Current & Past Opportunities Click here to obtain Tier 5 Work Permits

UK Music Work Permit Specialists (Tier 5 Certificate of Sponsorship)

Apply for Music Work Permits (Tier 5 Certificates of Sponsorship)
Apply for Lancaster Music Festival

Welcome to CME Artist Services

Tier 5 Work Permits

Our agency has succesfully processed work permits for thousands of international artists. Our clients include some of the top RnB, soul, hip hop, World and Bollywood music acts in the world as well as actively touring established acts from all over the world. We've consequently worked with some of the UK's biggest named promoters booking the UK's largest venues including but not limited to Wembley Arena, Hammersmith Apollo, all the national O2 Arenas and Birmingham NEC as well as countless smaller clubs, theatres and festivals on the main touring circuit.

If you are an international artist or a UK based promoter that needs to locate a licenced sponsor please visit our work permit page for more information or drop us a line at For expedited requests please text the work permit hotline at +44(0)7908 495549 and enter in "WORKPERMIT" for an immediate response (note this number is not for any other purpose).

Lancaster Music Festival

We used to run several tours but the success of the Lancaster Music Festival which we run now requires a year in planning. The festival now attracts tens of thousands of festivalgoers each year making the tours pale in comparision.

If you are an artist that would like to be considered for a slot (there will be around 200 paid performance slots available in 2015) please visit Lancaster Music Festival website for instructions on how to apply.


If you are a venue or festival we can provide you a with a list of superb and available talent to choose from in any genre. All these acts have all been pre-reviewed for our past tours and festivals. Please email us direct at or go to our Contact page to request a list – specify a genre or genres too if you wish.

*Please note that due to the difficulties obtaining USA work permits we no longer accept USA/UK exchange proposals. We bitterly regret this but it is an extremely unbalanced situation when the time and cost of providing work permits in the UK for US acts is at least an order of magnitude less than vice versa.





Jan. 2015

Applications for the 2015 Lancaster Music Festival are now open. See Lancaster Music Festival website for more information and instructions on how to apply

April 2014

CME Artist Services announces that Lancaster Music Festival is now the main focus of our promotion due to the increased success and dramatic increase in attendance figures. See Lancaster Music Festival website for more information and instructions on how to apply

Nov. 7th 2013

Lancaster Music Festival wins Marketing Lancashire's Tourist Event of the Year Award

Oct. 18th 2013

Lancaster Music Festival provides Lancaster with its busiest weekend ever (according to the Lancaster Guardian) with an estimated 25-32,000 festivalgoers

Sept. 14th 2013

CME Artist Services launch their UK Autumn Tour with Beatrice Mason (Brazil) and Heidi Happy (Switzerland):

Oct. 2nd Dalton Rooms, 14 Dalton Square, Lancaster LA1 1PL

Oct. 3rd Blackpool Music Centre Workshop (10am - 3pm)

Oct. 3rd Penny Street Bridge Hotel, Lancaster LA1 1XT

Oct. 4th Queens Head, Box SN13 8NH

Oct. 5th Three Horseshoes, Bradford-upon-Avon BA15 1LA

Oct. 6th Moonies Fun Bar, 57 High St Pewsey, Wiltshire SN9 5AF (4pm-7pm)

Oct. 7th Bell Inn, Bath BA1 5BW

Oct. 8th White Hart, Atworth SN12 8JR

Oct. 9th. Old Duke, 45 King St Bristol BS1 4ER

Oct. 10th. Bay Tourism Event, Nice Café, Lancaster Castle LA1 1YJ(7pm - 9pm)

Oct. 10th. Lancaster Music Festival Launch Party, Penny Street Bridge Hotel, Lancaster LA1 1XT (9.15pm - 11.30pm)


July. 10th 2013

Lancaster Castle headline acts selected for 2013 Lancaster Music Festival 2013 (Slamboree and Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra)


July. 1st 2013

We are closed for taking applications for Lancaster Music Festival 2013 and the UK Autumn Tour 2013


Feb. 1st 2013

We are now starting planning Lancaster Music Festival 2013.

Nov. 19th 2012

We are now reserving our Spring UK Tour for our tour exchange partners. This means that our annual events are now the Lancaster Music Festival (Oct. 11-13th) and our Autumn UK Tour (Oct. 3-10th). The Autumn tour will be posted next month.

Sept. 1st 2012

The Sugarhouse in Lancaster to host the Lancaster Music Festival Grand Finale on Sunday. Oct. 14th with the Live and Unsigned lineup (see Aug. 10th news). Lancashire Hotpots also headline on Sunday at the Dalton Rooms 6-8pm)

August 15th 2012

Kindread are selected for the CME Artist Services UK Tour 2012

August 10th 2012

The Live and Unsigned winners Co Co and the Butterfields to join NW regional finalists, Kaitain, Freerunner, Hannah-Nicole Gorge and Katie O'Malley at Lancaster Music Festival


July 15th 2012

The Lancaster Music Festival has stopped taking applications from musicians.


April 13th 2012

The UK Border Agency has introduced (April 6, 2012) new rules for musicians (and other workers covered under Tier 5 sponsorship) wishing to perform in the UK for less than one month (Permitted Paid Engagements or PPEs). However, they appear to be charging for this service and CME Artist Services will undercut their fees while also guaranteeing rapid processing service. See work permits FAQ for more details.


