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Archives for March 2012

Money for music

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Miriam O'Keeffe | 13:52 UK time, Tuesday, 20 March 2012



The Voice judges


Music schemes


This year the BBC Performing Arts Fund will be giving £450,000 to the development of new music and new musicians through two new schemes – Community Music and Music Fellowships.


We have already funded plenty of musicians and music projects in our time. We gave money to Adele when she was just fifteen to pay for her first home recording equipment, and look where she’s ended up! Okay, so we can’t guarantee that kind of success but you never know where talent, some help, and a bit of old fashioned hard work will take you.


Launching in May, the Community Music scheme will support grassroots music groups from across the UK. Grants awarded will allow groups to carry out training, attract new audiences, encourage new members and raise their profile in their community. Groups can apply for up to £5,000 for a distinct development project. Furthermore, grants of up to £10,000 will be awarded to groups wishing to commission new music.


The Music Fellowships scheme will open for applications in August and is designed to support individuals through the early stages of their music careers; helping them to establish themselves in the industry through bespoke placements within existing music organisations. Grants will be awarded to music companies, organisations, venues and agencies in order to host a BBC Performing Arts Fund Music fellow.


The Voice


As you may already know, the charity is funded through revenue from the voting lines of BBC One entertainment programmes such as Strictly Come Dancing and Over the Rainbow. This year, we are also delighted to announce that the new BBC One entertainment show The Voice will be raising money for the Fund through phone voting lines. The Voice will be looking for incredible new vocal talent from across the UK to support and nurture.


The Fund has been working with emerging talent for a number of years and hope that this funding from The Voice will allow us to continue to our work in through to 2013.



More details about both of these music schemes will be announced on our website over the coming months. You may have noticed that a lot of pages on our website are a little out of date at the moment though. We’ve been having a few technical issues but are working on getting more information on the site as soon as we can!


In the meantime, you can follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook to be kept up to date about the launch of these music schemes.

Not Quite an Accident

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Miriam O'Keeffe | 13:36 UK time, Monday, 12 March 2012

Ben Weatherill, Director of Development for Central School of Speech and Drama's The Accidental Festival gives his thoughts and advice on the organisation and challenges that go into running a semi-professional festival.

"I think every single person on the team at The Accidental Festival is passionate about what we’re doing which is great. For me, it’s about providing that free platform for artists at all different kinds of stages in their career and allowing the exchange of varied experiences to happen. The festival particularly resonates with me as I see fellow artists reach the point in their career where they need that next step, and the festival can provide that.

Since its creation at The Central School of Speech and Drama in 2005, The Accidental Festival has welcomed over 200 international guests and artists. It was initially conceived as a project to give students practical experience in creative producing, teaching essential business skills that simply cannot be learnt from a textbook.

Each year a new student team take charge of their own team structure, budget, brand identity, artistic programming, presentation of the festival space, marketing, ethos and community, and education programme.


Madaleine Trigg in 'the moment I heard' by Daniel Somerville

The Accidental Festival has previously been hosted at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), the Battersea Arts Centre (BAC) and this year, the festival returns to the Roundhouse with the aim to be bigger, bolder, and to reach more people than ever before.

It’s a fantastic thing to be involved in, especially at 19! It’s a real world scenario and a project you have to sink your teeth into. You certainly can’t be passive about it.

So, based on my experience what’s the best advice I could give?

I think the following things are really important to think about when you’re involved in an event on any scale. I don’t think that this applies exclusively to work in festivals, but to everything you present. These questions are always good to come back to in times of a crisis, they give you focus!

When your event is complete, what would you like to be the thing that is most easily remembered about the event for those who attended?

The same question as above, but for yourself. What would you like to be the most memorable thing about the event?

Who would you like to attend and why?

Who are you making it for and why?

Thinking about other similar events, what do you think the aims of your event should be? A Unique Selling Point is vital - really get to know your audience’s wants and needs.

What would you most like to do within the project? Is there something special you would like to bring or contribute?

What, if anything, are you most worried about with the project and do you have any ideas about how to overcome those concerns? Identifying the potential risks and problems at the start prevents from any surprises later on!

What should the image of the event be? What should it look like, sound like, smell like?  Atmosphere is the most important thing! It’s the lasting impression your audiences are going to leave with.

In terms of my role in development, I guess the best piece of advice I’ve been given is fundraising isn’t just about getting money! We all know that there is very little money these days for funding the arts. However, getting things in kind and receiving good will gestures are what really have helped us to achieve the festival. Form relationships, get out there talking to people, and create positive relationships with companies that last.

Finally, be brave and bold! That way you’ll end up with an event that is fresh, exciting and far better than anything you could have imagined.”

To find out more the Accidental Festival visit their website or follow @accidentalnews

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