15 October 2019

Applications for the Music Managers Forum (MMF) and YouTube Music’s Accelerator Programme for Music Managers have opened.

With repeated backing confirmed from Arts Council England (ACE) and the Scottish Music Industries Association (SMIA) and Creative Scotland, upcoming music managers are being urged to apply for the groundbreaking funding and education initiative that offers grants of up to £15,000 per annum.

Accelerator aims to increase the number of sustainable full-time music management businesses operating in the UK and empower them to work with a greater range of creative talent.

The programme is open to managers in full or part-time employment who are looking to make the leap into full-time music management with their own company. Successful applicants will benefit from over 100 hours of professional mentoring, training and masterclasses, covering all aspects of the music business.

2020’s participants will also receive a travel bursary to attend a professional music conference in Europe.

First round applications close at midnight on Friday October 25th. 

Full details can be found at: 

At a launch event held last night (October 14th) at London’s YouTube Space, including performances from Jordan Mackampha (managed by Charlie Murdoch at Highfield Music) and Diving Station (managed by Sam Meaghan at SM-MGMT), the MMF revealed new data highlighting Accelerator’s impact to date:


Since January 2019, the 24 Accelerator participants have increased the number of artist/writer/producer clients they represent by over 20% – from 44 to 54. These clients include Stardom, Shabaka Hutchings, IDER, LYRA, Murkage Dave, Guy Sigsworth, Cara Rose and Be Charlotte.


The programme aims to support managers from across the UK. Beyond London and the South East, current Accelerator participants are based in Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool and Birmingham. 2020’s programme will include a series of regional ACE-supported introductory workshops for grassroots managers.


The benefits of the programme have been felt by Accelerator manager artists’ across the board, with streams and sales increasing across the range of services. Analysis from YouTube Music shows that the creators represented by Accelerator managers saw a collective 51% increase in watch time since the start of the programme and Shakka (managed by Nike Durosaro) celebrated reaching 100K YouTube subscribers in August 2019.


Accelerator managers have been provided significant opportunities to develop and enhance their businesses – with 5 participating in the BPI/MPA/DIT LA Sync Mission, and others attending industry conferences including Amsterdam Dance Event, shesaidso’s MEETsss, the European Jazz Conference and The Great Escape.

Meanwhile, artists and writers represented by Accelerator managers have signed record and publishing deals, embarked on major tours, and scored syncs with brands including Virgin Media and Levi’s

Lorretta Andrews – Safe Music Management (Guvna B, Joshua Luke Smith, Bianca Rose) said: 

“The Accelerator programme has been a turning point in my career as an artist manager, giving me the funds, space and time to pursue my goals. It’s also given me the confidence I needed to move to the next level. I’ve gained invaluable training from experts in live, recorded, publishing, brands and accountancy and made some great contacts through the programme. Making friends in the same industry as me, who understand the unique lifestyle and pressures that come with being an artist manager, is invaluable.” 

Charlotte Caleb – CsquaredLDN (Raphi, Eloïse, TĀLĀ) said:

“Independent management can be a lonely business, but the Accelerator programme has introduced me to a support group of peers who I have actively collaborated with this year and will do so in the future. I recommend Accelerator to any manager who is ambitious and motivated.”

Sam Meaghan – SM-MGMT (SPINN, Diving Station) said:

“The Accelerator Programme has allowed me to develop my own skill set through their seminars and workshops, and helped alleviate a financial burden which has given me more time to develop my artists. Being the only manager on the programme based in the North West, it has also helped me form relationships with other independent managers, whilst giving me exposure to the wider industry – not only in the UK but in Europe too.”

Nick Myers – 37º (Jay Pryor, Maths Time Joy and rrotik) said: 

“Investment from Accelerator has allowed me to make my business more sustainable and focus on building the long term structure of my company. I’ve just taken on my first employee, a graduate from BIMM, and plan to continue expanding both the roster and team in the near future.”

Paul Bonham, who has overseen the Accelerator Programme for the MMF said: 

“I’ve been genuinely thrilled to see Accelerator’s impact on the lives and livelihoods of our first 24 participants. As much as the funding and masterclasses they’ve received, what’s really impressed is the bond and network they’ve forged. With the support of YouTube Music, Arts Council England, Creative Scotland and the SMIA, and so much generous support for industry speakers and partners, we’re laying strong foundations for the future of music management – and therefore benefitting artists, writers and producers too.”

Roz Mansfield, Artist Partnerships Manager at YouTube Music said: 

“We are delighted with the success of the inaugural Accelerator Programme For Music Managers. It’s been fantastic watching the managers get so much out of the course, and to see them and their artists flourish. YouTube Music is committed to helping the industry as a whole grow and thrive. We wish these managers all the best in their future careers and hope they come back to share their experiences with future Accelerators.”

Dougal Perman, Executive Chair, SMIA added:

“Professional development can be transformative to the way you do business. The Scottish Music Industry Association was delighted to be able to support Accelerator in its first year and the two participating Scottish managers gained a huge amount from the programme. With additional support from Creative Scotland, we are now pleased to be able to extend this valuable opportunity to Scottish music managers to help them develop their skills and grow their businesses.”

Joyce Wilson, London Area Director, Arts Council England, said: “I am delighted that we will be supporting the Music Managers Forum to deliver its 2020 development programme. This award aims to extend and sharpen the skills of music managers across the country, as they in turn support and develop the artists and musicians they represent. Music managers must now engage with an increasingly complex set of demands from both clients and the industry, and we hope that through this programme we can make these small businesses both more sustainable and more effective.’

Consulting partners for Accelerator include The Midi Music Company, Urban Development, Small Green Shoots, I Luv Live, Brighter Sound, and Generator, while partners providing business support and training include Harbottle & Lewis, Sheridans, Simkins, Simons Muirhead & Burton, Music Insurance Brokers, SRLV, CMU Insights and Music Ally.

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