A new artist mentoring programme for artists

Applications now open

The Covid-19 pandemic has created huge challenges for music artists and industry. The Mentors project has been established in autumn 2020 in response to those challenges. With support from Arts Council England, The Mentors offer one-to-one mentoring services to music artists working across a broad definition of folk, roots and acoustic music. The Mentors aim to help artists meet the current challenges and find ways to thrive through these difficult times for music artists.

The Mentors have decades of experience in all aspects of the music business including artist management, programming, production, agency, recording, music release and more, with particular expertise in the folk, roots and acoustic sector. They offer artists support, guidance and advice, as well as insights into new industry solutions being found for music artists in a Covid-19 world.

The Mentors are:

  • Lead mentor, Terry O’Brien, founder of English Folk Expo and owner of Playpen Management & Agency which represents some of the biggest names in folk, roots and acoustic music including Jon Boden, Grace Petrie, Daoirí Farrell and Spiers & Boden. Terry has also worked in A&R for One Little Indian Records (now One Little Independent Records) and previously ran Playpen Acoustic Club in London.
  • Bev Burton, owner of Killer B Music which programmes and books festivals and events including over the years: Black Deer, Wood Festival, Cambridge Folk Festival, Hop Farm Music Festival, Towersey, Costa de Fuego and many more. Bev has also worked for Mushroom Records and Modo Productions.
  • Andy Bell, sound engineer and producer for artists including Bellowhead, Martin Simpson, Jon Boden, Karine Polwart and Seasick Steve, as well as a founder of the award-winning Hudson Records.
  • John Helps, founder of The Robot Needs Home Collective, an umbrella for numerous music projects including promotions, record releases, tour management and artist management support. John also runs and programmes Leicester’s Handmade Festival.
  • Becky Marshall-Potter, co-founder of FolkEast festival and a trained actress with skills in stagecraft and presentation, as well as experience in music marketing, live music promotion and festival organisation.

Artists can apply for between 2 and 6 hours of Covid-safe support, provided via Zoom’s meeting platform, by completing the online application form accessed through The Mentors’ website at, where they will also find more information about The Mentors and the project. Applications are open until 14th November and all applicants will be contacted on or before 20th November.

The Mentors project is made possible thanks to funding from Arts Council England.


Our Partners

Join Our Mailing List

Join our mailing list

Folk fansArtistsMusic industry