Incorporated Society Of Musicians - COVID-19: Funds for musicians

Incorporated Society Of Musicians – 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 Wednesday 27 May.

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 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

The Arts Resilience Fund has made £1.5m of funding available to individuals. Applications to the Urgent Response Fund for Individuals are now closed. On 29 May a Stabilisation Fund for Individuals will be launched.

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

Singers who have previously worked on an Equity contract are eligible to apply. 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

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.

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 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 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 or by telephone 020 7629 6137.

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 or telephone 020 7836 3322.

More ISM COVID-19 advice


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By Bret

Incorporated Society Of Musicians – COVID-19: Funds for musicians

time to read: 6 min