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Applications open for the MMF’s 2024 Accelerator Programme for Music Managers

22 January 2024

Supported by YouTube Music, the groundbreaking initiative provides selected independent music managers with career-boosting grants of up to £12,000 alongside a 12-month programme of expert-led training and a two-day retreat. Now in its 6th year, Accelerator has supported 115 managers from across the UK, helping them build robust and sustainable businesses Applications for 2024’s programme must be submitted by 10 am Monday 26th February 2024

 

The Music Managers Forum (MMF) and YouTube Music are delighted to announce that applications for the 6th year of the Accelerator Programme for Music Managers are now open.

The deadline for submissions is 10am Monday 26th February 2024. Full details can be found here.

 

Accelerator 2023 cohort sat in a circle

 

Launched in 2019, Accelerator remains the world’s only independent funding and professional development program designed exclusively for artist, songwriter, DJ and producer managers.

The programme offers a combination of financial and educational support – including direct investment of up to £12,000 per participant in the form of grant funding, alongside regular expert-led sessions on all aspects of the modern music business. The programme concludes with managers attending a two-night retreat with a focus on leadership skills and commercial planning – with the overriding goal of helping participants to build long-term, sustainable businesses across different genres of music.

For Accelerator’s 2023 cohort, this meant a stay at Selina Margate where their retreat involved sessions with speakers including MMF Chair, Paul Craig, and Board members Niamh Bryne and Ross Patel, alongside special guests Lyor Cohen, Global Head of Music, Google & YouTube and Dan Chalmers, Head of Music EMEA, YouTube Music.

To date, Accelerator has supported more than 115 individuals from across the UK – including managers of Joy Crookes, Shygirl, PinkPantheress, FLO, Eliza Rose, Joy Anonymous, Moses Boyd, Enny, Nafe Smallz, Squid, Joesef, S1MBA, Moonchild Sanelly, The Reytons, Steam Down, Shygirl, Dry Cleaning, Employed To Serve, Yolanda Brown, Wes Nelson, Shabaka Hutchings, Goat Girl, Bree Runway, Porridge Radio and Caskets.

A report published last year to celebrate five years of Accelerator’s successes illustrated how the programme has generated at least £9.4m in turnover for artists and talent represented by participants.

Collectively, Accelerator alumni have worked on eight UK Top 40 singles (including a Number 1) and 13 UK Top 40 albums. Two former participants – Clare Sanders-Wright and Nike Durosaro – currently sit on the MMF board.

The MMF is especially proud of the diversity of managers supported by Accelerator. To date, over 50% of participants are based outside of London, 42% have been female and 43% have been from Black, Asian or Ethnic backgrounds.

Accelerator has also received support since 2019 from Arts Council England, Creative Scotland and the Scottish Music Industry Association.

Accelerator 2023 cohort with MMF staff
Paul Bonham, Professional Development Director, MMF:

“Accelerator has become more than a programme. This is now a thriving network of managers that allows successful candidates to share information while providing funding and career-changing opportunities to learn from industry-leading experts. With the incredible support we’ve received from YouTube Music, Arts Council England, Creative Wales, Creative Scotland and the SMIA, we are incredibly proud of the programme’s track record to date and strongly encourage independent managers from every background to make an application.”

Dan Chalmers, Head of Music EMEA, YouTube Music:

“Year on year, we are blown away by the creativity, ambition, resilience and entrepreneurship that we see from the Accelerator managers, and the successes speak for themselves. It just goes to show what can be achieved through the potent combination of raw talent, industry guidance & mentorship and community. Accelerator is the gold standard of music industry development programmes, and in partnering with them for a sixth year we are proud to provide vital support to the next generation of music managers.”

Michelle Walker, London Area Director, Arts Council England:

“We’re thrilled to see the continued success of the Accelerator Programme, a scheme that we have proudly supported since its inception. Now in its sixth year, this programme does so much to support the development of upcoming music producers, offering excellent opportunities and equipping those involved with the skills needed to take the music industry by storm. This is the first round of the programme since The Music Managers Forum became one of our National Portfolio Organisations and we can’t wait to see what amazing talent is nurtured in the years to come.”

Robert Kilpatrick, CEO & Creative Director, Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA):

“The SMIA has been a proud partner of the MMF Accelerator Programme since its inaugural year. As the organisation which exists to strengthen, empower and unite Scotland’s music industry, Accelerator plays a key part in our strategic work; better equipping Scotland-based music managers with the knowledge, skills and networks to develop both themselves and the artists they work with. The impact of the programme is undeniable, and we look forward to continuing to work with the MMF, YouTube Music and the wider project partners on this incredible initiative.”

Several managers from Accelerator’s 2023 cohort have also encouraged managers to submit applications for 2024’s programme.

Nina Smith, Tuff Cookie

“For me Accelerator has provided a lot of social proof within the industry, and it’s been invaluable to be affiliated with the programme when it comes to networking, developing new partnerships and building my own artists’ businesses. The community aspect of Accelerator is also really important. Management can be really lonely work, but this has plugged me into a whole community of like minded individuals which has been fantastic – especially for someone like myself who’s based outside of London.”

Kariss Andrew, Karizma Management

“Accelerator has massively benefitted my business for the fact that I’ve been introduced to all these different managers, across all different genres and different walks of life, who I ordinarily wouldn’t have been able to meet. We’re all placed in one room and we can all learn off each other. The benefits are actually really difficult to measure, but it’s been the best thing I’ve done in my career for sure. The grant is definitely an incentive to apply, and that allows you to take a few more risks, but it’s the community aspect that’s absolutely massive.

My advice for anyone who thinks they’re ready is just to go for it. Do the application, and get a good business plan together. You’ll not regret it. It’ll change your company, it’ll change your business and you’ll learn so many new things.”

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