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Both Sides Now is a large-scale initiative taking place across the North of England to support emerging female artists and up-and-coming industry professionals to transform the future of the music industry.

We want to create a growing network, deliver sustainable activity, and affect permanent change around the perception, opportunities and profiling of women in music, from the classroom, to the boardroom, to the stage.

The project is led by Brighter Sound, a creative music charity based in Manchester and working across the North and nationally. They believe music-making and creativity should be a central pillar in the lives of all children and young people, that emerging musicians should be supported to develop their artistic confidence and originality, and that the music landscape should be equal and diverse.

Music:Leeds are working to support the project in Leeds, and raise awareness of the event

Beth Orton Songwriting Residency

Brighter Sound offering 15 female music makers the opportunity to work with award-winning and internationally renowned artist Beth Orton on a week-long songwriting residency.

Over five days, successful participants will get a unique insight into Beth’s creative processes and collaborate to create new music that will be premiered on the opening night of Sounds Like THIS festival in Leeds.

Who can apply

This residency is for women aged 18+ from Yorkshire and the Humber who are in the early stages of their careers. We use an inclusive definition of ‘women’ and ‘female’, welcoming participants who may identify as non-binary, cis-gendered, or trans.

Whether you predominately write on more traditional electric or acoustic instruments, are an electronic instrumentalist who would like experience writing with lyrical songwriters, or are a spoken word artist curious about putting something to music – writers of all worlds, genres and styles are welcome to apply.

Where and when

Thu 7 Mar – Mon 11 Mar at Leeds College of Music.

Participants must be available for all dates.

What to expect

“This residency is about inspiring and encouraging you to further your songwriting through collaboration with each other. Together we’ll work on unfinished song ideas  – songs that you might be stuck on, or want to gain new perspectives on. From lyrics to arrangement to editing, I’ll be pushing and suggesting every step of the way. I will ask a lot of you at times but you can ask just about anything of me in return. I hope I’ll be able to help you draw back the curtains on your own creative processes.” – Beth Orton

During the week, Beth will be supported by DJ, producer and electronic artist AFRODEUTSCHE.

This opportunity is part of Both Sides Now – our groundbreaking initiative to support, inspire and support women in music across the North of England. As an ambassador for the programme, Beth has worked closely with us as a residency leader, speaker and advocate.

Apply online here*

We recommend downloading a sample application form (for reference only) before you begin your online application.
Deadline: Monday 14 January, midnight

Successful participants will receive £20 per day to help towards the cost of travel and food.

A limited number of bursaries are also available for artists who require additional support with access, travel or accommodation (e.g. you live in an isolated rural area and have no means of daily transport to and from Leeds). Please express your interest by completing the relevant question in the application form.

For more information about the project please contact Lucy Scott at or 0161 830 3899.

Our ambition is, that as the Music:Leeds project and website grows, we will provide a focus and listing for all activity in Leeds that works to improve gender equality within Music in Leeds. For now, please see these excellent organisaitons and projects

Bomb The Twist
Come Play With Me
Girl Gang Leeds
Girls That Gig
Leeds Music Hub
Slut Drop
Studio 12
Yorkshire Sound Women Network