Northern Line 2022-23

Apply by 12 noon on 28th March 2022 

Northern Line supports artists across the North of England to deliver high quality live shows on profile-raising stages. The 18-month programme enables northern artists to reach the next stage of their live performance career and develop business skills across all areas of their work through 1:1 support. 

As a Northern Line artist, you will get: 

How does it work? 

Northern Line is unique. 

We spend time working with you to identify your goals and how we can help to achieve them. 

We are not acting as manager or agent; what we do is empower you with the skills you need to manage the promotion and development of your work. 

You bring the music and we’ll bring the industry knowledge. We will help you get your music heard by more people and on the stages you want to play on. 

How does the subsidy work?   

We want artists to be paid fairly for their work. Depending on the type of venue/promoter, sometimes this means adjusting our level of subsidy in order to support a wide range of artists and promoters in the north. 

We may reduce or increase the subsidy level depending on a number of factors which we will work with individual artists and promoters toward.

Promoters are also expected to contribute travel and other necessary expenses in addition to their promoter contribution.  

Are you a promoter? Click here to find out more about Northern Line for promoters.

What do you get from Northern Line? 

Business and Industry Insight 

Running a music career is like running a business – you’ve got the product (your music), but you need to make sure it reaches press, promoters, audiences and helps you earn a living. At Jazz North, we’re hot on admin and can help you develop the tools to manage the business side of your career. 

Subsidised Touring  

Northern Line is all about investing in your live career to get you performing in new places and building audiences for your music. Simultaneously, Northern Line helps to support venues and promoters by contributing to artist fees and supporting show marketing. 

With our support, you’ll get paid properly to take ambitious shows in venues you want to play in. We pay a % of your fee to help you and the promoter take the financial risk of you both branching out. We want to support progressive programming and the building of new audiences for jazz.

We’ll spend the first few months of your time on Northern Line working together on a strategy for your Northern Line tour(s), targeting specific promoters and planning how this investment in your work can make a real difference to you. 

Showcase at Hull Jazz Festival 

As part of Northern Line, artists will deliver a showcase performance to invited promoters and audiences as part of Hull Jazz Festival in November 2022. This will be an opportunity to perform to, meet and connect with Northern Line artists, industry professionals and promoters.  This is a great opportunity to get your music heard by promoters you’d like to connect with and build your relationship with them. 

If you are applying to Northern Line, please ensure you can block out 11-13 November 2022 as the showcase will fall within this window and specific timings will be confirmed later in the year. 

More on Hull Jazz Festival

Hull Jazz Festival is 30 years old.

Back in 1992 a five-day event, Jazz on Hull Waterfront, was planned, held mainly around the historic warehouses backing onto Hull Marina.

Every concert was a sell-out, with 4,500 people attending. Top jazz names included Andy Sheppard, Jazz Jamaica, Courtney Pine, Steve Williamson and Pearls Cab Ride, who all still make regular visits to the festival and are at the cutting edge of the business. 

Find out more: 


We’ll set you up in a network with the other artists on Northern Line. We’re north-wide so it’s a brilliant chance to meet new artists from across the north. We’ll host monthly Action Learning Sets, a meeting group that helps you work through any issues in your work with the help of your peers. It’s a very supportive format that lets you come to your own conclusions through open questioning, rather than direct advice. We’ll also set up opportunities to meet socially, for a coffee, at festivals etc. 

Besides networking with the other artists on the scheme, we can help you tap into the network of industry people and promoters. Jazz North hosts Zoom drop-in sessions and attends conferences, gigs and events where we can vouch for you and introduce you to some brilliant people.   

Marketing and Assets 

We know marketing is often everyone’s least favourite part of being a musician. We can help you make sure your assets (images, copy, video etc.) and EPK are of the standard they should be to get attention from promoters and audiences. We’ll support you to develop easy tools to manage your press and marketing. 


You’ll have monthly (or a different frequency, if that’s best for you) meetings with our Programme Manager, Heather, and occasionally other members of the Jazz North team. Heather manages the Northern Line scheme and will keep you on track over your time with us, working on goals and planning, and generally being someone to check in with and to offer support and guidance. 

