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At the heart of English folk

English Folk Dance and Song Society announces funding for folk music development

Open call for applications for a major touring commission alongside smaller projects

The English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) has announced plans for two new initiatives - a major new music commission and creative seed funding bursaries – through funding from the PRS for Music Foundation’s Talent Development Partner scheme.

The national folk arts development agency is offering a £4,000 award for established artists to create a new show inspired and influenced by English folk music, working in partnership with The Met Bury and Colston Hall Bristol.

An open call has now gone out to professional musicians, songwriters, instrumentalists, composers or musicians from any genre to apply for The Commission Award. Applications can be from a solo artist, existing band, or a new cohort of musicians.

The new commission will be performed at The Met, Colston Hall, and Cecil Sharp House, London (the home of EFDSS), in March 2017 with a view to further performances.

The Creative Seed Funding Programme has been designed for emerging artists and will make three awards of £750 each to fund the research and development of new work linked to the English folk arts.

Katy Spicer, EFDSS Chief Executive and Artistic Director, said:

“This is an exciting development of our successful commissioning programme which has included the awarding winning Cecil Sharp Project and The Full English, along with The Elizabethan Session and Sweet Liberties.

“For the first time we will be giving musicians the opportunity to pitch a creative idea to us and our partners - The Met in Bury and Colston Hall in Bristol - rather than selecting a group of artists to creatively respond to a given subject.

“We hope to inspire and challenge established musicians to explore and develop new music rooted in English folk into a show that will resonate with audiences, including those who may be new to folk music.

“The Creative Seed Funding Programme will give emerging artists the chance to develop a musical project, drawing on EFDSS’ experience and skills. We are very grateful to the PRS for Music Foundation for making us a Talent Development Partner and allowing the opportunity for artists to develop new work in the folk genre.”

EFDSS is one of 22 organisations selected by the PRS for Music Foundation to be Talent Development Partners.

Vanessa Reed, Executive Director of PRS for Music Foundation said:

We are proud to be supporting such a strong and diverse group of organisations which have the needs of talented UK music creators at the centre of their plans. I look forward to following each partner’s projects and initiatives as well as helping this network to share insight into the current challenges facing individual artists across the UK and increasing opportunities for a broader range of artists to receive the help they deserve at crucial moments in their career.”

The new funding programmes come under the umbrella of EFDSS’ Artists’ Development Programme that provides professional development support, both creative and business, to artists at all levels of their career. For more information, click here.

The Commission Award application information

This new commission is for established artists wishing to create a project with the potential to appeal to cross-genre audiences. 

Artists will need to have a certain calibre and experience, judged by performance status, reviews of live and recorded work, and audience numbers.

The commission must be ready for public performance by March 2017 and applicants should be mindful of the venues they will perform in with regard to scale, technical requirements and audience development. Artists will be expected to explore opportunities for further performances.

For detailed guidelines and an application form, click here. The deadline for submitted applications is June 6. Completed applications should be sent via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Creative Seed Funding Programme application information

This is an open application aimed at emerging artists who wish to explore a creative opportunity. Successful applicants will be given a fixed award of £750 to develop their idea. EFDSS will support the Creative Seed Funding holders where required, and offer help and advice on future development of their idea.

For detailed guidelines and an applications form, click here. The deadline for submitted applications is May 29. Completed applications should be sent via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..





National Youth Folk Ensemble

National Youth Folk Ensemble


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