Live Music Australia Program

What is the Live Music Australia Program?

The Live Music Australia program is a competitive grants opportunity for small to medium sized venues that support quality original Australian live music.

It is acknowledged that the music industry is facing increased pressures in light of the severe impacts of COVID-19, and the program includes support for activities that assist live music venues to rebuild and become operational following the impacts of COVID-19 on the industry.



The Australian music industry is facing particular pressures in light of the severe impacts of COVID-19. To support the industry at this time, the first year (2020-21) of the Live Music Australia program has been adapted to assist live music venues in the recovery phase. Applications are sought for proposals that prepare venues to be able to open when the government lifts restrictions on public gatherings and live music performance. This may include opportunities to implement new ideas such as developing or attending online training, or initiatives that build new audiences or undertake building work for their venue during this period of closure.

The Live Music Australia program is part of the Australian Government’s Arts and Cultural Development Program that supports participation in, and access to, Australia’s arts and culture through developing and supporting cultural expression. The program was announced as part of the Support for the Australian music industry measure in the 2019-20 Budget and will run over four years from 2020-21 to 2023-24.

The program is delivered as an open competitive grant opportunity.



The Live Music Australia program is designed to boost this vital part of the music industry. It aims to revive business ventures in local suburbs, towns and regions across the country, building capacity for a sustainable live music scene with strong community roots, in all parts of Australia. The first year of funding is aimed at preparing live music venues to become operational following the impacts of COVID-19 on the industry. The focus of the program is on small to medium venues that support high quality original Australian live music that is professionally staged.

The objectives of the program are:

  • to support the development, growth and innovation of Australian contemporary live music by increasing performance opportunities for original contemporary music by Australian artists
  • to support a sustainable venue-based live music industry by building professional capacity within venues
  • to support partnerships, collaboration and networks across the Australian live music industry.

The intended outcomes of Live Music Australia are:

  • in the first funding round in 2020-21, building or rebuilding a venue’s capacity for programming activity when venues re-open following COVID-19
  • increased Australian live music performances of original Australian music that create a stronger and growing Australian music industry, well positioned for the future
  • more live music venues, that are agile and sustainable, and employ skilled venue professionals
  • stronger touring circuits across Australia, creating new domestic markets for Australian music.



The Australian Government will provide a total of $20 million over four years for the Live Music Australia program.

The grant program will run from 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2024 with two funding rounds per year. There will be $2.5 million in funds available per round.

  • It is anticipated that most grants will be between $5,000 to $100,000, depending on the scope of the grant activity and its complexity.
  • Grants for equipment and or infrastructure will generally be no more than $25,000.
  • Grants for other eligible activities will be a maximum of $100,000.


Eligible Projects

Funding is available for activities that support venues to host more Australian live music, and specifically in the 2020-21 round, to re-establish live music performances across the country. This includes increasing the venue’s capacity and capability to present more shows, deliver to larger and or more diverse audiences, and effectively promote the venue and its program. Activities should be designed to build a venue’s professionalism and enhance the quality of audience experience. In the first funding round in 2020-21, priority will be given to proposals that aim to build or rebuild a venue’s capacity for programming activity following COVID-19.

Funding is also available for new modes of practice and new approaches to the delivery of contemporary live music. This includes developing live music venues, or networks of venues, to achieve long-term success. Activities should be designed to bring dynamism to the contemporary live music sector, increase employment opportunities for artists and venue professionals, and build cultural capital.

Grants may support activities including, but not limited to:

  • purchasing essential equipment for staging performances (such as PA, lighting)
  • carrying out small building alteration work to enable live music performance (such as sound attenuation, disability access)
  • live music programming and promotion, including artist fees
  • professional development, including upskilling venue staff
  • capacity building that supports venues to host more live music and improve regional touring circuits.


Eligible Applicants

To be eligible you must:

  • have an Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • be registered for the purposes of GST (if applicable)
  • be a permanent resident of Australia
  • have an account with an Australian financial institution
  • comply with all regulatory, industry and legal requirements in relation to copyright, licensing and employment

and be one of the following entity types:

  • a company incorporated in Australia
  • a company incorporated by guarantee
  • an incorporated trustee on behalf of a trust
  • an incorporated association
  • a partnership
  • a not-for-profit organisation
  • an Australian local government body
  • an Aboriginal and or Torres Strait Islander Corporation registered under the Corporations (Aboriginal and /or Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006.



Applications close 09 August 2021.


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