Puls is the Nordic Culture Fund's music initiative and a network of Nordic venues and festivals that aims to provide music experiences of high artistic quality to a wider Nordic audience. It is not possible to apply for Puls as a new applicant. Already appointed Puls promoters must apply annually to continue as Puls promoter.
Puls is a springboard for the creation of a Nordic music network which seeks to bring musical experiences of high artistic quality to a wider Nordic public. It is therefore designed as:
Puls is designed to help live music transcend boundaries, including national borders and narrow genre boundaries, to support new bands, up-and-coming talent and new trendsetters, and to act as a counterweight to the purely commercial approach – which, although important and vital for growth in the music industry, has a tendency to dominate the scene unless new, less immediately commercial music is also supported.
Puls is relevant for all kind of music that operates freely in networks of creatives, performers and publicists, and involves both funding bodies and market forces. The so-called ‘rhythmic genres’ are ideal for this. There is also freedom of movement between genres, as many stakeholders move between or across multiple genres, including experimental music and sound art. Puls is based on the bottom-up principle, so the promoters curate the content.
In 2017-2021 Puls has allocated approximately DKK 20.5 million to venues and festivals throughout the Nordic region. The funding is for promoters as curators, as points of contact between artists and new audiences.
The Nordic Culture Fund finances the Puls programme. In 2019-2020, Puls was additionally financed by the Nordic Council of Ministers for Culture, the Danish Arts Foundation, the Finnish Music Foundation (MES) and the Ministry of Education and Culture in Finland.
Support for concert promoters
Puls is a standalone four-year funding programme. Puls provides funding to enable promoters to stage promising artists based in the Nordic Region, and to communicate with audiences in a focused manner. The Nordic concert promoters work on the basis of an artistic idea and an artistically relevant Nordic program.
The Nordic Culture Fund will work with other stakeholders to establish resources that will further underpin Puls, e.g. via private foundations or national funding schemes that pursue Nordic objectives.
The Nordic Culture Fund will also work with relevant stakeholders to facilitate improvements to venues and set up networks to debate issues related to live music in the Nordic region, devise joint solutions and arrange events at which audiences encounter Nordic music. This will include network meetings with selected Nordic promoters.
The Puls initiative is based on several assessments and discussion on the current challenges and potential in developing the Nordic live music scene. The Nordic market has great but untapped potential for recorded music, live music and jobs.
Together, the countries comprise the 12th largest economy in the world, and have similarities in arts funding, labour-market structures and patterns of consumption.
In an era of digital streaming, live gigs are increasingly essential to a thriving music scene. Live music is a world of unique experiences.
This is where the market is really changing, which makes it paradoxical that Nordic artists rarely perform in other countries in the Region. People have only limited knowledge of music in the neighbouring countries, and artists need an international hit to make a breakthrough that resonates throughout the Region.
The Culture Fund wants to change all that, and the Puls programme has been designed with this purpose in mind.
It is not possible to apply for Puls as a new applicant. Already appointed Puls promoters must apply annually to continue as Puls promoter.
The deadline to apply for continuation as Puls promoter in 2021-2022 was 15 September 2021.
You must apply for support for at least 3 and no more than 5 concerts. The support per concert can be up to 20,000 DKK.
The concerts in the programme do not need to be confirmed, and you can change up to 1/3 of the applied concert programme without the Nordic Culture Fund's approval as long as the programme still fulfils the criteria for Puls.
The concerts must take place in the period of August 2021 to December 2022. Since the application deadline was later than August 2021, you could apply for support for already organised Puls concerts. Provided that they have taken place in the mentioned period (i.e. not before August 2021).
Only concerts with artists based in another Nordic country than where you are based as a concert promoter can be supported. No more than 50 % of the members in an artist/band constellation can be based in the same country as the promoter.
Puls is also aiming at creating a network of scenes for Nordic-based artists. Therefore, we encourage you to include at least one artist in Puls concert programme that has previously been booked by another Puls promoter in the period August 2017 to July 2021.
In 2021-2022, it is required that you have a close and ongoing collaboration with one or more other Puls promoters regarding Puls related activities. In the application, you must clearly define your plans for the collaboration, which needs to be confirmed by all parts. It is you as Puls promoters that define the shape of the collaboration.
Alternatively - or as an addition - to an ongoing collaboration you have to collaborate on arranging at least 2 concerts with one or more other Puls promoters.
The Nordic Culture Fund hosts a yearly network meeting for all Puls promoters. It is mandatory for all Puls promoters to be represented at the network meeting.
The last network meeting took place on Wednesday 3 November 2021 in Reykjavik. It was arranged in collaboration with Iceland Airwaves, Reykjavík Music City and the Nordic House in Reykjavik.
The fund understands that your plans will change along the way, or that you need to interpret certain criteria more openly. This can, for example, mean that you as a Puls promoter:
If you have special ideas for your Puls activities, you are welcome to describe them in the application form.
You can apply for additional support, so that you as Puls promoter can incorporate Puls and your work with Nordic artists in your future work. This can be internally in your own organisation as well as externally in relation to other collaborators, e.g. other Puls promoters. The applied incorporation support can be maximum 10,000 DKK.
You define yourself, how the incorporation support is to be used. But it can for instance be used for covering expenses related to workshops, meetings, consultancy and development of an incorporation strategy.
If you are reappointed as a Puls promoter an additional support of 5,000 DKK will be included. This is to be used to co-cover your expenses in relation to your participation in the Puls network meeting in Reykjavik.
You must also fill out a budget for Puls and attach it as an appendix at the end of the application. You can either use your own template or use our budget template. You find the budget template here.
Get off to a good start – read more about our funding programmes. Create a profile and submit your application on My Page.
Await a response to your application. See what to do once you receive funding.
We use data to improve our website and services, but you decide what types of data we collect.
You can always withdraw your consent.