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Funding Niche Arts Festivals and Events with Grants 

Andy Robertson

Funding is crucial to the development and growth of any event especially in the arts and music sectors. There are financial grants available for those qualified in most counties with numerous government funded schemes running. What is currently available for organisers of arts and music events.


In the UK there are a number of organisations that can issue grants to fund arts projects including events. The sums available typically vary form £1,000 up to £5,000 and are not going to fund an entire event but can help get something off the ground. The grants available are intended for niche arts events that perhaps do not attract mainstream attention but are considered important in the arts and cultural environment. This may include events and small festivals specialising in music, dance, literature, film, visual & live performance arts and theatre.

Grants Available Now.
A quick online scan of arts grants available in the UK now (November 2022) reveals a variety funds available.

Tasgadh - Small Grants for Traditional Arts in Scotland.
Open to organisations and individuals in Scotland, Tasgadh is designed to provide support for traditional artists and organisations to create, perform, tour and showcase work. The current grant application deadline is 20th January 2023.

Arts Council of Northern Ireland - Creative Industries Seed Programme.
The aim of this project is to assist arts organisations, entrepreneurs, and creative businesses to undertake projects that: contribute to the growth of the creative industries and unlock future income generation. Their grants are only available in Northern Ireland and the application closing date is 14
th December 2022.

Creative Scotland Open Fund: Sustaining Creative Development.
Creative Scotland supports and develops excellence and experimentation in a wide range of arts and creative activity, reflecting Scotland’s diverse and dynamic cultures. This fund is for organisations and groups based in Scotland whose work or project involves the arts, screen and creative industries. Applications can be made for between £1,000 and £100,000, the closing date is 31st December 2022.

Arts Council England. 
Using National Lottery funding and the council operate ‘project’ grants for those seeking funding for festivals and carnivals with most categories of applications being under £30,000 but they can go up to £100,000. 

Application Procedures.
Most application procedures are now done online with a timeline from application to approval taking up to two or three months. Applicant eligibility can be quite specific so anyone interested in making an application should check this before investing time in the process. It also helps to make a detailed application and include as much information as possible to support the decision.

Resources. 
Any online search will enable discovery of grants for the arts but Arts-Hub Uk is particularly useful for finding a variety of grants available and their website includes a search function for more detailed information. For anyone interested specifically in running small carnivals or festivals the best resource is the Arts Council of England who offer a variety of grants.

For festival organisers planning their events using a software management platform like Festival Pro gives them all the functionality they need manage every aspect of their event logistics. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The Festival Pro platform is easy to use and has comprehensive features with specific modules for managing artists, contractors, venues/stages, vendors, volunteers, sponsors, guestlists, ticketing, cashless payments and contactless ordering.

Photo by Tim Gouw via Pexels

Andy Robertson
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