The MU hopes that beginning to collaborate with Come Play With Me during LGBTQ+ History Month – which runs from 1 February to 28 February – will help to empower LGBTQ+ musicians and allies to advocate for themselves and each other and make the music industry a more inclusive place to work.
John Shortell, MU Head of Equality, Diversity & Inclusion commented on the new partnership:
“We’re really excited to be partnering with Come Play with Me for LGBT+ History Month 2023. Supporting the industry on its journey to become a more diverse and inclusive place to work is a priority for the MU and aligns with Come Play With Me’s mission to work towards a music industry that is equitable for everyone. Working together can only be positive in expediting change.
“Coming together as an industry to tackle issues and promote best practice benefits all musicians. The MU is proud to be working with Come Play with Me and to support the fantastic work they do.
“The goal of this collaboration is to empower LGBTQ+ musicians and allies to advocate for themselves and each other and make the music industry a more inclusive place to work. We look forward to seeing what we can achieve this month and beyond.”
Supporting the music career development of marginalised communities for eight years
Non-profit music organisation Come Play With Me supports the music career development of marginalised communities through their label, events, magazine, podcast and training workshops. Their mission is to work towards an industry that is equitable, inclusive and diverse.
They began nearly eight years ago as a singles club, predominantly supporting LGBTQ+ musicians, women and people of marginalised genders to record and release 7” records. Their call outs for artists to support grew year on year and now they’re releasing regular 15+ track compilations to keep up with all the incredible music that people submit. Thanks to their funders, they’re also now in a position to support some of those artists long-term and build a roster of artists that we really love.
They don’t just support musicians, last year they supported over 50 people to build on their careers in the music industry, including budding sound engineers, promoters, tour managers and photographers. We’ve been able to offer mentoring, shadowing and regular programmes of support to people that wouldn’t otherwise be able to gain experience in the industry, including their Come Platform Me project.
Through Come Platform Me, new promoters are given a budget and then supported by the team through a series of workshops to gain the skills they need to put on their own music-based event, feedback from the project has been brilliant and they’ve been able to continue it through 2023 thanks to a brand new partnership with Leeds 23, who are running a year-long city of culture celebration across Leeds.
Championing new music and telling stories is one of their favourite things to do, they produce a bi-monthly magazine and are set to release the second series of our podcast ‘connected sounds’ which brings together conversations with queer creators and industry professionals with their incredible drag-host, Alex.
Last year they were incredibly excited and privileged to have been given the 'Diversity in the Workplace' award at Music Week’s Women In Music Awards, recognising their work with women, people of marginalised genders and LGBTQ+ communities. Their aim for 2023 is to build on the work they’ve done already, collaborate with others doing diversity and inclusion work across the sector and hopefully, support more artists and individuals with their music careers!
Standing together to challenge and reshape the industry
Through their partnership with the MU, they’ll be running LGBTQ+ Inclusion workshops and working together to create more resources for LGBTQ+ musicians and artists as well as allies that want to step up and support their peers.
Antonia Lines, Project Manager at Come Play With Me, welcomed the collaboration:
“At Come Play With Me we’ve been supporting musicians and individuals from marginalised backgrounds to further their careers in the music industry for the last eight years.
“Our mission is to work towards an industry that is equitable, inclusive and diverse, and to do this, we’re keen to collaborate with others that share our values, which is why our partnership with the MU is an exciting one!
“Through working together, we’re excited to continue conversations with members around LGBTQ+ inclusion, and stand together in solidarity to challenge and reshape the industry.”