Pie Factory Music fundraiser gig to help save youth services after county council funding cut

Pie Factory Music Emerging Artists

Young musicians from Thanet are set to host a gig on Friday 19th April in a bid to raise funds for isle charity Pie Factory Music, which recently had its funding cut by Kent County Council.

Pie’s Emerging Artists – Char.B, Harmony Bo, Janmakesnoise and Quinn Bailey – are on a mission to showcase why supporting young musical talent is so vital to East Kent’s cultural development. Without creative programmes offered by organisations like Pie, it would be hard, if not impossible, for them to access opportunities within the music industry.

The year-long Emerging Artists programme gives 16-25-year-olds in-depth guidance and advice about music rights, promotion, recording and performing, as well as the opportunity to perform live at local music venues.

They get access to a network of like-minded young musicians, and 1-2-1 mentoring with industry experts, at no cost. So far, Pie has helped 23 young people progress and develop their skills since the programme began in 2018 and launched a youth record label, Wantsum Music? in 2021.

Emerging Artist alumni Elijah Femi has gone on to become a successful musician and said: “I didn’t just gain confidence and make music at Pie Factory Music, they taught me life skills, like how to collaborate with people, networking skills, how to set up my own gigs and how to approach others in the industry. I’ve since recorded my first album and performed at gigs in Kent and London.”

The gig at Olby’s in Margate on Friday 19th April from 7pm will have solo performances from each Emerging Artist, covering punk-political-folk to jazz, rap and electro-pop, to raise funds to support the career development programme.

Last November Kent County Council made the decision to end  KCC subsidies for youth clubs and activities commissioned by the council but run by outside organisations. The decision, which came into effect in March, was made to save the county council around £900,000.

In Thanet it meant a loss of 45% of Pie Factory’s income and 50% loss of income for The Pavilion Youth & Community Café in Broadstairs.

The funding cut has already resulted in Pie having to cease their youth service in Dover, after seven years of providing activities for the district’s young people.

Zoë Carassik-Lord (Photo Pie Factory Music)

Pie CEO Zoë Carassik said: “These are the biggest cuts to youth services in the county for a generation. Our open-access sessions catch young people at the early stages of something going wrong in their lives, where you might have the opportunity to help or protect them.

“This gig represents the beating heart of our charity – providing a platform for young people in East Kent to be creative, express themselves, and access transformative opportunities. We’d love to see our local community fill Olby’s, give these young musicians hope, and help us to rebuild our funds.”

Find out more at www.piefactorymusic.com/services-pie/emerging-artists

If you would like to support Pie’s work, you can donate here.

Emerging Artists Live

Friday 19 April from 7pm at Olby’s Margate, 3-5 King Street, Margate

Tickets: £3 under 18s, £5 over 18s – pay on the door.

All proceeds go to supporting Pie’s Emerging Artists programme



  1. I have to ask… why do people NEED funding to make music? Most bands of yesteryear made do with cheap instruments and low-paid gigs, and – with a bit of talent and luck – gradually bought better equipment and got better gigs.

    • “People” don’t need funding – Pie Factory do.
      This is a childrens’ service that exists to enable kids pick up an instrument and perform for the first time.
      Education cuts over the last few years means that many of our young people don’t get the opportunity or can’t afford to learn a musical instrument.
      Add the crushing lack of self confidence many of today’s young people have (due in most part to early exposure to the toxicity of social media) and they need all the support they can get.
      As someone who regular performed in some of the famous mid-sized London venues throughout the 90s, I know very well how the old model of playing in a garage with mates, getting gigs, producing demos etc. works but many nowadays don’t.
      The world has changed and the Pie Factory are doing their bit to make it more navigable for local young people.
      Why publicly criticise people for trying to do good work for others?

  2. Kristain bright is correct, the pie factory does a wonderful job in supporting young people, right wing people including Kent County councillors know the price of everything but never the VALUE.

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