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Sound Advice: Breakthrough Artist Development Programme – MusicTank

Sound Advice: Breakthrough Artist Development Programme

28 Jul 2017

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In May 2017, Higher Rhythm Ltd launched Breakthrough, a three-year project funded by Help Musicians UK as part of their national grants programme, with match funding from Arts Council England.

The Breakthrough programme is designed to provide industry support for emerging and developing level music artists from the Yorkshire & Humber region with an intensive yearlong programme of support (offered on a competitive entry basis) to a small cohort of artists each year, with wider support activity and events open to all, delivered through Higher Rhythm’s regional music industry development network, Music Industry Yorkshire.


As part of the launch of the Breakthrough 2017 programme, 4 initial events were held through Music Industry Yorkshire in Hull, Sheffield, Leeds and Scunthorpe, through May and June 2017, themed around exploring the DIY culture of the modern music industry.

The events were run as panels of 3 experts with an additional panel chair, discussing common topics and responding to specific questions from the artists attending each event.

More than 90 regional artists attended these events (93% being aged between 16 to 34, and split 59% male to 41% female) contributing to the conversation and also helping to highlight areas of need shared by artists across the region. The panels were designed to be an open conversation between audience members (the artists) and the panel (the professionals) and so avoid the feel of being a ‘lecture’ or a forum for anecdotes from the panel members.

The following is a compilation of the most commonly recurring topics discussed and the valuable advice generated by the panel members. This document is not intended to be a comprehensive guide of how to succeed in the music industry; it is simply a useful resource of pointers and references, from music artists, to fellow music artists.

Publ. July 2017