Of the many economic sectors hit hardest by the pandemic , one has the been the live music industry, and no more so than independent artists and venues,  Taking into account the sparse funding before that and you might wonder what will happen to all those artists and venues going forward.   Happily, one funding stream will go live in 2022, namely a fundraising lottery project which will also include grants, partnerships and sponsorships.

The Music Lotto aims to support the independent music community at many levels, pledging at least 50% of each ticket sold towards independent musicians and grassroots venues, charities assisting the same & those bringing some joy to others with music. Every month, a pool of fundraised capital will also be split between up to seven artists from England, Scotland and Wales and awarded as a grant – requiring a prior application.

You don’t have to be a musician or venue to take part. Operated and run by lottery company Gatherwell, the Music Lotto is open to anyone aged 18+ in England, Scotland and Wales to enter each week.

The lottery will raise regular and substantial funding for those that need it most, with a chance of winning the £25,000 jackpot every single week. As well as the weekly jackpot, other prizes include £2,000, £250, £25 or three free tickets for the next draw.

Ahead of the launch on 15 February 2022, I spoke to CEO Adrian Norman, who as a music manager working with unsigned artists, is well aware of the devastation caused by almost two years of hit and mostly miss schedules of live musicians. 

Aiming to make life easier for unsigned, independent artists and to encourage as much diversity as possible, the Music Lotto will fund seven musicians from seven regions of England, Wales and Scotland each month via a grant system.   Adrian said that the lotto would be looking for “any and all genres of music to ensure that a diverse range of artists receive funding”.  

Additionally, Adrian spoke about passionately about wanting to make a difference to charities that offer music related programmes, whether that be supporting mental health, diversity, young people, homelessness or music education in schools amongst others. Again, there will be a grant application process in place.

Beyond the lottery, there is also a longer term vision for creating live music spaces for unsigned / independent artists to play live music.  Beginning in July, the Music Lotto hopes to support small music venues by holding live music events, ideally with local music related charities / projects in attendance.

Tickets for the Music Lotto go on sale on 15 February 2022 here.

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