Victorian Live Music Venue Program

What is the Victorian Live Music Venue Program?

The Victorian Live Music Venue Program is a grant opportunity for music venues to support them through the shutdowns and to help them reopen in a COVID-safe way.



The Victorian Live Music Venues Program aims to secure the future of grassroots live music venues across the state by supporting venues to respond to devastating effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

This program will assist venues to survive the period of closure and limited operation and to drive the recovery of Victoria’s live music scene.  Helping venues to re-open safely and effectively as soon as possible will benefit musicians, music industry workers and micro-organisations and will re-engage audiences in line with the staged easing of restrictions.

Open to venues across the state, this program will focus on venues with the most significant positive impact on the local live music industry, on audiences and the state’s live music reputation.



The Victorian Live Music Venues Program will help eligible venues to survive the financial stress and hardship as a result of the pandemic. The program will:

  • Support the stabilisation of established and dedicated original live music venues that demonstrably contribute to the broader Victorian live music sector; and
  • Support these established and dedicated original live music venues to begin recovery and to re-engage with artists and audiences safely and effectively.

The Victorian Live Music Venues Program aims for the best use and broad distribution of State Government funds across Victoria to maximise the benefit for the Victorian community.



Funding amount available depends on the overall venue capacity.


Eligible Projects

This funding is intended to assist venue stabilisation (solvency) while coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions make the re-commencement of live performance operations infeasible or uncommercial and to meet costs directly related to the re-opening and re-commencement, or continuation of staging of live music performance events, safely and effectively during the staged easing of restrictions.

Funding may be used to meet the following costs from 16 March 2020 until 31 January 2021:

  • Operational, non-discretionary and fixed business costs (e.g. rent, insurance, utilities, equipment leasing), including costs incurred and unpaid
  • Costs for obtaining professional business services or advice (e.g. to support business continuity planning)
  • Marketing
  • Staff wages, contractors (e.g. production staff, security) and training where, and to the extent, these are not available to the applicant under other programs, such as the Commonwealth JobKeeper program
  • Venue modifications, including signage, sneeze screens and minor capital works not requiring a building permit
  • Re-establishing supply chains and re-engaging with audiences
  • Artists fees (guarantees)

Note that applicants may be entitled to support under the Victorian Government’s Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme (CTRS), which is designed to alleviate financial hardship faced by tenants and landlords as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Venues applying for funding through the Victorian Live Music Venues Program may also be eligible for base support of up to $5,000 in funding through the Victorian Government’s recently expanded Business Support Fund and are encouraged to apply. Venues receiving funding through the Victorian Live Music Venues Program will not be eligible for funding through the CBD or hospitality streams of the Business Support Fund.


Eligible Applicants

The Victorian Live Music Venues Program is only available to operators of licensed venues with a demonstrated history of programming original live music performance. To be eligible for support, an applicant (venue operator) must:

  • Be operating a licensed venue in Victoria, with a primary business model of presenting original live music performances
  • Have been operating as an original live music venue on 16 March 2020
  • Be able to evidence a reduction in turnover of at least 30 percent from the operation of the venue since 16 March 2020
  • Provide a copy of their liquor licence that shows an overall venue capacity of 50 to 1200 people
  • Provide a copy of their OneMusic licence for public performance of music that was held on 16 March 2020
  • Have dedicated performance and audience spaces to support live music performance within the venue
  • Be a solvent business
  • Hold a valid Australian Business Number (ABN), and have held that ABN at 16 March 2020

Note that this is a competitive round and not all applicants will be able to be supported.



Applications close 06 August 2020.


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