Ghanaian singer Cina Soul performing at the Music In Africa Foundation's ACCES conference in 2019. Photo: Paul Addo
Ghanaian singer Cina Soul performing at the Music In Africa Foundation's ACCES conference in 2019. Photo: Paul Addo

Music In Africa Live Digital Showcase Grants

The Music In Africa Foundation is inviting music industry practitioners based in Africa to apply for grants from its recently launched Music In Africa Live (MIAL) project, which aims to support musicians and the industry at large to navigate challenges and new realities introduced by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Covering all African countries, the aim of MIAL is to offer financial support to operators, to enable them to create high-quality works and promote, market and showcase their content to a wider global audience, primarily via digital means, and to facilitate the creation and dissemination of educational content with a view to upskill and enable professionals to adjust and adopt to the needs of the changing music industry.

Thousands of African musicians have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has occasioned unprecedented lockdowns and restrictions across the continent. African musicians and professionals traditionally make a living from live performances, and now they find themselves in extreme difficulty. While social media platforms offer alternative avenues for operators to broadcast their works seamlessly, many musicians are struggling to make ends meet.

MIAL will seek to enable musicians to earn income from digital live performances while also supporting capacity-building projects that develop critical skills among professionals using digital means.

Applications are open for two categories of grants:

1. Showcase grants

The showcase grants support the production of high-quality digital live concerts with African musicians, with an emphasis on professional productions that offer real exposure, potential export opportunities and generally more opportunities for participants.

2. Capacity-building grants

The capacity-building grants are open to digitally deliver initiatives that develop relevant critical skills for music professionals to navigate new challenges and the transformations of the industry, especially those introduced by the pandemic.

This call is for showcase grants ONLY. For the call related to capacity-building grants, click HERE.

Projects applied for must start from 15 October 2020 onwards and must be completed by 15 December 2020.

The deadline for applications for all grants is 26 September 2020 (23.59pm CAT).

Who can apply?

This opportunity is open to companies or organisations in need of financial assistance to produce professional, high-quality digital live performances as described in this call. While only companies and organisations can apply, they must be able to demonstrate that their projects will primarily benefit musicians by offering them paid performance opportunities and exposure as described in this call.

* The applicant (company/organisation) must be based in Africa.
* Applicants and all participants in the project must be over 18 years old.
* The applicant must have official proof of its legal existence.
* The applicant must have a valid bank account.
* Applicants must have been in existence for at least two (2) years.
* Applicants must be able to show at least three (3) live concerts produced in the last four (4) years (since 2017).
* An applicant may submit only one application under this call.

Eligible projects

* Concerts applied for must take place in Africa.
* Concerts must start from 15 October 2020 onwards and must be completed by 15 December 2020.
* All concerts applied for must feature live performances. For clarity, this means that the audio of performances shall not be coming from pre-recorded materials.
* Concerts are produced primarily for a digital audience. This means that the applicant is able to broadcast live to a digital audience or repackage the recording for digital broadcast on a later date within a week of the recording, and no later than on 15 December 2020.
* Proposed projects must showcase high-quality talent that is ready for regional or international export.
* Professional execution of all aspects of the production, especially with regards to sound and lighting.
* Projects that offer audiences opportunities to discover new talent are more advantageous.
* We welcome concerts of all kinds and there are no restrictions to venues used, as long as the final product is of high quality.
* List of artists, profile and proof of engagement (e.g. an email or letter) will be required.
* The applicant should demonstrate how they will promote the performance to a wider audience (e.g. using existing digital networks, fan bases, partnerships and other strategies).
* All recordings must be done and broadcast in HD or other superior formats.
* Platforms for broadcast will be Facebook, YouTube and the Music In Africa website. Applicants are welcome to propose other complementary platforms of their preference.
* All artists or performers eligible for payment must be African.
* In light of COVID-19, all activities must be implemented in a manner that is compliant with safety protocols.

Non-eligible events or projects

* Recording of albums.
* Academic research projects.
* Scholarships and fellowships for studies or training courses.
* Fundraising events, such as charity galas.
* Projects supporting political parties or religious faith.
* Non-performance based projects.
* Support from Music In Africa Live

1. Showcase grants (Tier 1): €5 000

Minimum individual performers booked and paid from the grant: 10.

2. Showcase grants (Tier 2): €8 000

Minimum individual performers booked and paid from the grant: 16.

Eligible costs

Budget must strictly follow the following guidelines:

1. Production costs (38%)

Items that may be included as production cost are:

* Venue rental and sound engineering.
* Sound equipment and backline rental.
* Professional high-quality filming.
* Stage lighting and engineering.
* Stage design.
* Crew costs.
* Post-production and edits of produced content.

2. Performance fees (40%)

This relates to fees paid directly to performers (each individual in the act regardless of their part) as remuneration for their performance. For clarity, the fixed amount shall not be less than €200 per each artist/performer.

Managers’ fees (for performing bands) will be limited to one manager per band, calculated as per each artist fee and covered on top of the fixed grant amount (Tier 1 or Tier 2).

3. Marketing (4%)

This covers costs for the promotion of the production to a wider audience, using the provided guidelines.

4. Project management costs (8%)

This contributes towards the recipient’s costs for grant management and reporting, printing, Internet, telephone).

5. HR support (10%)

This is a contribution towards the eligible costs of staff implementing the project.

All costs not listed above shall be treated as being non-eligible.

How to apply?

Read the call for applications carefully.
Complete and submit the online application form in ENGLISH or FRENCH. Email applications will not be considered.

NOTE: The form will not allow applicants to save and complete later. Before you complete it, make sure you have all the required information ready.

Mandatory documents required for submission with your application

Company/organisation registration document (a constitution or similar founding document is acceptable for new organisations that are not yet registered).
Proof of acceptance from the artists (e.g. an email or letter)
Budget: Download the budget template HERE.

Selection process

Application deadline: 26 September 2020 (23.59pm CAT).

* Eligible applications will be reviewed by the Music in Africa Live jury.
* Successful applicants only will be notified by 6 October 2020.
* Only complete applications will be considered.
* Only applications submitted via the dedicated online form will be considered.
* Late applications will not be considered.

Application forms

You can apply in French or in English.

For enquiries and information, email claire@musicinafrica.net(link sends e-mail).