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Free summer residency at Sage Gateshead on offer to musicians

Posted on 24 February 2020


Musician Holly Clarke is urging musicians to apply for a free summer residency at Sage Gateshead after her own career was propelled by the experience.

The traditional singer and guitarist from Coniston in the Lake District found her way into Summer Studios last year and has gone on to support Billy Bragg, star in Sage Gateshead’s New Year New Artists Festival and now become Artist in Residence at the international music centre.

Summer Studios are free, week-long residencies throughout August for musicians, producers, rappers and singers of all genres to be able to create new work, develop their practice or prepare for a performance. Dedicated rehearsal studios and facilities are available to artists as well as one to one sessions and clinics with music industry professionals. This year’s Summer Studios will take place from 3 August – 16 August 2020. Participants also have the option to have a professional photoshoot and film a live session of one of their songs.

Holly is a folk singer-songwriter and instrumentalist. She came to Sage Gateshead for the first time as a teenager in April 2011 for a workshop and found out about Folkworks Summer Schools, which she attended and was taught by Becky and Rachel Unthank among others. She then went on to study on Newcastle University’s Folk & Traditional Music Degree, in partnership with Sage Gateshead, and started gigging before applying for Summer Studios.

She said: “It’s been a wonderful journey so far. What I got from Summer Studios was really good advice from industry professionals and it was a really good space to work on material and talk it through with other artists around me.

“It was a wonderful time, just having this camaraderie with all different kinds of musicians and being in Sage Gateshead. And from that lots of other wonderful things happened.”

A few months after Summer Studios, Holly went on to perform at New Year New Artists Festival at Sage Gateshead, performing with Sam Partridge and Grace Smith and Katie Docherty and the Navigators. She then supported Billy Bragg in Sage Gateshead’s main concert hall before being asked to become Artist in Residence at the venue.

Holly added: “If anyone is thinking of applying I would just say ‘go for it’. I got so much more out of it than I originally thought. I got a promo video and some amazing photography and made some wonderful contacts. I highly recommend it.”

Summer Studios is for music creators from all genres and backgrounds at any career stage. Previous residents have included Talk Like Tigers, Ross Millard (The Futureheads), Frankie & the Heartstrings and Martha Hill.

Participants will be able to attend workshops on industry-relevant topics such as stage presence, approaching promoters, writing funding bids, songwriting, PR and management. Last year’s workshops featured professionals from Sony Music, NARC Magazine, i-D Magazine and Funky Fly Music amongst others.

Anyone interested in applying should register their interest at by 5pm on Friday 27 March.

Bursaries are available towards costs such as meals, childcare, transport, project materials for the residency, the cost of a support worker, access costs, and replacing income which may be lost due to doing the residency. Further information on how the bursaries work will be sent to you when you register your interest. Some funding is available for accommodation and travel for those travelling from outside of the region. Additional funding is available to help improve the experience for disabled musicians, including for transport costs if you have specific transport requirements.

Sage Gateshead is one of 40 PRS for Music Foundation Talent Development Partners. Summer Studios forms part of a wider programme of development and support for emerging artists at Sage Gateshead, providing opportunities for a broad range of musicians working across music genres.

Summer Studios is produced by Sage Gateshead in association with NARC. magazine