March 16th 2012

The acts for the Spring UK Tour are selected and Autumn 2012 Tour and Lancaster Music Festival 2012 promotions have started.



January 28th 2012

The Autumn Tour and Lancaster Music Festival promotions will start taking applications from Feb. 1st. The Spring UK Tour will close Feb. 1st. See opportunities for more information.

October 20th 2011

Both the Autumn Tour with Caravanblack from Brazil and the Lancaster Music Festival were a great success. Follow up with pictures and videos expected in November. Both events will be receiving applications for 2012 by the end of November (watch this page)

September 3rd 2011

Announced, the final selection for the Lancaster Music Festival 2011 including the following artists from Sonicbids who will be joining 80 other acts:

Danika Holmes
Jim Reid and Heidrum
Keith Thompson Band
Los Salvodores
Marco Marconi Trio
Marina Zettl&Thomas Mauerhofer
Marisa Yeaman
Threefifty Duo

August 26th 2011

Announced, the Autumn UK Tour act is selected. Dao A E Caravan Black from Brazil

March 30th 2011

Announced, the two acts taking part in our UK May Tour are Danika Holmes (USA) and Budduza (Austria). Acts wanting to take part in our next year event go to UK Spring Tour 2012.

March 22nd 2011

We apologise that we are still trying to resolve the final selection for the Spring 2011 UK Tour. We currently are down to 3 contenders having already selected one and aim to have this resolved by the end of this month at the absolute latest.

February 1st 2011

The Spring 2011 UK Tour application is now closed. We expect to announce the selected acts by March 15th. The Spring 2012 UK tour applications will be taken from March 1st.

25th and 27th November 2010

Both the UK Autumn Tour 2011 and the 2011 Lancaster Music Festival are open for applications on these dates respectively.

20th October 2010

Feedback from a hugely successful 2010 Lancaster Music Festival posted on the festival website.

31 August 2010

Lancaster Music Festival 2010 Participants Announced We have selected the following Sonicbids artists to perform with 90 other acts: ThreeFifty Duo from New York, Marina & Thomas from Vienna, Los Salvadores from UK, Level 10 from Tampa Bay and Marisa Yeaman from Melbourne. Three other acts were selected but could not attend.

20 August 2010

UK Autumn 2010 Tour Participants Announced We have selected Ali Milner from Vancouver and ThreeFifty Duo from New York. Acts that reached our finalist stage are now on our artist roster For more information on the acts and the tour click <HERE>.

30th April2010

UK Spring Tour 2010 applications open.

15 March 2010

UK Spring 2010 Tour Participants Announced We have selected Miss Quincy Sideshow from British Columbia and Red Gap from the Isle of Man. Three other acts that were shortlisted were unable to take part so we contacted our artist roster and Red Gap responded first. For more information on the acts and the tour click <HERE>.

01 February 2010

Spring 2010 Tour Application Closed (Feb. 1). This is our sister tour to the UK Fall Tour (started in 2005) that was launched in 2006 and has been running every year since. The acts that are selected through our peer review will be announced on this page early March 2010. Applications for the next Spring tour 2011 will be announced at that time. As always any act that receives a high score will be placed on our roster.

Lancaster Music Festival. This event was such a success last year that it will comprise 26 venues, over 100 acts and include classical genres (as well as everything else) in 2010. Open for application from November 1st. Click <here> to apply. Applications close July 15th. Final notification of selections August 1st (in practice many acts will know before then).

18 October 2009

Acts selected for the Lancaster Music Festival were Nomad 67 (UK), Van Preston (USA), Red Gap (IoM), The Convulsions and Butch Ross (USA). Reviews for last four acts are on the festival home page. This event was such a success that it will be open for application in November

10 August 2009

Acts selected for CME UK Fall Tour 2009: Krishna Jones (Australia), Van Preston (USA) and Erik Morrell (Sweden)

Closed 2009 opportunities will be open for 2010 from November

1 June 2009

Applications deadline for One Planet Music Festival 2009 and Pewsey Music Festival 2009

18 April 2009

Applications now opened for Lancaster Music Festival 2009
(see opportunites or click <here> to apply)

17 March 2009

The acts selected for the UK Spring Tour 2009 are:

Old Man Brown (from Maryland, USA)
The Drews (from Washington, USA)

17 March 2009

The act selected for the Slavic Adventure 2009 is:

Big Walker and the Blues Souls (Sweden)

10 March 2009

The acts selected for the Party in the Pub May 2009 are:

Van Preston (Tennessee)
Hovercraft Pirates (Northern Ireland)

07 March 2009

Applications now opened for UK Spring Tour 2010
(see opportunites or click <here> to apply)

Applications now opened for Pewsey Music Festival 2009
(see opportunites or click <here> to apply)

05 March 2009

Applications now opened for One Planet Music Festival 2009 (see opportunites or click <here> to apply)

Applications deadline for Slavic Adventure 2009

01 March 2009

Applications deadline for UK Spring Tour 2009

01 February 2009

New web site launch!