Getting a foothold in the music industry today poses something of a dichotomy. We have greater access to platforms and technologies than ever, but this creates an oversaturated environment, making it difficult for many to obtain the opportunities required to begin a sustained career as an artist.
Pirate, which runs a global network of 24-hour studios, has announced plans that offer such a chance for aspiring acts, with over 70 paid gig opportunities as part of their ‘Pirate Residency 2023: Summer on Stage’ plans.
These include over 25 paid gig slots at this year’s Boomtown Festival and opportunities at Cross The Tracks, Festival People, Truck, Tramlines and Mint Festival.
Artists have until a deadline of 27 March to apply to the scheme.
Pirate are especially encouraging female and gender non-conforming artists to apply, with over 70% of those who have signed up as male.
For those looking to have their music played on the airwaves, the initiative also sees Pirate team up with six radio stations – Reprezent, Voices, Transatlantic Lines, KPFK, SNS Radio and Croydon FM – to provide such an opportunity.
And the offering to those selected for the scheme doesn’t stop there.
Pirate residents will also receive £250 studio credit to use in any of Pirate’s 24-hour rehearsal, recording, DJ, dance and podcast studios, a share of £5,000 Paradise Worldwide vouchers for career development, and mentorship from those already working prominently in the industry.
Rebecca Mason-Evans, Pirate’s Residency Lead, has spoken of the importance of providing such emerging talent not merely the opportunity to perform live or feature on the radio but to be paid for their work and get a sense of seeing it as a viable career.
“Many live events operate with tight margins,” she’s said, “but emerging acts performing at profit-driving events without a fee isn’t sustainable for the artists. We’re working with all of our partners to make sure every gig we offer is paid.”
Pirate’s initiative follows research it carried out, which shows that major UK festivals increasingly book fewer emerging artists each year, slowing down the pipeline of potential opportunities for these aspiring acts.
Analysing festivals over a ten-year period, the research outlined how line-ups at festivals with a capacity of over 50,000 often repeatedly book the same artists, with the percentage of new acts on line-ups dropping steadily year-on-year.
Their new initiative addresses this head-on – and you can sign up here before the 27 March deadline.