Live Music Fund Applications Are Now Open to Austin Musicians and Independent Promoters

Apply by May 16 for $5,000 and $10,000 city-funded project grants

Urban Heat at Stubb's on March 14, 2023 (Photo by Jana Birchum)

Applications for the Live Music Fund (LMF) Event Program are now open.

Intended for local professional musicians and independent promoters, the inaugural program offers $5,000 and $10,000 grants for recipients to produce and publicize their projects, ranging from music events to studio production. Eligible uses of the grants specifically include “live and online music events, recording studio production, video production, merchandise distribution (i.e., vinyl, compact discs, cassettes, posters) and music broadcasting (i.e., television, radio, podcasts).” Proposals must be submitted online before May 16 at 5pm, with more information and application assistance available here.

"For the first time ever, musicians and promoters are going to have access to the money," said Commissioner Jonathan "Chaka" Mahone during last night's Music Commission meeting. "We voted this year to be dedicated to musicians and independent promoters. This is a very historic moment that a lot of people in Austin are very excited about."

City Council created the LMF in 2019 in an effort to support local music, with financing from the city's hotel occupancy taxes. In its early stages, the fund underwent tumultuous deliberation about who should receive aid. Now, the $3.5 million program exists as the first city initiative designed to consistently serve individuals in the Austin music scene.

“We recognize the immense cultural and economic value that our local musicians and independent promoters bring to our community,” said Economic Development Director Sylnovia Holt-Rabb in a press release. "Supporting and investing in their projects enriches Austin’s vibrant music scene and contributes to our city’s overall prosperity and identity as the Live Music Capital of the World."

Eligible applicants must: be residents of the Greater Austin Area, execute their projects within the city's extraterritorial jurisdiction, and have been active professional musicians or independent promoters for at least two years. Music venues are currently ineligible to apply, as well as promoters who are “contractually tied to one venue.”

Applications will be scored based on candidates' access to services, project budget, and their proposal's alignment with the Music Commission's equity incentives: Preservation, Innovation, Elevation & Collaboration (PIE).

"The more the proposals are about that, the higher it will score, regardless of who you are," said Music & Entertainment Division Manager Erica Shamaly at the Music Commission meeting. "It's not first come, first served. You have that whole time to apply. What we want to see are PIE events. We want to serve people that show an ongoing need for access to services."

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Live Music Fund, Jonathan "Chaka" Mahone, Erica Shamaly, Sylnovia Holt-Rabb, Austin Music Commission, Live Music Fund Event Program

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