The International Showcase Fund offers funding support to artists based in England and Scotland invited to play at international showcasing festivals and conferences. Grants of up to £5,000 help to cover the costs of travel, visas and accommodation.
The International Showcase Fund is a partnership between PRS for Music Foundation, UK Trade & Investment, British Underground, Arts Council England, the Musicians’ Union, PPL and Creative Scotland and in association with PledgeMusic.
As well as offering grant support, partners offer advice, guidance and workshops for some events. Associate partner, PledgeMusic provides bespoke advice to any applicant wanting to include Direct to Fan income as part of their showcase budget, as well as ongoing support for ISF grantees.
So, you or your band is well on the way to breaking in the UK. You’ve had some success with your releases, toured the country, and are now eyeing territories beyond our shores to develop your career. In short, you are ready to export your music.
The UK is one of the biggest exporters of new music in the world. Every year our finest emerging talent is invited to key music industry-focused festivals and showcasing events to perform to interested international labels, promoters, agents and publishers.
Although it is crucial for an act to attract and secure deals in territories outside of the UK, these initial forays overseas can be expensive. The International Showcase Fund exists to help cover the costs of these trips, enabling artists to connect with and showcase to their potential next label, promoter or music supervisor.
The kinds of events and festivals that are covered by the funding are those that have a mostly music industry audience or delegation. The fund can not support artists to play at festivals for the general public.
Examples of showcase festivals:
SXSW in Austin, USA
Tallinn Music Week, Tallinn, Estonia
JazzAhead, Bremen, Germany
CMJ in New York, USA
Folk Alliance International, Kansas City, USA
Eurosonic, Groningen, The Netherlands
Americana Music Association Festival, Nashville, USA
NXNE, Toronto, Canada
A3C Hip Hop Festival, Atlanta, USA
Iceland Airwaves, Reykjavik, Iceland
Classical Next, Vienna, Austria
Midem, Cannes, France
Rochester Jazz Festival, New York, USA
If you answer yes to all of the questions below then you are eligible to apply.
If any of the above doesn’t apply to you, you could still be eligible to apply to one of our other funding options.
There are over 50 eligible events each year. Below is a list of eligible events. We highly recommend the Explore International Music Showcasing Toolkit – an invaluable resource for those considering international events.
If you have been invited to play an event and are unsure of its suitability, please email email@example.com.
Rochester Jazz Festival, New York, USA
Vienna Waves, Austria
Showcase PEI, Prince Edward Island, Canada
Breakout West, Winnipeg, Canada
CBGB Fest, New York, USA
A3C Festival, Atlanta, USA
MaMA France, Paris, Pigalle and Montmartre, France
Amsterdam Dance Event, Netherlands
Tokyo International Music Market, Japan
CMJ, New York, USA
WOMEX takes place in a different territory each year
SIM Sao Paulo, Brazil
The International Showcase Fund has rolling deadlines due to varying event organiser schedules.
We recommend you apply for funding soon after being invited to showcase in order to give our panel of industry experts and partners enough time to consider your application to turnaround a decision as quickly as possible.
As a rough guide, our experts consider applications 2-3 months before showcase events take place. While the processing of visas is entirely your responsibility, because the process can take 3 months for some territories, we prefer to receive applications 10-12 weeks prior to the event taking place and must receive applications at least 8 weeks prior to the event taking place*.
Under certain circumstances (e.g. change of management, a late invite from the event, the artist’s ability to fulfil funding partners’ diversity goals) applicants can submit an Exceptional Circumstances Form for partners to consider time sensitive applications within 8 weeks of an event taking place. To do so, please download and complete this form before emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note, new applicants and non-funded artists will be prioritised.
All funding decisions are made by International Showcase Fund partners PRS for Music Foundation, Department for International Trade, British Underground, Arts Council England, PPL, Musicians’ Union, and Creative Scotland, in association with PledgeMusic. For high-demand showcase events such as SXSW, a panel of independent music industry experts meets to select artists. Decisions are made based on the criteria stated in our Guidance Pages.
If as an unsuccessful applicant you are unhappy with the funding decision and believe correct procedure has not been adhered to, please see our Grievance Procedure document. Funding partner decisions are final.