Pale Waves, Anna Calvi, Nothing But Thieves among acts set for Government-backed export boost

Pale Waves, Anna Calvi, Nothing But Thieves among acts set for Government-backed export boost

Nineteen British music acts have been awarded funding from the Department for International Trade (DIT) as part of the Music Export Growth Scheme (MEGS).

In the latest round of MEGS funding, the £319,244 will be distributed among artists including Pale Waves, Lucy Spraggan, Anna Calvi, Sharna Bass, Fickle Friends, Nothing But Thieves and Tunng.

The scheme is designed to help build international fanbases and boost music sales outside of the UK, as part of the Exporting is Great campaign.

The BPI-managed MEGS initiative launched in 2014 to support small-to-medium sized companies, by making funding available to supplement artist marketing campaigns and touring overseas in order to help artists realise their potential in international markets.

Since the first MEGS funding awards in Feburary 2014, just over £3 million has been distributed in support of 201 music export projects around the world. Recent recipients include Editors, Nina Nesbitt, Shame, Ghostpoet, Jane Weaver, The Wombats and Public Service Broadcasting.

Chris Tams, BPI director of international overseeing the MEGS programme, said: “The Music Export Growth Scheme has given a diverse range of British talent the chance to develop their international fanbases through touring and marketing support. This also promotes the profile of British music abroad and to date has boosted our exports with an 11 to 1 return on investment for each pound put in by the UK Government. We’ve seen a broad range of artists and musical styles promoted, but we’d love to see more applications put forward to support female acts in particular as well as more specialist genres such as classical.” 

Geoff Taylor, chief executive BPI & BRIT Awards, added: “The UK consistently punches above its weight as the largest exporter of music in the world after the US, but this success doesn’t happen by accident. Record labels invest heavily in producing new music, and this commitment is supported by the UK Government, which, through schemes such as MEGS, recognises the win-win value of supporting smaller labels and their artists who have the potential to grow their sales and boost the UK’s exports in overseas markets.” 

We’d love to see more applications put forward to support female acts in particular

Chris Tams

Tunng manager Nigel Adams (Full Time Hobby) said: “As a fully independent label we really appreciate the support the Music Exports Growth Scheme provides to help take our acts to the next level internationally. It helps us to continue to champion creative, original, inspiring bands like Tunng.” 

Lucy Spraggan said: "I’m over the moon to be supported by MEGs for my international touring. This gives me the chance to tour different territories and expand my brand to its fullest capability. I am incredibly grateful and excited to get going.”

Brighton-based indie-pop band Fickle Friends commented: “Playing America has always been a big part of our mission as a band. Not only have a large percentage of our fanbase and listeners been from there from the beginning, America always been a country that we have felt an affinity to, and been desperate to play in. In the UK we had the luxury of building from the ground up, tour managing ourselves, driving in our drummers mum’s Ford Galaxy and sleeping on floors. Unfortunately that grassroots approach isn’t quite as simple in the US so we are very grateful for being given MEGS funding so that we can continue to build a viable career the US and translate some of that DIY approach.”

Round 14 applications opened on August 6 and will close on September 3. There will be three further funding rounds in 2019 – details are available at the MEGS page of the BPI website.

The full list of artists to receive funding in the 13th round is below:

Ady Suleiman
Anna Calvi
Catching Flies
Emma McGann
Fickle Friends
Leon Vynehall
Lucy Spraggan
Moose Blood
Nothing But Thieves
Pale Waves
Rina Sawayama
Roo Panes
Sharna Bass
Stone Broken
The Allergies
The Boxer Rebellion

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