Summer Studios FAQs
What will I be doing each day at Summer Studios?
You can choose to take part remotely and work on your music from home or travel to Sage Gateshead and use our facilities. The time is yours to use as you wish and you will be allocated a rehearsal room to work in at Sage. Workshops, sharing and 1 to 1 sessions will be on offer via Microsoft Teams with one or two sessions each day from Monday to Friday, alongside an online forum to help you get to know the other artists. Our facilities are not recording studios but we have a small amount of recording equipment available – if recording is a key part of your residency plan we would recommend bringing your own equipment. Please note that photography and filming will only be possible for artists taking part in person at Sage Gateshead.
Drummer and composer Sarah Heneghan has experienced online and in-person versions of Summer Studios:
I have attended the residency as part of a collaborative project in 2019, and returned with my solo project in 2020 for the remote residency. The online residency was excellent, and, while it couldn’t substitute in-person networking and physically being in Sage Gateshead, the remote aspect helped with availability of industry guest speakers, gave the comfort and flexibility of choosing where you undertook the residency, and the daily check-ins help you keep on track. The online sharing session was also really nice, and a sense of community was still cultivated in spite of none of us actually meeting each other in person.
Singer-songwriter MG Boulter took part in Summer Studios in person in 2019 and told us about what he did with his time:
As a solo performer I was made to feel welcome from the outset with the Sage staff organising meet and greet drinks on the first day, which really helped me get to know the other musicians and artists on the programme. I had decided to use the week for song writing and practicing my guitar playing. My day started with a nice walk to the Sage from my accommodation with a coffee and then an hour’s practice before a day of writing. Between all this I attended clinics and meetings with industry guest speakers. These group meetings allowed me to share ideas and perspectives with other people. I would recommend this week for any musician wanting some time and space to work on their music, it was a treat to do it. Thank you Sage Gateshead!
What equipment do I need to take part remotely?
You will need a device with an internet connection which can download the free Microsoft Teams app e.g. laptop, smartphone, tablet, and access to a space where you can write, practice or record your music, whether that is at home or elsewhere. The ability to make rough recordings of your work would be useful for the sharing event but it is not essential.
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, and will be looking for artists who create original music, demonstrate talent, have some experience of working as 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 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.
While we are currently closed, you can have a look inside the building’s main concourse using Google Maps.
The concourse which 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. Plenty of parking is available, there are bus and metro routes nearby, and if you’re staying overnight the accommodation is in student halls a 5 minute walk from the venue.
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 up-front 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 skype 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.