Musicboard-Berlin > Funding > Support Tour Funding

Thalia Hertel
T +49 (0)30 288 787 88

1 Pupose of Funding

Musicboard’s Support Tour Funding programme supports up-and-coming Berlin pop musicians in their plans to go on national or international tour with a more established act. To be on tour with a headlining act for a longer period, generally exceeds the financial budget of younger bands. This is where the Support Tour Funding comes in, enabling the support act to expand its audience and gain live experiences. With the term »pop music« Musicboard refers to all genres of popular music as well as cross-genre or experimental pop music that cannot be clearly assigned to the categories of jazz or classical and new music.

2 Conditions

The Support Tour Funding programme funds:

  • musicians and bands living and working in Berlin
  • support tour projects that are scheduled for the future with a fixed dated and are not already being implemented
  • support tour projects that will be concluded within the specific year of funding
  • support tour projects that would not take place, at least not at the required scale, without the funding

Excluded from the funding programme are:

  • musicians and bands that already received Support Tour Funding in the same year, or already received Support Tour Funding two years in a row
  • solo concerts as well as support tour projects with less than three successive dates
  • members of the jury or employees of the Senate of Berlin or Musicboard Berlin GmbH and their dependents

3 Application

The following documents must be supplied, in German or in English, using exclusively the application tool that can be accessed via the button at the end of this page:

  • Completed Application Form
  • Project Description
    with justification for the requested funding and detailed tour schedule, using no more than two A4 pages
  • Artistic resume
    including proof of past performances, releases, and collaborations with other artists (e.g. in the form of web links, graphic documents or screenshots)
  • Confirmation of the headlining act about the joint tour project
  • Specification of Costs
    towards which the funding will be applied, following exclusively the template provided for this purpose
  • Scans of certificate of registration or personal ID (front and back)
    indicating Berlin as place of residence. For bands, the registration certificate of the applicant band member is sufficient.
  • for non-EU citizens: Passport scan
    including residence permit, duration of stay, and type of work permit. For bands, the document of the applicant band member is sufficient.

Only fully completed documents can be considered. All applications will be handled confidentially and used exclusively for decision-making and funding purposes. Publication of certain relevant details is granted by the applicant as part of the application process.

4 Selection Procedure

Funding is awarded through Musicboard Berlin GmbH upon recommendation of a three-year term, independent jury of Berlin-based pop experts and in consultation with the Senate Department for Culture and Europe. In 2020 the following jury was appointed to the Support Tour Funding programme:

  • Andrea Wünsche
    Booker Monkeytown Booking
  • Katja Lucker
    Managing Director of Musicboard Berlin GmbH
  • Sebastian Hoffmann
    Consultat, Programme Director and organiser Down by the River Festival

A short description of the jury members is available here.

5 Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve collected here some frequently asked questions about Musicboard’s Support Tour Funding. This information is intended for general advice, is not legally binding, and does not take the place of an examination of individual circumstances. We will gladly answer further, detailed questions on the funding programme by phone or by email. We also recommend the free services of the Kulturförderberatung by Kreativ Kultur Berlin, which supports artists in all disciplines in their search for possible funding, can offer tips for preparing applications and can provide review of applications.

Questions about the Application

What is meant by »Support Tour Funding«? For what purpose can I apply to Musicboard Berlin?
In the context of Musicboard’s funding programme, the term »support tour« refers to a national or international tour of up-and-coming musicians and bands, that accompany a more established headlining band as opening act. A tour is defined as a series of at least three successive dates. The headlining act should already have a certain standing within its scene, so that the support act, through joint touring, benefits from its audience and fan base. The tour must already be scheduled at the time of application and must be confirmed by the headlining act. Musicboard funds all personnel expenses and costs of materials incurred in the course of the tour project, such as fees for sound engineers or tour managers, equipment rental fees, accommodation and travel costs. Support Tour Funding does not cover artist fees as it is meant to compensate for tour costs that exceed the musicians’ financial budget. In general, Musicboard does not fund tour projects by musicians and bands that are signed to a major label.
What is meant by »living and working in Berlin«?
In the Support Tour Funding programme, Musicboard funds exclusively musicians and bands who live and work in Berlin. In the case of bands, that means that the majority of band members live in Berlin and make their livelihood here. Residency and livelihood for solo acts must be established with residence permits or personal ID (front and back), and for bands with the residence permit or personal ID (front and back) of the applicant band member. In both cases, the nationality of the musician is irrelevant to the funding decision. For non-EU citizens filing an application, it is necessary in addition to the Berlin residence certificate to provide a passport that includes residence permit, duration of stay, and type of work permit. Please note that Berlin residence must be officially verified. Rent contracts etc. are not sufficient for proof of residence. We kindly ask you to refrain from submitting such documents containing sensitive personal data.
What amount can I apply for, and how often can my band be funded?
Musicboard’s Support Tour Funding can comprise an amount of up to 2,500 euros per national or international tour which is the maximum possible sum. The funding cannot be delivered as a lump sum, instead the granted amount must be linked to actual expenses. A specification of costs must accompany the application and must provide a basis for the requested sum. It is possible for artists or bands to be funded repeatedly and up to two years in a row. It is not possible to receive multiple funding within one year.
What should my specification of costs look like?
Under Forms and Templates you will find a sample cost and financial planning tool. Use of this template is obligatory. Please make sure to follow the positions mentioned therein. Fundamentally, the cost estimate must realistically depict the total financing of the project – that is, all necessary income and spending items, including personnel expenses and costs of materials. The requested funding results from the difference between planned spending and planned income, the so-called funding deficit. Please round the forecasted amounts to the nearest whole number. Non-cash compensation, for example in the case of use of own equipment or an own tour bus, need not be calculated into the cost estimate and may be listed at the end of the document. Detailed information on creating a detailed financial plan is available in the Musicboard Funding Guide (in German).
When exactly is the application deadline?
Bands and artists can apply for Support Tour Funding from January 1 until November 30 for tour projects within the specific year of funding. Applications are constantly reviewed. Please note that the completed online application must be received at least three weeks before the start of the tour in order to be processed in time and considered for funding. The application is received when after a successful transmission a pdf appears for downloading. Only after a positive jury decision the signed application document has to be sent to the Musicboard by postal service. We recommend allowing plenty of time for the application and its attachments to upload, and not waiting until the last minute to apply. The upload speed of our servers can decline with increased traffic to the site. We do not recommend the use of Google Chrome as a browser. If there are technical issues in the application submission, please contact:

