Ticketmaster UK has unveiled its 2024 Breakthrough artists. Ten talented bands and individuals from the UK and Ireland, who are all “set to dominate the live scene in 2024,” according to a press release from the ticketing giant.
For the first time, since Ticketmaster began choosing ten promising newcomers for the new year in 2013, the nominees will receive a grant of £5,000 ($6,275) each, which underscores Ticketmaster’s commitment to fostering the next generation of talent.
This year’s Breakthrough artists from the UK and Ireland are pop singer and songwriter Bellah Mae; Irish dance-pop singer-songwriter Jazzy; UK rapper and social commentator Jeshi; poetic R&B songwriter and instrumentalist Elmiene; Irish emotive indie rock band Newdad; indie pop riser Nieve Ella; sultry R&B boyband No Guidnce; soul jazz singer Olivia Dean; Reading’s rising indie guitar rock outfit Only The Poets; and explosive indie band The Last Dinner Party.
Pollstar wanted to know how each year’s selection of artists is made. Jon West, senior director at Ticketmaster Music, responded, ” It’s our favorite time of the year. We team up with promoters and labels to help determine who makes the list – it’s a real mix of their input and our insights from the hundreds of shows the team has seen over the year.”
The newly introduced grant comes at a crucial time. While business is booming at the top end, the grassroots sector, venues and artists alike, are struggling under the increased costs on all fronts. Recipients of the Breakthrough Grant can use the money as they see fit.
Said West, “Touring is where most artists make the core of their earnings. It can be a costly time for grassroots acts, so it is especially important to support them at the beginning of their journey – which is why we’ve launched the Breakthrough Grant. The grant will be given to artists directly so they can spend it exactly how and when they need to.”
West wasn’t worried about finding and developing the next generation of headliners, describing “the current crop of emerging artists” as “robust.” But he emphasized, that “ongoing support is crucial. The nature of headliners has not necessarily changed, but today there are many routes to becoming one. How artists can access that potential audience has broadened, making for a larger, more diverse playing field, which is exciting.”
Ticketmaster has been recognizing the importance of the grassroots sector as the backbone of this business for a while, introducing the grassroots venues tickets platform in 2016, and offering grassroots music venues a 50% rebate on all booking fees in 2021.
West sees it as “a shared industry commitment to supporting and nurturing new talent. It’s a direct result of the passion that people, like the team here at Ticketmaster, have for music.”
Ticketmaster’s previous lists tipped the likes of four-time nominee and two-time MOBO Award winner Central Cee, BRIT Award winner Holly Humberstone, five-time Grammy Awards nominee Wet Leg, whose self-titled debut album peaked at no. 1 on the UK albums chart, Australia’s ARIA albums chart, and the Irish albums chart; and, most recently, FLO, winners of the BRITS Rising Star Award 2023.
“It’s always great to see artists have their moment like Dylan (an artist we featured in the Breakthrough list last year) playing with Ed Sheeran, or Hana Lili opening for Coldplay,” said West.
And, speaking about this year’s Breakthrough artists, he added, “This year’s list is a mixed bag of awesome talent of wildly different styles. Forget your usual go-tos and dive into each artist – you might just find your new favorite.”
Past Ticketmaster Breakthrough lists: