Sheffield music start-up wants to help the homeless

by Karl Hodge

A new, Yorkshire based service wants musicians to help homeless people, by giving them a platform to promote their own work. We talked to the young entrepreneur behind “Tape UK”.


Dillon Willis knows just how hard it is to get your band noticed. The 17 year old entrepreneur and A&R apprentice from Sheffield has been slogging it out with his own band for just over a year.

There’s been a huge revival in live music – with new venues springing up faster than Kate Middleton pops out sprogs.

That’s a good thing. And it’s a bad thing. There are more places and more gigs to play these days, but everyone’s competing for the same local audience of gig-goers.

But Dillon Willis has hit on an idea that will help local bands get their music heard – and help out homeless people at the same time. It’s a do-gooding double whammy.

“I have always wanted to build something that makes it easy (to promote music) without having to pay the excessive amounts other small media platforms charge,” Dillon told us. He believes his idea will produce results at least as good as paying for traditional promotion.

Once up and running, Tape UK will make videos of bands, singer-songwriters and other acts in session. The result will be aggressively promoted on Facebook and Twitter, uploaded to Tape UK’s YouTube channel and posted to a bespoke website.

Here’s the novel bit. You’ll like this – it’s one part Radiohead’s “King of Limbs” and one part “Big Issue”. Muso types who want to video a session will pay what they want to Tape UK – with a minimum donation of £20. Any profit made will then go direct to help homeless people.

“I believe that human kindness is slowly decreasing as years go by,” Dillon told us, “This is why I wanted to make sure that all profits go directly towards providing food, drink and other resources such as clothing and shelter to the homeless people of the UK.”

Tape UK is currently in start-up mode and they’re currently using incubator site IndieGoGo to raise some capital for equipment.

Anything that helps local musicians and the homeless can’t be bad.