Working towards a fairer music industry

In 2023 we launched the first round of our Route Placement Programme, partnering with some of the UK’s leading companies to provide three young people (18-25) a five-month paid placement working in the live music sector. 

Route began because we noticed a severe lack of diversity across the music industry. Unpaid internships, insecure work and little access to education about the roles available make it difficult for marginalised people to consider a career in music, making it increasingly the domain of the middle and upper classes.

The 2022 Class Pay Gap Report (Department For Opportunities) finds that people from working-class origins earn 13.05% less than their most advantaged peers, meaning they effectively work 13% of the year, nearly one day in seven, for free.

In UK Music’s 2022 Diversity Report just 37% of industry workers identify as working class with black respondents accounting for just 11.9%, with Asian just 4.7%.

Alongside this, in Youth Music’s 2020 report Blueprint For The Future the top responses to the question,‘What do you think are the biggest barriers preventing you from successfully pursuing and sustaining a career in the music industry’ were

  • Lack of opportunities in my local area (294) 22.6%
  • Lack of financial support to allow you to pursue opportunities (287) 22.1%
  • Lack of access to relevant opportunities that pay enough to cover living costs (279) 21.4%

Our placement programme is designed to tackle these issues of working-class underrepresentation head on.

The Placements

The Route Placement Programme provides three young people real life work experience at established companies in the live music sector alongside a mentorship programme. 

The Activity

  • 3 days a week paid at LLW and travel expenses covered
  • Mixture of office-based and remote working
  • 1-2-1 mentorship and guidance from Route and a partner organisation
  • A role programming and producing Route's 2023 live music and conference event
  • Free access to Route's 2023 programme of workshops,panels and other industry events

The Partners

Placements will be provided by booking agency ATC, independent festival End Of The Road and venue programming company FORM.

The Roles

ATC : General Agency Assistant

End Of The Road : Festival Office Assistant

FORM : Programming Assistant

Who Can Apply?

  • Age 18-25
  • Low-income backgrounds or identify as working class
  • Must be located in Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire or Northamptonshire
  • No official music industry experience (self-started projects are permitted)
  • Available to commute in to London three days a week (expenses paid) 
  • Available on Saturday 7th October to work on Route's 2023 live music and conference event
  • We particularly encourage applications from Asian, Black and other ethnically diverse backgrounds