If you’re one of the artists, businesses, or industry figures who’ve been hit hard this year, it’s time to apply for the American Express Music Backers Fund.
For those who haven’t yet heard, the American Express Music Backers Fund is a $1 million injection of much-needed funding into the Australian music industry. There are grants available for figures across the business, including artists, venues, fans, and anyone else who considers music instrumental to their lives or livelihood.
The Music Backers Fund has been taking applications since August, but now’s your last chance. With applications closing on November 9th, we’re taking another look at who the Fund will be benefitting, and how you can find out which of the many initiatives is right for you.
What should I apply for?
Anyone who’s filled out a grant application before knows that they’re an art in themselves, and the more specific you can be, the better. Knowing exactly what you should apply for, exactly how you’re going to spend the grant, and having all your background information sorted are necessities!
Last year the Music Backers Fund was responsible for venues re-opening, artists funding new singles, and businesses launching shiny new initiatives left, right, and centre. This year will be no different, with the Fund applying to all levels of the music industry – top to bottom.
So where’s the best place to point your application? Let’s dig in.
For artists: Studio Week
Studio Week, as you’d likely guess from the name, is a grant aimed at artists who want to cover studio time. It involves 10 studios around their country opening their doors to 50 artists over a single week, with all costs of a single recording covered. If yourself or your band is selected, you’ll be in the studio for a day with a producer on board.
In terms of eligibility, the top-line information is that one submission is allowed per act, you must be over 18 to apply, you must be an Australian resident (for the next 12 months, at least), and you’ll need to be available during the actual Studio Week which kicks off on December 9th.
Studio Week is perfect for bands and solo artists who have that killer track demo’d and ready to go, but you’re a little lacking in proper recording funds.
If that sounds perfect for you, apply for Studio Week here.
For artists and small businesses: Back on Track
Aside from the specified Studio Week, a few levels of broadly applicable grants are available through the Music Backers Fund. First up is Back On Track, ranging from $2,000 to $10,000.
Aimed at artists and small businesses, Back on Track is there to “help you get back to doing what you do best”. If your livelihood has taken a recent hit that’s recuperable with a little cash injection, this is the option for you.
To apply for a Back on Track grant, click here.
For event companies, industry, and innovators: Transformation and Growth
Transformation and Growth is the next tier of grant as part of the Music Backers Fund, meaning it’s less about getting your business or musical project back on track, and more about taking said project to the next level. These grants will be scaled from $2,000 to $25,000.
If you have a proven track record in creating killer events, touring on a local scale, or upping the stakes in your particular industry niche, the Transformation and Growth grant is for you. Frame it around that next step – bigger shows, bigger audiences, bigger ideas.
Apply for a Transformation and Growth grant here.
For industry leaders: Innovation and Community Impact
Covering a grant range all the way from $2,000 up to $50,000, the Innovation and Community Impact grants are about game-changing industry ideas. This one’s aimed at the heavier hitters – not necessarily those in larger businesses, but those figures who are disrupting the industry or enacting positive changes in their space.
While the previous grants were all about helping you keep doing what you’re doing, the Innovation and Community Impact grants will go towards brand new ideas. If you’re one lightbulb moment away from changing the Australian music industry, this is where you should direct your energy.
Apply for an Innovation and Community Impact grant here.
Whether you’re an artist or a business helping make the Australian music industry as amazing as it is, there’s room for you in the American Express Music Backers Fund. A total of $1 million will be allocated across all the categories listed above, so don’t be afraid to apply!
And remember, applications close November 9th. Get in while you still can.