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Opportunities and resources for performers

This resource is a non-exhaustive list of opportunities, networks, venues, ensembles, record labels and events which may wish to engage performers in commissions or partnership work. It is designed to serve as a starting point. Building relationships with those within the industry is equally important.We have also included some ISM resources to help you further.

Performance opportunities, bursaries and competitions

Opportunities for bands and artists to perform on stage

Various festivals from across the globe provide performance opportunities for unsigned bands and artists to perform on stage or provide their contact details for performance enquires, here we list some of these festivals.

For guidance on the festival life cycle, from programming to payment, including how to engage promoters, arranging merchandise stands and the filming of your performance see our guide How to...Play at a festival.

Gods of the Game: A Football Opera

If you're a football fan and love singing, Sky Arts are looking for chorus performers for a new opera about corruption in football. The film is being produced by Factory Films with Grange Park Opera.

Glenarm Festival of Voice

Northern Ireland Opera are accepting applications for the Vocal Competition and Peter Rankin Pianist Internship at the Glenarm Festival of Voice 2022. Both are open to applicants aged 18-28 born in Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland.

Genesis Sixteen: Conducting Scholarship

Applications are open for the Genesis Sixteen Conducting Scholarship. To apply you must be aged 18-23, a UK citizen or resident in the UK, and be a postgraduate or graduate who is serious about conducting and has experience of conducting choirs.

LSO: The 2023 Competition

The competition is open to conductors aged 30 or under and who are citizens of the UK, countries having full membership of the European Union, Norway, Iceland, Lichtenstein or Switzerland. The winner will be awarded £15,000 and have the opportunity to become Assistant Conductor with the LSO for up to one year.

Network Rail Busk in London scheme

Network Rail Busk in London scheme has reopened. Applications are open to performers aged 14 years and over, and you must make sure that you are completely portable. All performers accepted onto the scheme are also considered for other performance opportunities, many of which are paid.

Glenn Gould Bach Fellowship

Applications are open to any virtuoso - instrumentalist or vocalist who at the time of applying must be at least 23 years of age. The proposed project should centre on art-music from the Baroque period.

The Alan James Creative Bursary and Residency Programme

The programme aims to support artists in exploring new creative ideas inspired by and sourced from traditional English folk music. There are four bursaries on offer, and the award includes a bursary of up to £2,000 and up to five days of rehearsal space.

Sound Lab: Dazzle Diversity Initiative

Applicants should be aged 18 and over and live in Glasgow. The initiative is aimed at people who face barriers to accessing electronic music. Applicants will be selected for taster sessions to a six week DJ and music industry course.

National Youth Choir: Online auditions

Auditions are open to singers aged 18-25. Financial assistance is available towards the cost of auditions and membership. Choir members take part in a year-round training and performance programme, including working with world-class musicians and coaches and are part of major national and international events, concerts and festivals.

Jerwood Jazz Encounters Programme

This is an artist development opportunity to create and develop new ways to present jazz at festivals and outdoor sites across England. Applications are open to UK-based jazz artists who have been working as a professional musician, composer or artist for three to 10 years.

ACM scholarships

ACM offers annual scholarships for prospective students and more information is available on their website.

Sound City: Artist Training And Development Programme

The training programme, which spans 12 months, provides support and insights for emerging artists including around recording and releasing your music, tour management, funding management, marketing, PR, personal development, and brand awareness and growth.

Listen Imagine Compose

Listen Imagine Compose are offering a Masters in Teaching and Learning, as part of their CPD programme for secondary music teachers. The course is designed to develop skills in teaching composing with KS3, KS4 and KS5 students.

Live Music Now

Live Music Now are recruiting new musicians. They offer training and paid performances to musicians at the start of their professional career, working with diverse audiences who do not normally have access to high quality live music.

Popular ISM advice and support for performers

How to... Play at a festival

Member only

Specialist advice from George Vass (Presteigne Festival) and David Jones (Serious) on how to play at festivals. Includes a guide to preparing a technical rider.

The ISM Digital Performers Pack

Member only

The Digital Performers Pack brings together some of the ISM's most popular advice on performing online published during the COVID-19 pandemic, and also includes all new material.

Member Connect

Make musical connections with Member Connect, an online, private directory of current ISM members.

Key organisations and ongoing support

PRS Foundation

Funding opportunities from the Performing Right Society's foundation.

Is there something missing? This is not a comprehensive list. If you think something should be added in, why not email us at [email protected]. If you have your own ensemble or group or venue, why not get in touch and ask us to add it in?