British bands handed government grants for overseas tours

A group of rising British music acts including Metronomy, Band Of Skulls and Smoke Fairies will receive U.K. government funding to help them perform overseas. Britain’s Trade Minister Lord Livingstone has selected 14 acts to receive grants of up to $80,000 (£50,000) as part of the government’s Music Export Growth Scheme, with the aim of emulating the global success of acts such as Mumford & Sons and Bastille.
The bands submitted a detailed proposal for how funding would be used, and they were chosen from 200 hopeful applicants by Livingstone and a panel of music industry experts.
Smoke Fairies singer Jessica Davies, whose band was the first British act to record at Jack White’s Third Man Records studio, says, “It wouldn’t be possible for us to take our full band to the U.S. without this funding. This will help pay for a tour van, hotels and (backing) musicians.”
However, not everyone is pleased with the scheme – British spending watchdog TaxPayers’ Alliance has branded the decision to use public money for overseas music events as “ludicrous”.