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More MEGS funding distribution, though one recipient hits out at government’s record on the arts

By | Published on Monday 6 July 2015

Music Export Growth Scheme

The latest recipients of Music Export Growth Scheme funding were revealed this weekend.

As previously reported, this scheme is led by record label trade group BPI and the government’s UK Trade & Investment unit, and aims to provide artists signed to small and mid-sized UK labels with grants to help them pursue projects abroad.

It’s the sixth round of funding from the MEGS project, and BPI boss Geoff Taylor says the initiative “has played a pivotal role in launching the music careers of artists overseas. With one in seven artist albums around the world now accounted for by British acts, we know the UK’s independent and major labels are at the top of their game in finding the most promising acts to develop. It’s an exciting time for British music and the BPI is backing it all the way”.

Meanwhile the government’s Business Secretary Sajid Javid adds: “Music is a defining part of British culture, from the British Invasion in the 1960s to 90s Britpop. Through the Music Export Growth Scheme, the government is banging the drum for the UK’s fledgling music stars and promoting the UK’s world-class sound in overseas markets”.

Though – while grateful for a contribution to a planned American tour – at least one of the recipients of a MEGS grant have distanced themselves from Javid’s remarks, stressing that while they are happy to take government funding where they can get it, that doesn’t mean they approve of the current government’s policy on funding the arts.

In a long blog post on the topic, 65daysofstatic write: “The idea of 65daysofstatic being held up in any way as evidence that this hyper-Dickensian, fucking nightmare of a Tory government is apparently supporting the arts, when in actual fact they are destroying any kind of infrastructure for future creativity at the grassroots level and plunging the most vulnerable parts of society into further misery, leaves a bad taste in our mouths”.

They also note that pretty much all the money received will be spent on travel, crew and instrument hire costs, meaning a big chunk of the change will likely go to airlines and oil companies. The band add: “The point here is absolutely not to complain that we as a band are not getting paid, but simply to point out that it is not accurate for this kind of funding to be held up as evidence of a government who is supporting the arts in this country when, in actual fact, they are destroying the conditions where it can even survive, never mind thrive”.

You can read the full blog here.

Meanwhile, the other recipients of MEGS funding – who may or may not share the sentiments of 65daysofstatic – are as follows: Ciaran Lavery, Dr Meaker, Eska, Fearless Vampire Killers, Låpsley, Lonelady, Maribou State, Marika Hackman, MONEY, Oh Wonder, Sam Lee, SOAK, The Temperance Movement, Until The Ribbon Breaks, While She Sleeps and songwriters Paul Drew, Pete Barringer and Pete Boyes.