Shropshire Star

Performers urged to apply for grants in memory of Shrewsbury Folk Festival founder

Musicians, dancers, singers and performers are being invited to apply for grants of up to £2,000 to develop their careers.

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Alan Surtees, the co-founder and director of Shrewsbury Folk Festival, in whose memory the trust supports young musicians

Up to four awards of £2,000 each will be made this year by the Alan Surtees Trust, which was set up in memory of the co-founder and director of Shrewsbury Folk Festival who died in 2017.

The festival continues to support the trust with an annual donation.

The grants will be made to those aged 16 to 30 who show exceptional skill, talent and promise in their field and are influenced by folk or traditional music and arts from any culture.

They can be used to fund items such as new instruments and equipment, recording costs, mentoring or support for personal development.

Previous recipients include Maddie Morris, who was given funding to buy equipment to record and produce her own music and went on to win the 2019 BBC Young Folk Award.

Trust chair Dave Cowing, a life-long friend of Alan’s, said: “There are so many talented young performers out there who often don’t have the means to fund something that could progress their career or fund a specific project they want to do.

"At Shrewsbury Folk Festival, Alan was able to give them a platform and the grants we award annually are a way we can carry on his legacy and help preserve and share the folk tradition.

“We are keen to hear from musicians, singers, dancers, artists or other performers from diverse backgrounds so we can support every kind of traditional culture, not just British folk.

"For example, one of last year’s awards went to Cohen Braithwaite-Kilcoyne, towards recording, mixing and mastering an album exploring the relationship between English folk song and the musical traditions of the Caribbean and Black America."

The trust said that grants are invited from musicians, singers, dancers, artists or performers in the folk arts from any culture. Applicants can be solo artists, bands or groups.

Applicants should be aged between 16 and 30 at the time of application and they must live in the UK and not already have significant financial backing.

Four awards of up to £2,000 per person will be given for mentoring and tuition from experts in the genre, hiring of rehearsal and creative space, costs towards new instruments and equipment, recording and production of a debut album, production of promotional materials and marketing support or project research and development expenses such as artist fees or travel expenses.

The closing date for applications is April 30.

For more information and to apply visit

The application form also includes the option to submit a personalised video from applicants and this is encouraged by trustees.