists in Northern Ireland develop their talent. Some of the UK’s most iconic music and artists have come from Northern Ireland, and we’re committed to helping the next generation of artists showcase their music to the world.” 

Becci Scotcher, Senior Grants and Programmes Manager at PRS Foundation said…

“Working to support the talent development pipeline is more crucial now, than ever and the Oh Yeah Music centre is a key hub for talent development in Northern Ireland. We’re delighted to be supporting another year of Scratch My Progress and I can’t wait to see what the 2020 alumni achieve!” 

Lucy Bampton, Head of Creative Programme at Help Musician’s said…

“Help Musicians is delighted to support the Scratch My Progress programme for another year. As a charity that supports musicians across their creative output, health & wellbeing and business skills, we understand the importance of an opportunity such as this for emerging musicians, and the role it can play in shaping their future career. We hope that our support for the programme will enable the Oh Yeah Music Centre, and the artists it works with to manage the challenges and opportunities ahead, and to continue the rich musical heritage of Northern Ireland.”

For more info and to apply to Scratch click HERE