UK Government gives £1 million to artist agents

UK Government gives £1 million to artist agents


norman lebrecht

April 02, 2021

You may well wonder why, in the third wave of the pandemic, Arts Council England and the Department of Culture have decided to bale out a bunch of ten-percenters.

Here’s the list of agency beneficiaries in the Easter round of alms-giving from the Culture Recovery Fund:

ASKONAS HOLT LTD (line 114): £441,000
HARRISON/PARROTT LTD (line 781): £375,000
IKON ARTS MANAGEMENT LTD (line 847): £35,000
RAYFIELD ALLIED LTD (line 1487): £109,000
Jasper Parrott with departing ex-exec
HP has been given exactly ten times as much as a leading period-instrument orchestra.
The top two agencies are 88th and 126th in a list of 2272 recipients.
UPDATE: What if they hadn’t been given the cash?


  • Confused says:

    Appalling – although not necessarily the fault of the agencies that ACE have got their priorities so out of whack. But how did they do it, when I know of a summer opera festival who had payed out nearly half a mill in grants to artists who had been excluded from any government help (and many of these artists are with these agencies and the agencies have been commissioning these grants….) and this company has a strong community engagement programme. What do the agencies bring to the table that they do not. It’s hard to reconcile.

  • Elizabeth Owen says:

    Can’t help wondering what excuse they gave ACE to justify their grants.

  • Maria says:

    Disgusting leeches.

  • Capitalism Wins says:

    Wonderful ! So they can continue to charge 20% commission from artists even in this period !

  • Craig Hassall says:

    I am surprised that a commentator as experienced in the classical music business as the author of this blog would post such an ignorant and uninformed comment. These agencies, never normally in receipt of government funds, are in crisis – in case you hadn’t noticed. Without them as part of the music ecosystem there are no rising stars, no concerts, no tours and no work for classical artists. Please think more carefully before launching such an unhelpful attack, Mr Lebrecht. I think you are a little more informed than you let on…

  • UK Arts Manager says:

    Arts Council England are a significant bureaucracy with their 500+ employees costing the taxpayer and lottery some tens of millions of pounds annually. Their remit seems to be to give money to similar, viz the administrations of organisations, and not primarily the artists. Unless I misheard, a minister recently quite proudly explained on the radio that 12% of the last set of grants (I think it was that percentage) had trickled down to artists. He thought that was quite good. Some of the more ingenious organisations have got rather more of their grants out to their performers, but ACE’s philosophy seems to be that if managements and venues can be kept running, whichever artists also survive the near-total loss of their work during the pandemic will be enabled to get back to work afterwards by this billion and a half of state money, most of which won’t have got to those performers.

  • Peter San Diego says:

    Really? Did they “bale” them out and toss them into a hayloft? Or did they perhaps bail them out to keep them afloat?

    Those proofreaders the subscriptions are to help pay for cannot be brought on board quickly enough.