BIMM Cities


16th October 2017

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Beth Orton returns to Manchester next month to host a very special initiative. The BRIT award-winning, Mercury Prize nominated artist is set to lead the inaugural residency of “Both Sides Now”, a three-year initiative to support and sustain gender equality across the music landscape.  

The five-day artistic residency will be held specifically for emerging female musicians from across Greater Manchester, Cheshire and Lancashire from Sunday 19th to Thursday 23rd of November.

As part of the residency, Manchester-based music charity Brighter Sound is looking for emerging female musicians of any genre from across the local area who have an interest in collaboration and experimentation. Over five days they’ll create new music and perform at the official launch of Both Sides Now on Thursday 23 November to an audience of specially-invited guests.

Beth explains her ambitions for the initiative;

“I’d like the residency to be about collaboration and experimentation. Mixing sounds and textures and voices to create music beyond definition. I’m interested in songwriters of all influences and backgrounds applying. I’m hoping spoken word artists and beat makers and composers and sound scapers apply. I’d like for you to come along as individuals wide open to working together, supporting one another as artists in your own right, creating sounds and songs you might not have thought of without the other. I’m looking for stories that reach beyond genre or gender. For me, Both Sides Now stands for a space where you can feel free to create music you feel excited to explore, a language you get to define for yourself and not be defined by.”

To be eligible to apply, artists must be over 18, an emerging female musician and come from Greater Manchester, Cheshire or Lancashire area. Applications are open to musicians, poets, beatboxers, soundscape instrumentalists and anyone with an open-mind who’s interested in musical experimentation.

Deadline for applications is Sunday Oct 22nd, midnight. 

Applicants must apply online, answering three questions related to their own experience, the contribution they will make to the residency, and their reasons for applying, as well as submitting an example of their own music and one or two unfinished songs or ideas they would be willing for the group to develop during the week. A sample application form is available to download for reference before submitting an online application. Successful applicants will be notified on or around Monday 30 October.

Sample application form

Online application


Brighter Sounds are committed to supporting and meeting the needs of people with learning difficulties or disabilities. If you require the application in a different format or have difficulty completing your application online, please call to discuss alternative options on 0161 830 3899.

For more information about this project please contact Kate Lowes on or call 0161 830 3899.



James Watts

Social Media Assistant, Professional Bassist and Music Journalist. Career highlights include performing at some of the UK's premier music festivals, recording in Abbey Road and interviewing Debbie Harry.