Apr 08, 2021

Aid Programs for Music Makers, Self-Employed & Freelancers


Postponed events, closed cultural institutions, cancelled gigs – the current situation is hitting self-employed people, freelancers and artists particularly hard. Are you affected? Then sit back and read this article. Even if you think that there is currently no light at the end of the tunnel – there is a lot you can do to make the coming months easier!

2.4 Billion Euros for Cultural Sector in Europe

Both the federal government and the states provide aid programs for music makers and emergency assistance in non-repayable direct fundings for the economic support and livelihood security of solo self-employed persons. You can find all the information about this, as well as links to the emergency assistance applications, in this article.

The Education, Audiovisual and Cultural Affairs Agency (EACEA) manages funds for education, culture, audiovisual, sports, civic engagement, and volunteering. The European Commission’s Framework Program is designed to support the cultural and audiovisual sectors. For the period 2021-2027, the Creative Europe program aims to build on the previous Culture program and the MEDIA program, with a budget of 2.4 billion euros, to support the cultural and creative sectors in Europe.

How to Apply As A Cultural Institution?

All applications must be submitted electronically via the Electronic Submission System portal accessible here

The application consists of 2 sections:

  1. Section A (to be completed directly online) – contains administrative information about the applicant organizations (prospective coordinator and beneficiaries) and the summary budget for the proposal.
  2. Section B (to be filled in as a Word template and uploaded as a PDF file) – contains the description of the action covering the technical content of the proposal.


Hardship Funds

The following funds and aid programs for music makers have been designed to provide emergency financial relief to musicians struggling due to the effects of the coronavirus outbreak. In all cases, these funds are limited and you are encouraged to only apply if you are in dire need.

Please note that any hardship grants received will be counted as taxable income by HMRC.


Sources of Financial Assistance

The following resources may be able to offer advice and other assistance, as well as direct monetary contributions.

  • Help Musicians – Help Musicians is an independent UK charity for professional musicians of all genres, from starting out through to retirement.
  • The Royal Society of Musicians – All applications to the Society are considered in confidence. Help may be offered in many ways, whether it be living expenses, rehabilitation, counselling, referrals to specialised practitioners, or consultations with financial advisors.
  • PRS Members’ Fund – This fund offers members of PRS for Music financial support and advice in times of need.

Accessing Benefits

In the immediate term, if you are struggling financially, you may wish to see if you are entitled to any other benefits by visiting Citizens Advice’s Coronavirus webpages which contain a lot of helpful information for what support there is for people who have been affected by COVID-19. You can find them here.

Support for Those Self-Isolating

In some areas in the UK, you may be able to claim financial support if self-isolating due to testing positive for Coronavirus or being in close contact with someone who has tested positive. This may include a one-off payment of £500 through the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme. To find out if you are eligible, or what other financial support is available, you should visit your local authority’s website.

Government Schemes Which May Be Applicable

Receiving sick pay or Universal Credit will not affect your eligibility for the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

This scheme could be applicable to self-employed workers who run their own businesses. The government is offering to act as a guarantor for loan applications, allowing a ‘no’ credit decision for a lender to become a ‘yes’. For more detailed information see British Business Bank’s explanatory document.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Musicians running their own businesses and paying themselves a PAYE salary will likely qualify to claim under this scheme, by putting themselves on furlough. However, the only earnings that will be counted in calculating this payment are those paid through PAYE. For more detailed information see the UK Government website, or see detailed FAQs on the scheme from Thompsons Solicitors.

Coronavirus Job Support Scheme

The Job Support Scheme is designed to protect jobs in businesses that are facing lower demand over the winter months due to COVID-19, to help keep their employees attached to the workforce. For further details see our Government Support for Musicians page.

Further Support for the Music Industry

Some funds that focus on musicians are:


We at gigmit hope that this article has given you an overview of the current emergency aid programs for music makers. We hope that things can get going again soon. Here Live is already back.

Find live streaming concerts, radio-, promo- and many more opportunities HERE.