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Summer Studios 2022

FREE week-long residency opportunity for artists in August.
Applications are now closed.

Applications are now closed. There will be another open call next year – if you’d like a reminder nearer the time, or to hear about other upcoming opportunities for artists, sign up to our newsletter by emailing [email protected]

Summer Studios are free, week-long residencies throughout August for musicians, producers, artists, rappers and singers of all genres to be able to create new work, develop their practice or prepare for a performance. A one week residency can provide a great kickstart or boost to a creative project.

This year’s Summer Studios will take place from 1 August – 14 August 2022, offering dedicated rehearsal studio and facilities to artists for one week, as well as one-to-one sessions and clinics with music industry professionals. Participants also have the option to have a professional photoshoot and film a live session of one of their songs (watch previous live sessions here).

Residents will be able to attend workshops on industry-relevant topics such as approaching promoters, writing funding bids, stage presence, songwriting, music publishing and management. Last year’s workshops featured professionals from Sony Music, NARC Magazine, Help Musicians and Bandcamp amongst others.

Summer Studios is for music creators from all genres and backgrounds, at any career stage. Previous residents have included Martha Hill, Ross Millard (The Futureheads), Frankie & the Heartstrings, Big Joanie, Burd Ellen and John Pope.

Please note that Summer Studios does not offer recording studios, but you are welcome to bring your own equipment and record on-site.

Take a listen to our 2021 Summer Studios artists


Everyone is welcome to apply, but we recognise that some communities have not been represented in our previous work. We want to make sure this opportunity is available to everyone, no matter what your background or the challenges you have faced. For example, we would love to hear from you if you:

  • Have a disability, learning difficulty or long-term health condition which affects your daily life
  • Describe yourself as neurodivergent (this might include dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, ADHD, autistic spectrum, Tourette’s syndrome and others)
  • Consider yourself to be from a working class background
  • Received free school meals in secondary school
  • Grew up in a family receiving Universal Credit or state benefits
  • Have ever lived in council or social housing or been on the housing register
  • Have ever lived in sheltered accommodation or experienced homelessness
  • Attended a state-run school and were the first generation in your family to attend university
  • Experienced being in care at any point
  • Were a young parent or young carer
  • Have been a refugee or asylum seeker
  • Are from the African, South, East and South-East Asian, Middle East, Latinx or North African diaspora, or have experienced racism

These are some common examples of challenging circumstances but there may be others.

Please note, to apply you must be aged 18 and over on 1 August 2022, and be based in the UK.


Financial help

We do not pay artist fees for taking part in Summer Studios, but if you are unable to do the residency for financial reasons, bursaries are available to help with costs such as meals, childcare, transport, project materials for the residency, the cost of a support worker, and replacing income which may be lost due to taking time off work for the residency. Access costs will be covered separately, see below. Further information on how the bursaries work will be sent to you when you register your interest.

Money is available for accommodation, and we can pay some travel costs for those outside Newcastle/Gateshead.

Additional money is available for access needs to help improve the experience, which might include transport costs for disabled artists with specific needs, a personal assistant or care worker, BSL interpretation, information in large print or another language etc. If you would like to speak to someone about access needs before applying, please contact us using the details below. Accessible accommodation is available if you are coming from outside Newcastle/Gateshead.


What will I be doing each day at Summer Studios?

You will be able to use our facilities here at Sage Gateshead during your week-long residency. The time is yours to use as you wish and you will be given a rehearsal room to work in at Sage. Workshops, sharing and 1-to-1 sessions will be scheduled, with one or two sessions each day from Monday to Friday. Our facilities are not recording studios – if recording is a key part of your residency plan we would recommend bringing your own equipment.

Artist Nadedja took part in Summer Studios in 2021 and told us about what she did with her time:

“Summer Studios at Sage Gateshead was one of the highlights of my 2021! I had the best time participating in this very special week of music, creativity and collaborations. The Sage team thought about every single detail, from accommodating us in the most inspiring studios, creating many opportunities for us to get to know each other and collaborate with each other, and by offering amazing workshops and clinics from big industry speakers. It was all a real treat! In my case, I chose to spend my time songwriting and rehearsing, which ended up turning into two songs I really love, and am hoping to release later this year. I had such a positive and inspiring experience, I couldn’t recommend it enough!”

How does the selection process work?

Applications will be assessed by a group of experts including staff from Sage Gateshead, a music professional from the North East, and an artist who previously took part in Summer Studios.

This is always a competitive process and that can’t be avoided. We will be selecting based on the information you have sent us. We will be looking for artists who create original music, demonstrate potential, have some experience of being an independent artist, have a clear idea of what they want to achieve during the residency, and who will benefit from this opportunity.

You will be notified of whether your application was successful by the end of May at the latest.

If you are unsuccessful you will be able to request a short piece of feedback and will still be able to get some support and advice on your career in an advice session with one of our team.

If you are successful we will set up a short one-to-one chat with one of our team to discuss your needs during the residency and answer any questions you may have.

How many people apply and how many will you choose?

We expect to receive around 100-150 applications and will choose up to 20 artists/bands to take part.

I’ve never been to Sage Gateshead, what will it be like?

You’ll receive a warm welcome from all the team when you arrive, and we’ll look after you during your week here to make sure you have all the support you need with creative and practical things.

You can have a look inside the building’s main concourse using Google Maps.

The concourse has a great view across Newcastle and the River Tyne. Our concourse café will not be open as usual this Summer but you’re welcome to bring your own food and drink to eat in your rehearsal room or the communal gathering space. Plenty of car and bicycle parking is available, there are bus and metro routes nearby, and if you’re staying overnight the accommodation is in student halls a 10 minute walk from the venue. Please see more information on getting here via this link

Can you help me find musicians for my project?

You should bring together the musicians you need before you start the residency. During the residency you may find some musicians that you want to collaborate with amongst the participants, but those musicians also need to work on their own projects while they are here so this can’t be guaranteed.

If I receive financial help, how does it work?

If we are covering accommodation or travel, we will pay for this upfront, so you don’t have to claim anything back. If you receive a bursary, you will need to send us an invoice for the full amount and it will be paid to you during the week of the residency. Full details of how this works will be sent to you if you receive a bursary.

What happens after Summer Studios?

All artists/bands have access to ongoing support with their project and their career for around 6 months after the residency if they would like it. This will usually take the form of 3-4 meetings or video calls with someone from Sage Gateshead offering advice, as well as information by email on other opportunities via our Artist Opportunities newsletter.

For more information about our other artist development programmes please see this page.

In association with

Sage Gateshead is one of 40 PRS for Music Foundation Talent Development Partners. Sage Summer Studios forms part of a wider programme of talent development at Sage Gateshead that will provide opportunities for a broad range of musicians working across different music genres.

Sage Gateshead is a PRS Foundation Talent Development Partner supported by PPL and

Sage Gateshead is a signatory to Sound and Music’s Fair Access Principles 

Find out more about our 2021 Summer Studios residents below.