•	10 years of Women Make Music panel discussion at Abbey Road Studios – (l-r) YolanDa Brown, Peggy Seager, Olivia Gable, Tawiah, Harriet Moss (photo Eli Jones)

Five opportunities for songwriters in July and August 2024

From PRS Foundation's Beyond Borders fund to Reeperbahn Festival 2024.

Rhys Buchanan
  • By Rhys Buchanan
  • 2 Jul 2024
  • min read

It can be tempting to let game-changing opportunities pass you by in the middle of an action-packed summer. But despite all the excitement of festival season, this period can actually be the perfect time for songwriters to plan ahead for the second half of the year.

There’s a broad spectrum of openings for writers and artists of all levels and backgrounds, such as the return of financial support initiatives like PRS Foundation’s Women Make Music and Beyond Borders funds. There’s also a host of live performance opportunities up for grabs, from festivals in Birmingham to Hamburg’s influential Reeperbahn Festival.

We’ve hand-picked five incredible opportunities for songwriters in July and August to help you take that next big step in your career.

Here’s your chance to play at Moseley Folk & Arts Festival 2024

Honouring the legacy and lifelong values of the late broadcaster Janice Long, Moseley Folk and Arts Festival is once again running the Janice Long Bursary to mark its 2024 festival (30 August-1 September). Open to unsigned artists based in England or Wales who make music which traverses folk, rock, indie, psychedelic or alternative genres, the 2024 scheme is now open until 31 July.

This year’s winner will receive a career-changing boost from the bursary which includes an opening slot on Moseley Folk’s Janice Long Stage (which will be followed by a higher-profile appearance at the festival in 12 months’ time), free studio time and a professional photo shoot and written biography, which are essential parts of any successful campaign.

The first recipient of the Birmingham festival’s bursary was Liverpool-based multi-instrumentalist Louie Miles, who is currently working on his debut album, while 2023’s winner was Norwich country-rock band Brown Horse.

You can find more information on the 2024 bursary here.

The return of PRS Foundation’s Beyond Borders fund

The Beyond Borders fund strives to strengthen and nurture cross-border collaborations between music creators and performers. Championing areas such as music creation, touring and promotion, the fund is open to innovative creators across all genres.

The fund has produced numerous success stories to date, including its support for an ambitious project by former Mercury Prize nominees Field Music. The band said that the fund provided them with the necessary support to make their recent Music for Drifters project happen: ‘It’s incredibly exciting to be given the opportunity to tour Drifters, as writing and performing the original commission. We are delighted that we can do it all again at some truly lovely cinemas and art spaces around the country.’

The fund seeks to boost engagement with audiences across the UK through multiple live performances, alongside digital activity. Up to £15,000 is available in funding for projects that include new commissions, recordings and repeat performances of music that was written in the past five years.

You can apply now and entries are open until 29 July.

Get a slot at Reeperbahn Festival 2024

Reeperbahn has become a key date in the industry diary in recent years due to its increasingly prominent new music showcase. Set to be held this year from 18-21 September, the Hamburg festival’s cutting-edge programme platforms artists of all genres across multiple venues in the city along with a host of educational panels and conferences.

The German festival offers emerging artists a rare chance to play overseas, providing them with the opportunity to pitch their craft to a whole new audience at Europe’s largest club festival and international platform for pop culture. There’s even an annual award, ANCHOR, which is given to the festival’s top international act, and has previously been won by Yard Act.

Applications are now open to play at this year’s Reeperbahn. All that’s required is the completion of a short online form with some key information on your project along with some words about how the opportunity to play at the festival will help take your career to the next level.

Get started on your application here.

Apply for support from the Women Make Music fund

The latest round of funding from PRS Foundation’s Women Make Music initiative will open on 12 August. The fund supports the development of women, trans and non-binary songwriters and composers of all genres and backgrounds. Open to writers at all stages of their career, past recipients include Anna Meredith, Emma-Jean Thackray and Poppy Ajudha.

Speaking on the importance of the fund, multi-instrumentalist ESKA said: ‘The fund encourages women to get the confidence they need to make steps to play live and record. It’s a unique opportunity to develop a career with the agenda being creative ambition.’

One of the key aims of the fund is to break down stereotypes within the music industry by encouraging role models for future generations, while also raising awareness of the gender gap and increasing the profile of women, trans and non-binary music creators.

You can find out more about Women Make Music here.

Submit your music for consideration to The Ivors Classical Awards 2024

Returning to the BFI Southbank in London this November, the prestigious awards ceremony will once again be celebrating the best new works in classical and sound art, with each winner receiving an Ivor Novello.

Categories range from best choral composition and best sound art to best chamber composition and best orchestral composition. Entries are open to all UK and Ireland residents, and the only criteria is that the work you submit must have been first broadcast between 1 April, 2023 and 31 March 31, 2024. Full guidelines and entry requirements can be found here.

Sponsored by PRS for Music, last year’s ceremony saw 11 composers taking home awards, including celebrated composers Matthew Herbert, Tansy Davies and John Rutter CBE who was recognised with a lifetime Fellowship of the Ivors Academy.

Entries are open until 8 July and you can apply here.

Main image credit: 10 years of Women Make Music panel discussion at Abbey Road Studios – (l-r) YolanDa Brown, Peggy Seager, Olivia Gable, Tawiah, Harriet Moss (photo Eli Jones).