WE, THE LEADERS: Creative Commissions

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Alice Kanako
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Put forward your ideas for innovative new work to be showcased in October 2024.

We’re commissioning innovative new work that examines or challenges the future of the music industry and global music cultures.

Open to artists, collectives, promoters or labels, if selected you’ll be given a £5,000 budget to bring your idea to life.

Part of WE, THE LEADERS, the legacy programme for WOMEX 24, we want to support work that is bold, future-facing, collaborative and cross-discipline.

Your ideas could explore:

  • The future of the music industry
  • Imagined futures
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Innovation in global music cultures

Your commission should have a public facing output, be that a live event, online or something for print, to be showcased in October 2024.

Who it’s for

Commissions are open to early-mid career:

  • Individuals and independent artists
  • Bands and artist groups
  • Grassroots creative and music collectives (can be informal groups)
  • Promoters
  • Record labels

Applicants should be aged 18+ and based in Greater Manchester.

We’re open to all genres and styles.

We’ll prioritise organisations and collectives who have less opportunity to access money for funded projects, but have significant experience delivering exceptional work at a grassroots level.

What’s involved

You’ll have between June-October 2024 to develop your work. Throughout this time we’ll:

  • Arrange regular check-ins based on your availability
  • Connect you with relevant people and organisations
  • Provide marketing support
  • Support with budget management
  • Share best practices on access and safeguarding to feed into your own planning

Completed new work needs to be showcased in October 2024. The output of your commission is flexible. For example, it could be:

  • A live performance of new music
  • A listening party of new music
  • A physical release

If you need a venue for your commission we’ll work with you to find the right one.

Please be aware we’re unable to support projects in the research and development phase.


You’ll be given a £5,000 commission fee to cover:

  • Artist and freelancer fees
  • Event production costs
  • Event marketing
  • Travel, accommodation and expenses
  • Anything else needed to bringing your commission idea to life

We’ll cover access costs for things like disability support, translation or childcare.

The output of your commission can be ticketed, as long as the price is accessible and agreed with us before. For example, we’d expect some tickets to be free or pay-what-you-feel. Any ticketing income must go back into the project, and we can’t commission ideas that are for profit.

How to apply

In our application form we’ll ask you some basic details, along with the following questions:

  • Tell us a bit about you or your organisation/collective
  • Describe the project you would like to be commissioned
  • What audience would you like to reach?
  • How is your project innovative?
  • How will you spend the commission fee?

You can either answer these questions in writing, or you can record yourself. If you do this, you’ll just need to include links to your video or audio recordings. Have a read of our Application Guidance for more information on how to answer these questions.

The application deadline is Sunday 30 June, 11pm.

We encourage you to submit your application before the deadline but if you need a bit more time we can stretch an extra day or two. If you’d like an extension please let us know by Wednesday 26 June.

You’re welcome to apply with support from a personal assistant or carer. If there is anything we can do to help you to apply, please let us know.

Ready to apply? Head over to our Google Form.

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