COVID-19: Funds for musicians

This page provides information on the organisations and charities who have set up emergency funding to assist the music, creative and entertainment sectors.

This page will be updated when further advice or information is released. It was last updated on Friday 3 July.

AIM (Association of Independent Music)

AIM has launched a £1m COVID-19 support fund for contractors and freelance workers in the independent music industry who have lost income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eligibility Criteria

The AIM fund is open to any contractors due to work with new and developing artists currently signed to AIM member labels who have lost committed income because of cancelled artist projects. It includes tour crews, studio producers, mixing engineers, and others who do not qualify for other hardship funds on offer. You can apply directly to the fund, supplying a contact at the AIM Member Business who can verify the cancelled project and lost income, or AIM members can nominate.

You must be a self-employed contractor or the sole employee of their own loan-out company.

You must not be benefiting from any other music industry Covid-19 support scheme.

Grants will be distributed on a first come, first served basis and priority will be given to UK and Ireland nationals and residents.

What will I receive?

Successful applicants will receive up to 80% of their lost committed income from the project up to £1,000. Payments will be made immediately on approval directly into your chosen bank account.

How do I apply?

You must be nominated by an AIM member label who should login here to complete an application. Applicants will be required to submit confirmatory back-up information to support the nomination.

Arts Council England

Applications to the emergency funding package for individual is now closed. Further information about Arts Council England (ACE) can be found on the ACE website.

Arts Council of Wales

Applications for funding is now closed. Further information about Arts Council of Wales can be found here.

Creative Scotland

Creative Scotland launched three funding programmes designed to sustain the country’s freelance creative community during the COVID-19 outbreak. The funding programme which is still open is:

Open Fund: Sustaining Creative Development

Funding is available to individuals and organisations to help explore ways of working that will enable you to adapt and respond to the current changing circumstances.

More information can be found on the Creative Scotland website.

Eligibility Criteria

Freelance and self-employed artists and creative practitioners in Scotland can apply for funding to support the development of their practice. You may apply for funding to work with others if your practice is collaborative. You must have a UK bank account.

What help will I receive?

As an individual, you will be able to apply for a grant between £1,000 and £50,000.

It is expected that most applications will be up to £15,000. If you are requesting more than £15,000 you will need to provide additional information.

Funding is also available for organisations.

How do I apply?

Applications opened on 3 April 2020. The fund is open all year round, with no deadlines and can support activity for up to 12 months.

Education Support

Education support are offering a confidential grants service to those in the education sector. More information can be found here.

Eligibility Criteria

If you are working in or retired from the education sector and are suffering financial problems caused by unemployment, ill health, sudden life events, bereavement or a personal injury they may be able to offer support. You must be UK based and have taught or been employed by or in a UK school, college or university; this must be paid employment and you must have been employed for a minimum of one academic term.

What will I receive?

Successful applicants will receive a grant, the sum is unspecified on their website.

How do I apply?

You can apply for the grant directly on their website.

Equity Charitable Trust Coronavirus Emergency Welfare Support for Freelancers

The Equity Charitable Trust has received funding from Arts Council England to disburse to professional performers.

Further information can be found on the Equity website.

Eligibility Criteria

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, new applications for Education Grants are not being considered at this time. Previous applicants, who have already received an Education Grant, may apply for ongoing funding. You do not need to be an Equity member in order to apply. Other musicians are excluded from the scheme.

What will I receive?

Successful applicants can receive a grant up to £2,500.

How do I apply?

Download the Welfare Grants application form. Send the completed form together with a CV, via email, to [email protected].

Applications will be considered on a weekly basis.

Help Musicians Covid-19 Financial Hardship Funding

The second phase of this funding will open on 5 June. Further information can be found on the Help Musicians website.

Eligibility Criteria

The fund is aimed at self-employed musicians who do not qualify for Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) and other unemployed musicians who are experiencing significant financial hardship.

What will I receive?

Grant payments for the period 1 June to 31 October to top up Universal Credit payments where relevant. If you do not qualify for Universal Credit, but are experiencing significant financial hardship, an assessment will be made based on your individual circumstances.

How do I apply?

See the application process on the Help Musicians website.

MU Coronavirus Hardship Fund

Further information on the fund is on the MU website.

Eligibility Criteria

The fund is open to any current MU member who is a full rate member, is a UK resident and is suffering genuine hardship from loss of work due to coronavirus.

You will only be able to apply to this hardship fund once.

What will I receive?

Successful applicants will receive a one-off payment of £200. The money will be transferred to your bank account.

How do I apply?

Applicants who meet the eligibility criteria should complete the online application form.

Applicants will be notified within 3 working days to confirm whether they have been successful or not with funds being released to successful applicants within a further 5 working days.

ORA Singers Emergency Composers’ Fund

ORA Singers has launched an Emergency Composers’ Fund to provide work for composers who have been disastrously affected by the COVID-19 crisis. The £12,000 fund will be split into eight choral commissions as part of a collaboration with Tate Modern.

