Need to know more about the Live Music Australia Program and RISE grants?

26th August 2020
Posted by Sebastian Marcu and Andrew Szoeke

We all know the music and creative industries are getting severely hit by COVID-19 and various government restrictions.  Our thoughts continue to go out to our many clients and friends who are being impacted.

On a more positive note, we are excited and encouraged by the current government grants on offer to support businesses in these industries to invest in projects to help them adjust to, and thrive in, their ‘new normal’.  If you are operating a music or creative business, here’s two grants you really need to be across.

Live Music Australia Program

This is a competitive grant for small to medium sized venues in Australia who support quality, original and professionally staged live music activities.  There are numerous funding rounds on offer and venues may apply for more than one round of funding even if they were successful (or not) in a previous round.

Funding in the first round is available for activities such as:

– infrastructure upgrades, purchase of equipment, programming and promotional expenses and artist fees; and
-initiatives that apply to multiple venues, for example, professional development programs, expanded regional touring circuits, and partnerships across venues or jurisdictions.

The objectives and outcomes of the program for the first round of funding 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 build partnerships, collaboration and networks across the Australian live music industry;
– to build or rebuild a venue’s capacity for programming activity when venues re-open following COVID-19;
– to increase Australian live music performances of original Australian music that create a stronger and growing Australian music industry that is well positioned for the future;
– to create more live music venues, that are agile and sustainable, and employ skilled venue professionals; and
– to create more touring circuits across Australia, creating new domestic markets for Australian music.

The applications for the first round are open from August 11 to September 13, 2020, for projects commencing from November 2020.  The grants will be awarded up to $100,000 for the first round depending on the size and complexity of the proposed project, and some co-contribution from the applicant is required.

The Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE)

This fund is a federal government initiative designed to support new and existing creative and cultural businesses in restarting, re-imagining or creating new activities, thereby kick-starting the sector’s recovery and supporting connected industries like hospitality and tourism.

The competitive grant program is intended to sustain activities that were unlikely to proceed without substantial investment, improve the financial standing of businesses in the sector to ensure long term viability, increase employment opportunities, support Australian artists and increase access to cultural and creative experiences in regional areas.

The program will fund selected projects across all art forms, with the exception of film, television production and interactive gaming.

The following kinds of activities will be eligible:

– cultural and creative events or activities, including innovative ways to deliver performances, exhibitions, tours and online delivery;
– cultural and creative programming and promotion;
– festivals;
– purchasing or leasing essential equipment for events, such as
sound or lighting equipment;
– development of COVID-safe infrastructure and protocols;
– community outreach activities such as workshops; and
– capacity-building activities that link to the objectives and outcomes of the program, supporting an organisation to build long-term financial sustainability.

The program opens on September 1 2020 and closes to applicants on 31 March 2021. Applicants may apply at any point during this time period, and applications will be assessed within 4-6 weeks of submission.

The grants will range from $75,000 to $2m depending on the size and complexity of the proposed project, and some co-contribution from the applicant is required.

Keen to know more?

Studio Legal is offering grant writing services for the above two grant applications as well as complimentary consultations to discuss whether you should apply for one of the grants.  Don’t be shy, give us a call and get the ball rolling!

Image courtesy of Piknic Electronic Melbourne by Jess Middleton Photography


The information in this article is of a general nature. It does not constitute formal legal advice, and should not be relied on as such. Please see the full disclaimer in our website terms. Please contact Studio Legal if you are seeking advice about a specific legal matter.