11 May 2023

The Music Managers Forum (MMF) has today published a new report to celebrate five years of the Accelerator Programme for Music Managers, and to illustrate the initiative’s far-reaching impacts.

Accelerator is 5 details how the groundbreaking grants and funding programme was established back in 2018 with support from YouTube Music alongside Arts Council England, Creative Scotland and the Scottish Music Industry Association. Accelerator is still the only programme of its type to help support independent music managers.

In total, 115 managers have now benefited from the grant funding and training provided by Accelerator, helping them build sustainable long-term businesses and support the careers of talented artists including PinkPantheress, FLO, Squid, S1MBA, Dry Cleaning, Joy Crookes, Joesef, Steam Down, Frankie Stew & Harvey Gunn, Voyager, Moonchild Sanelly, ENNY, Eliza Rose, The Reytons, Låpsley, Pigs x 7 and over 450 others.

Other wider impacts of Accelerator detailed in the report include:

  • At least £9.4m generated in turnover for the artists represented by managers during the programme participation

  • Collectively, Accelerator participants have worked on eight UK Top 40 singles and 13 UK Top 40 albums (including a Number 1)

  • Between them, managers and artists have received 40 awards nominations – including topping the BBC Radio 1 Sound Of… list for two consecutive years in 2022 and 2023

  • Two former Accelerator participants (Clare Sanders-Wright and Nike Durosaro) currently sit on the MMF board

  • 42% of participants to date have been female, while 43% are from Black, Asian or Ethnic backgrounds

  • Over 50% of participants are based outside of London

As a direct consequence of Accelerator’s successes, the MMF was awarded National Portfolio Organisation (NPO) status by Arts Council England in order to expand our professional development services from April 2023-March 2026. More recently, we also received specific grant funding from Creative Wales in order to deliver a new programme of education and training for Welsh managers.

Accelerator is 5 was officially launched at YouTube Music Space with a celebratory event attended by over 75 former and current participants. The evening also featured insights from Lauren Roth de Wolf (Wolves Management) and Kieran Thompson (Localism Club) about their experiences on the programme.

Annabella Coldrick, Chief Executive, Music Managers Forum:

“Alongside our friends at YouTube Music, Arts Council England, Creative Scotland and the SMIA, the MMF are delighted to celebrate five years of Accelerator with this new report. As well as helping 115 independent music managers to scale-up their businesses and support their clients, the programme has also done great work in dismantling barriers and encouraging participation from under-represented groups and entrepreneurs based outside of London. The result is a real and thriving community of super-skilled managers from all quarters of the UK, who I believe will help reshape the future of the music industry.”

Dan Chalmers, Head of Music, YouTube, EMEA:

“We are incredibly proud of our role in co-creating the Accelerator programme with the Music Managers Forum 5 years ago. Being a manager is one of the toughest jobs in the music industry, and through our Futuremaker partnerships, we are committed to supporting the next generation of talent on both sides of the mic. We’ve seen so much progress so far from this best in class programme and I look forward to what the future holds as we move forward.”

Dr Claire Mera-Nelson, Director, Music, Arts Council England:

“Over the past 5 years, the MMF’s evolving Accelerator programme has provided significant, high quality learning and development opportunities – both for UK music managers, and for the talent they represent. Initially supported by National Lottery Project Grants, the programme has generated a string of high profile successes, helping Accelerator participants develop the careers of artists including FLO, PinkPantheress, The Reytons and Bree Runway. But equally important is the way it has helped develop new networks and fostered greater diversity and inclusivity within the wider music industry, especially at a regional level. As the programme continues through our investment in the MMF as part of our National Portfolio, with participating music managers now more able to build sustainable businesses across the UK, we anticipate even more opportunities opening up for artists, songwriters, producers and performers of every genre.”

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