Despite cuts raining down on nearly all of Britain’s public bodies, the Government has managed to dig deep and delve into their pockets, finding £550,000 of taxpayers money to fund the "Music Export Growth Scheme". Administered by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) and the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), the project aims to give a helping hand (money) to 14 up and coming independent artists. These bursaries are then intended to help fund international tours and promotion (or booze and other naughty things). So don't worry about austerity or food banks guys - Metronomy's got tour support!
Inspired by the worldwide success of Mumford & Sons, Alt-J and Bastille, the scheme’s head honcho Lord Livingstone hopes that these handouts will help UK artists break into overseas markets. “From The Beatles to Adele to Mumford & Sons, Britannia rules the airwaves and sells more records around the world than almost any other country,” he told the Independent. “This exporting strength brings jobs and economic growth to the UK and the Music Export Growth Scheme lets up-and-coming British artists up the tempo on the international stage.” So when David Cameron isn't professing his love for Haim or The Smiths, he's throwing pretty green at artists. What a music fan!
Guided by a panel of music industry experts, the minister and his team have handed out grants of up to £50,000 to bands across the spectrum – from the electro-pop of Metronomy to the Japanese acid thrash punks Bo Ningen.
Check out some of the acts below:
Dinosaur Pile-Up - USA tour support
Julia Biel - Germany and Switzerland tour promotion and marketing
Metronomy - USA, Canada and Australia tour support
Young Fathers - Germany tour support and promotion / marketing
First we had Oasis rubbing shoulders with Tony at number 10, and then Dave schmoozing up to The Smiths. Music and politics usually leads to ridicule, but this scheme may actually have a positive outcome. Whether the artists actually use the money for what its intended, or just do the rock ‘n’ roll thing of spending it on a drug problem, the fact that the UK Government is pumping money into the independent music scene can only be a good thing right? Or is it a scheme that's looking to convert artists into entrepeneurs, a Tory method of exploiting what they perceive to be a successful "business model?" Maybe the Conservative party are doing "a CIA" and seeking to showcase the cultural mecca that is Blightly. Listen, it's the Tories. Who knows.
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