Heather’s previous work focussed on promoting jazz and young people’s projects in the North East. Heather worked at Sage Gateshead as Jazz Development Coordinator, as an independent promoter at Middlesbrough Town Hall and as co-director at DJAZZ: The Durham City Jazz Festival. Heather now sits on the board of Jazz Promotion Network, the UK and Ireland network of jazz industry professionals. Thanks to her wealth of experience and passion for music, she has a host of tips and tricks up her sleeve to help you, and is really approachable, so you’ll be in safe hands.


15 February 22 – Applications Open 

28 March 22 – Applications Close

30 April 22 – Decisions Made

May 22 – Induction 

1 September 22 – Touring Starts 

11-13 November 22 – Hull Jazz Festival Showcase 

30 September 23 – Touring Ends 

Applying to Northern Line 

How ‘jazz’ does it have to be? 

Honestly, we’re not fussy about style. We want to see bands/artists with a highly engaging live performance. 

If you connect to jazz, jazz-influenced genres or your music is improvised in some way, then we’d love you to apply to Northern Line. We know genres are fluid, sometimes irrelevant and maybe becoming more so. We’re all about celebrating jazz in its many forms, whether that’s mega left-field improvised, neo-soul, electronic, nu-jazz, afrobeat, or jazz-influenced hip-hop.  

Who should apply to Northern Line?

To apply, you should: 

In addition to the above, when deciding who will be on Northern Line, a selection panel will consider the extent to which your band addresses the following considerations, in line with our priorities for the scheme: 

An advisory panel will discuss applications and help to choose the next roster of Northern Line artists. Sitting on the panel is Lucy Scott (Sage Gateshead, NE), John Doran (The Quietus), Claire Umney (Jazz FM), Dennis Rollins MBE (musician), Sam Nicholls / whiskas (Music:Leeds), Santana Guerout (Band on the Wall) and Harkirit Boparai (The Crescent). Artists applying to Northern Line must not contact panel members regarding their application. 

Read more about our advisory panel here.

If you don’t meet the above criteria then you should not apply to Northern Line. We ask that you look carefully at our priorities for Northern Line, the content of the scheme and ask yourself if this is the right scheme for you at this time. If you’re not sure, you can get in touch with us at Jazz North. We might be able to point you in the direction of something more suitable. 

Applications should be made by the lead artist or a named representative, answering on their behalf. 

What do we expect from you? 

If you become a Northern Line artist, we expect you to make the most of the opportunity available to you. That means taking advice on board, being responsive and doing the work between meetings. We’re here to help and support you as much as possible, but for you to move forward you need to be willing to work hard and meet deadlines. We can only support a small number of artists per roster so we want to see you thrive while you’re with us and really move on to the next level in your career. 

To succeed on Northern Line, we’d expect to see you: 


Jazz North is committed to fair access for Deaf and disabled artists. If you wish to apply to Northern Line but are concerned about accessibility issues you can contact us to discuss this at any time. We will work with you to meet all reasonable adjustments, in advance of applying and for artists who are part of our programmes.  

How to apply

Please complete the online application form here by 12 noon on 28th March 2022.

Applications are open for 6 weeks from 15th February 2022. 

We will ask you to complete:

Eligibility questions (whether you meet the criteria)

Please do not submit a completed word document as your application. Applications should be submitted via online application form unless you are submitting a video application. You are welcome to download the application questions to prepare your answers before submitting the application form online. 

For video submissions: 

Please inform us if you need this information in a different format. 

We are a Fair Access Principles partner and are committed to accessibility across all our schemes. To read more about the Fair Access Principles, please visit this link. 

If you need any help with your application or you need to apply in a different way, you can contact any of the Jazz North team here.

Northern Line Advice Sessions

Thursday 24th February 10.30-11.30 & 10th March 16.30-17.30

We will also be hosting ‘Applying to Northern Line’ Zoom advice sessions on Thursday 24th February 10.30-11.30 and 10th March 16.30-17.30. Please sign up to our artist mailing list here or email to receive further information and for the Zoom link. 

As a small team, it is difficult for us to offer timely direct feedback on unsuccessful applications. However, we understand this is an important part of learning and commit to sharing feedback upon request from unsuccessful applicants within three months of decisions. 

We strongly advise you to attend one of the advice sessions before submitting, where you will learn how to avoid common pitfalls and understand how to present the best case for your music.

We look forward to hearing from you!