Eligibility Criteria

The fund is open to any composer who is resident in the UK.

What will I receive?

The eight chosen composers will each receive a £1,500 commission to write a new choral work inspired by works of art, specifically chosen by Tate Modern from their international collection.

How do I apply?

To register for their funding see ORA Singers website.

PRS Emergency Relief Fund

This fund is not currently accepting new applications. Further information about PRS can be found on the PRS website.

PRS The Open Fund For Music Creators

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

Eligibility Criteria

The fund can support projects by songwriters, composers, or artists, bands, producers and performers who are writing their own music or commissioning others. The full eligibility criteria can be found on the PRS Foundation website. The next deadline for applicants is 5 October 2020 and the decision will be announced on 15 December 2020. If you applied before the previous deadline of 5 June, the decision will be announced on 18 August 2020.

What will I receive?

A grant of up to £5,000.

How do I apply?

The next deadline for application is 5 October 2020. Applicants who meet the eligibility criteria should follow the process as set out on their website to apply.

PRS Women Make Music

Women Make Music is in association with AWAL and Glastry and supports the development of women, trans and non binary songwriters and composers of all genres and backgrounds at different stages of their career.

Eligibility Criteria

The fund can support projects by songwriters, composers, or artists, bands, producers and performers who are writing their own music or commissioning others. The full eligibility criteria can be found on the PRS Foundation website. The next deadline for applicants is 5 October 2020 and the decision will be announced on 15 December 2020. If you applied before the previous deadline of 5 June, the decision will be announced on 18 August 2020.

What will I receive?

A grant of up to £5,000.

How do I apply?

The next deadline for application is 5 October 2020. Applicants who meet the eligibility criteria should follow the process as set out on their website to apply.

PRS: The Sustaining Creativity Fund

Funded as part of the Spotify COVID-19 Music Relief Project, the deadline for the first two rounds of funding has now passed. It is anticipated that a third round of funding will take place. Further information can be found on the PRS Foundation website.

Eligibility Criteria

The fund is to support those who have already started their careers and make outstanding music but have lost income as a result of Covid-19. The eligibility requirements includes for applicants to be based in the UK and reliant on music income - see their website for a full eligibility list.

What will I receive?

A grant of £750.

How do I apply?

Applicants who meet the eligibility criteria should contact [email protected] for more information.

Royal Society of Musicians

The Royal Society of Musicians (RSM) has donated £500,000 to the Help Musicians Coronavirus Hardship Fund. Requests for assistance in respect of coronavirus should be directed to Help Musicians. If you require assistance for anything else, contact the RSM office on [email protected] or by telephone 020 7629 6137.

Scottish Government Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund

Further information can be found on the Scottish Government website.

Eligibility Criteria

The fund is open to Scottish residents who became self-employed on or after 6 April 2019 and are not eligible for the UK government Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) or any of the business support schemes available. The eligibility criteria largely matches the SEISS scheme.

What will I receive?

A one-off payment of £2,000 is available.

How do I apply?

You will need to apply through your local authority, details of which can be found on the Scottish government website.

The Film and TV Charity COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund

Applications to this fund are now closed. Further information about the The Film and TV Charity can be found here.

The Royal Theatrical Fund

Applications to The Fleabag Support Fund are currently closed however a second round of funding is due to open shortly. More information can be found on the TRTF website.

Eligibility Criteria

The RTF is Fund is considering applications from all members of the profession who have contracted COVID-19 or need to self-isolate due to health reasons.

Applicants must have worked professionally in the entertainment industry for at least seven years and be unable to work due to illness, injury or old age.

Those seeking help and meet the eligibility criteria will be asked to claim all benefits and grants that the Government have put in place.

What help will I receive?

Grants will be awarded based on individual need. RTF works closely with other charities in the sector and, with your permission, will share your information to ensure you receive the maximum level of assistance possible.

How do I apply?

Applicants who meet the RTF eligibility criteria should email [email protected] or telephone 020 7836 3322.

Start Up Grant from the Welsh government

The Welsh Government has launched a ‘Start Up Grant’ to support new businesses in Wales in dealing with the severe impact of Coronavirus who have not been eligible to benefit from the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

Eligibility Criteria


To be eligible for the grant businesses must have been set up between the 1 April 2019 and 1 March 2020 and not qualify for Self-Employment Income Support Scheme and have not received funding from the Economic Resilience Fund or the Non-Domestic Rates grant.

Businesses should have turnover less than £50,000 and will have experienced a drop of more than 50% income between April and June 2020.

What will I receive?

A grant of £2,500.

How do I apply?

The Start Up Grant is being administered by local authorities and accessed through the Economic Resilience Fund eligibility checker on the Business Wales website.

Applicants are required to submit a short application form and self-declaration that is supported by evidence. In addition, applicants will be required to sign up to Business Wales start-up support and advice and align with the ethos and principles of the economic contract
that is part of the Welsh government’s economic action plan.

More ISM COVID-19 advice