EFEx Arts & Homelessness Partnership

Nov 15th, 2018


Are you a musician who has experienced homelessness?

If you play folk, roots or acoustic music (including singer-songwriters), and are based in England then this programme might be for you.

We are looking for gigging musicians who have experienced some form of homelessness to be involved in our programme, supporting people with the skills to sustain a career as a full time musician.


To be eligible to apply, you must:

  • Have a reasonable history of performing.

This could include any level of regular gigging over a reasonable period of time. Performing can be at any level including open mics, support slots, festivals etc.

  • Have a live and active online presence.

This means any form of online presence that you use regularly. This could be a website, a facebook page, a blog. Anything so that we can find you online. It is also really helpful if there are some videos of you performing live on youtube or vimeo etc.

  • Have some form of recorded music.

This might be an album or EP, or it might be something you’ve recorded yourself from a live gig or elsewhere. We would hope that this recording is available on bandcamp or soundcloud or similar platform.

  • Are committed to a career in the music industry

You need to demonstrate that you are prepared to put in the time and effort required to have a career as a musician.

  • Have had experience of homelessness

This could be something you have overcome, and could be any type of homelessness including rough sleeping, living in temporary accommodation, sofa-surfing, squats etc

  • Are resident in England or are English by birth.

This is a requirement of our primary funders.

  • Perform folk, roots or acoustic music (including singer songwriters).

We’re pretty broad about what this genre definition means. If you’re unsure, we’re happy to listen to anything informally first.

To apply, please send an email to tom@englishfolkexpo.com before the end of February 2019, detailing how you meet the above criteria. We really want to hear examples of your music, we will select the participants based on the quality of the music and how well you meet the criteria above.

Applications can be either written, recorded or in video format ad will be assessed by English Folk Expo and our partner organisations With One Voice and the One Festival of Homeless Arts.


Selected artists will take part in a training programme to equip you with the skills, networks and experience required to help you in a career as a full time musician. This will include a paid gig in front of a group of music industry professionals during English Folk Expo (17-20 October 2019)

The programme will include:

  • One to one conversations with a music industry professional to look at your career aspirations, and to provide advice on what steps to consider.
  • A full day training course run by the Featured Artists Coalition, looking at entrepreneurship and income generation in the music industry.
  • A Trade Stand at English Folk Expo’s trade fair on Saturday 19th October, with opportunities to network with members of the UK and international music industry.
  • A paid gig at English Folk Expo 2019 as part of the showcase to music industry.
  • Full online listings on English Folk Expo platforms including the website, app and print.
  • Hotel rooms, travel contribution and per diem for your time in Manchester.
  • Followup with the EFEx Team advising next steps.

For an informal conversation about the programme, please call Tom on 07929 577 894


English Folk Expo (EFEx) supports the English folk, roots and acoustic music sector through the provision of artist professional development and the presentation of an annual international music showcase each October. The showcase takes place in Manchester, running alongside the public Manchester Folk Festival. EFEx invites up to 190 music industry decision makers from the UK and internationally to see over 40 artists perform during the three day event. The event generates approximately £1.8million in artist bookings each time it is run, developing the reach of the sector and supporting emerging artists onto new stages and opportunities.

The One Festival of Homeless Arts brings together works of art in many forms, from theatre and film, to sculpture and photography, as well as traditional visual art, all of which have been created by artists who have experienced homelessness. We want to give people experiencing homelessness a safe space, an amazing venue that is easily accessible to the public and not shut off, so that as many people as possible can see this amazing work.

With One Voice is an international movement that aims to strengthen the arts and homelessness sector through exchanges in practice and policy. Our vision is of a world in which the arts is used to support and give a voice to homeless people everywhere in the world. We also host the International Arts & Homelessness Summit.

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