Who can apply for funding?
We’re here to support people with an interest in making the live independent music scene healthier and more vibrant, so that includes – but isn’t limited to – artists, managers, promoters, producers, labels and digital platforms.
The kinds of people who will get the most from Joining the Dots are likely to be people who are entrepreneurial, curious about new ideas and generous with what and who they know.
What genres of music will Joining the Dots funding support?
We don’t really ‘do’ genres at the hub. What we’re interested in, and what Joining the Dots will support, is high quality, interesting, independent music. You won’t find us on the main trunk roads on the musical map – we’re more ‘B roads and musical detours’ kind of people, and our projects reflect that.
What level of experience do you need to apply?
There’s no rule of thumb, but your application needs to make us feel confident that you have the skills and experience you’ll need to deliver, and would know what to do if things went wrong along the way.
But that said, we also like potential! So don’t be put off if you have a great idea but not loads of project management experience. We have lots of experience of exactly that, and of helping people turn their ideas into reality, so if we like your idea but feel you’re a bit shaky on exactly how you’d deliver it, we’ll come back to you to see if we can find a way of making it happen together.
Is there an age limit?
No, there’s no age limit, because as far as we know there’s no age limit on when people start or stop having lightbulb moments!
Can I apply more than once?
No, sorry. Your best idea only, and one go each please.
Why is the fund only for those based in England?
This is because Arts Council England is the main funder of Joining the Dots, and it can only support activities that will benefit audiences and artists based in England. We hope in the future to be able to fund projects happening elsewhere, but that’s dependent on us securing other kinds of funding. If you know anyone who would like to help us run the project anywhere else – in the UK or overseas – let us know!
Why can’t I apply on behalf of a National Portfolio Organisation?
Through Joining the Dots we want to support ideas from those who don’t have existing Arts Council England funding to draw on. If you work for an NPO we’re sorry that you can’t apply, but would love you to partner with someone else who isn’t to support their project.
I’m based in England but I’m from another country – can I still apply?
Yes. As long as you live here and have a registered address here, you’re eligible.
Can I apply for an international project?
The answer to this comes down to National Lottery rules, which state that any activity using Lottery funds must benefit audiences and artists based in England. If your project is potentially relevant to people working in music in other countries that’s fine, as long as the work we fund provides a benefit in England.
Can I work with an overseas partner?
Yes, as long as what you’re doing will still benefit people based in England. But, given the impact this might have on the budget, we’ll need to understand why only an overseas partner can do this work.
I don’t work in independent music, but have an idea that I think is eligible. Can I apply?
Yes, as long as your project has a focus on one of the three areas we’re exploring, and you can show that you’re working with the most appropriate music partners, that’s absolutely fine.
I work for a label, can I apply?
That’s another yes, again as long as your project has a focus on one of the three areas we’re exploring, and you can show that you’re working with the right music partners.
I work in a digital company, can I apply?
Yep, see both of the above!