Questions about funding and project start

When and how will I be informed about the decision of the jury?
The announcement of the jury’s decision follows the application deadline by roughly 2 weeks after the application has been received. Applicants are informed by email. Normally there are more applications received than funds available, and Musicboard is not obliged to explain its decision. There is no legal entitlement to funding.
I have received funding approval – what’s next?
Once funding has been approved, grantees should first check if the tour project can be realised as planned. If the granted funding is now less than stated in the application, grantees must provide an updated financial plan. If there are changes in the tour schedule, these must be communicated to Musicboard. If the financial plan is up to date and has been approved, for the purposes of the grant contract it is considered legally binding, and is sent to the grantees with a number of attachments. The funding monies can only be paid out after the signed grant contract and other documents are returned to Musicboard Berlin. The documents will include a so-called Mittelabruf (»retrieval of funds«) in which grantees can supply data about installment payments that will be matched to the funding request. After transfer, the installment must be used within the next two months. For requesting funding payments, a bank account must be created that is in the name of the official grantee and will solely be used for expenditures on the project.
What do I need to consider in my PR for the funded support tour?
Our contractual agreement specifies that any project-related analog or digital release about the project, the funding by, the logo of and the name of Musicboard Berlin must be all be indicated. The relevant logo can be found under Forms and Templates. The preferred wording is »funded by Musicboard Berlin GmbH«.
What changes do I need to report to the Musicboard?
In general, Musicboard Berlin must be informed if the tour dates, the tour project’s outline or the financing of the tour change fundamentally. In order to obtain approval for the changes, the overall financing of the project must be secured and the purpose of the funding must still be fulfilled. As a rule, budget positions that have been declared contractually binding may only be altered by 20% without notifying the Musicboard. The Musicboard must be notified of new positions as well as larger deviations.

Questions about the project accounting

What do I need to consider when using my funding?
The use of the funding is based on the General Auxiliary Regulations for Project Funding and the Regional Budgetary Code of the State of Berlin (›Landeshaushaltsordnung des Landes Berlin‹). These impose various formal requirements. All spending items incurred in the course of the project must be evidenced by original receipts such as invoices, contracts or cash receipts if they cannot be invoiced as a lump sum. The original receipts must always be supplemented by proof of payment such as bank statements or cash receipts. All invoices and receipts must meet the requirements of proper invoicing, such as date, amount, invoice number, purpose and payee. The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Berlin provides more detailed information on the legally required invoice details (in German).
Which tour expenditures am I allowed to charge to Musicboard funding?
All personnel expenses and costs of materials that were originally and exclusively applied during the approved tour project are eligible for reimbursement. However, certain requirements apply to both purchases and the invoicing of catering, travel and accommodation expenses. The requirements are based on the public procurement law. Purchases, for example, are usually only allowed up to 410 euros net, while orders placed with a third party for tech rental or flight bookings must be documented by price comparisons and written offers. In the case of expenses for travel or overnight stays, the German Federal Travel Expenses Law applies. It determines, that when using a rental car, both rental and fuel costs can be reimbursed, or when using a private car, a distance allowance of 20 cents per kilometer traveled is granted up to a maximum of 130 euros. Taxi costs are accepted only in exceptional circumstances, such as for transport of heavy equipment. For accommodation, it is possible to either invoice actual costs or the respective country’s lump sum. The same applies for meal costs. It is either possible to settle actual expenses (no alcohol, no bottle deposit) or to compensate those with a the respective per diems. The per diem allowance in Germany is 28 euros per full day or 14 euros for arrival and departure days or days on which the artists have already received meals in a hotel or backstage catering. For international tours, the daily rates vary depending on the country of stay. Detailed information can be found in your funding contract as well as in the Guidelines for Final Accounting.
How and when must I complete the funded support tour project?
The tour must be concluded within the time frame specified in the funding contract. Within three months of the end of the project time frame, a project accounting must be sent to Musicboard Berlin for review. The so-called proof of use (›Verwendungsnachweis‹) can be written in German or English and in addition to a numerical report and a list of all invoices must include a written report, the original receipts and account statements during the project time frame. For an accurate comparison of your binding financial plan with actual costs (»target-actual comparison«) simply use the template provided for this purpose. All information needed for the preparation of a final accounting is found in our Guidelines for Final Accounting (›Leitfaden für Verwendungsnachweise‹). If by the end of the project time frame, none or not all of the granted funds are needed, the balance must be paid back. If there are deviations from the financial plan or grant purpose, missing attachments or a lack of clarity, Musicboard will contact the grant recipient, who is required to retain all relevant documents for a period of five years. In the worst case certain budget items may not be accepted as eligible for funding which may lead a (partial) return of granted funds.

An application is currently not possible. In the funding year 2021, the Support Tour Funding programme will be suspended in favour of the Scholarships & Residencies programme and is expected to resume in 2022.