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Help Musicians and Pathways Into Music launch Fanbase Builder Programme in Northern Ireland

By | Published on Tuesday 25 May 2021

Pathways To Music / Help Musicians / Fanbase Builder Programme

CMU’s Pathways Into Music Foundation – the not-for-profit organisation that supports music educators, talent development programmes and DIY phase artists – has teamed up with Help Musicians to launch a new professional development initiative for early-career musicians in Northern Ireland.

The Fanbase Builder Programme will support fifteen early-career artists from Northern Ireland, providing them with the knowledge and support they need to progress on their own personal pathway into music. That includes access to a series of interactive webinars, a full-weekend of workshops in Belfast, and expert guidance through a practical fanbase building campaign, most likely based around a new release.

Participants will also receive a £500 bursary from Help Musicians to help fund their own fanbase building project. With support and advice from a team of music industry experts, artists will identify measurable objectives and a marketing strategy for their campaign, and then implement that plan and – in the process – grow their fanbase and take their music career to the next level.

The webinars and workshops will be run by CMU’s Chris Cooke and artist manager Phil Nelson – both directors of the Pathways Into Music Foundation – alongside producer, manager and educator Liam Craig and Fiona McAuley, who is Head Of Digital for UK Music at international artist management company YMU Group.

Launching the programme, Help Musicians Nation Manager for Northern Ireland, Keith Millar, says: “Building a career around music means writing great songs and recording great tracks, but also understanding how the music business works, and how to find an audience and grow a fanbase”.

“With early-career music-makers facing even more challenges today as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s particularly important that we help musicians to access that knowledge and hone those skills”, he adds. “The Fanbase Builder Programme will do just that, and then help participating artists to put what they have learned into practice by pursuing a project that, with the support of music industry experts, will help them grow their fanbase and take their career to the next level”.

Early-career artists based in Northern Ireland – either entirely self-managed or working primarily with a team of early-career music industry people – are eligible to apply for a place on the programme. More info and the application form is at