Photo of people performing live music

Live Music Fund Event Program

The Live Music Fund was established by the City of Austin Ordinance No. 20190919-149 on September 19, 2019. In response, the Live Music Fund Event Program was developed based on direction from the Music Commission to prioritize the equity core principals of Preservation, Innovation, and Elevation & Collaboration (PIE).

The Live Music Fund Event Program supports live and online music events that are marketed to local and regional audiences, potential and visiting tourists, and conventions delegates. Contracts are facilitated through the City of Austin and must meet Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) fund requirements. 

Fiscal Year 2022 Program Guidelines

The Live Music Fund Event Program will provide $2.3 million in direct support in Fiscal Year 2022. On November 1, 2021 the Music Commission unanimously approved the below program guidelines, but established a new working group to convene community stakeholders to consider expanding eligibility beyond professional musicians and independent promoters. Click here to watch the Music Commission meeting to learn more.

Visit the Speak Up Austin Live Music Fund Community Engagement webpage to submit any questions about the program or contact Kim McCarson at Kimberly.McCarson@austintexas.gov.

Equity Core Principles

The Music Commission Recommendation 20201019-2bii provided that a Preservation, Innovation, and Elevation & Collaboration (PIE) fund be established from the Live Music Fund to create greater equitable economic growth in the music sector. Based on this direction, the core principles of PIE are the foundation for the Live Music Fund Event Program. Applicants are encouraged to consider the following concepts for supported activities:

 

Preservation – Enriching the Past 

Investment in the historic cultural heritage of Austin music and the preservation of traditions and legacy of historically underserved communities, including: 

  • Workshops & Presentations – Events that pass the legacy of Austin music and racial history to new generations. 
  • Cultural History Events & Shows – Public events and shows that celebrate Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) cultural heritage and music history.   
  • Destination Events & Shows – Scalable events in collaboration with BIPOC community partners that highlight and promote the artistic diversity in Austin, including cultural holidays and other annual events.

 

Innovation – Envisioning the Future 

Investment in the innovation of traditional business models committed to innovative and inclusive practices that build capacity in underserved communities, including:  

  • Genre Diversity 
    • Genre Diversity Development & Promotion – Developing ongoing Artist Residencies featuring emerging Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) artists in all genres.  
    • Genre Development Events – Live and/or streamed performances featuring BIPOC artists from venues and creative spaces throughout Austin.
  • Talent Development 
    • ATX Music Tours, Export & Exchange – Developing tours and/or export and exchange opportunities with strong BIPOC music markets to provide local BIPOC artists with touring opportunities to perform in new and diverse markets, while also bringing visiting BIPOC artists to perform with musicians in Austin venues and creative spaces.
    • Support Act Slots – Securing paid opening support slots for Austin BIPOC artists in shows of local talent and national and regional tours to grow audiences and ticket sales. 

 

Elevation & Collaboration – Empowering the Present

Investment in the elevation, education, and promotion of Austin music from historically underrepresented communities, including: 

  • Collaborating with local Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) talent buyers/promoters to create and market showcases of underrepresented genres and BIPOC artists.  
  • Partnering with such established global and national music brands as SXSW and ACL Festival to highlight the contributions of BIPOC Austin talent.  
  • Curating large and small-scale public events that specifically highlight emerging BIPOC Austin talent.  
  • Supporting collaborative educational workshops focused on overcoming the challenges faced by emerging BIPOC artists in the Austin music sector.  
  • Collaborating with such public cultural arts spaces as libraries and museums. 
Eligibility

 

Eligibility Definitions

 

Professional Musician Definition (must meet at least one of the following requirements): 

  • At least 2 years of documentation showing that Applicant has regularly performed as a professional musician—solo or as part of a band—in live performances to public audiences
  • Or 6 released recordings (singles)
  • Or 6 promotionally released music videos

 

Independent Promoter Definition (must meet all of the following requirements):  

  • No more than 3 staff
  • And At least 2 years of documentation showing that the applicant has curated and promoted live shows featuring musicians and bands
  • And Must not be contractually tied to one venue
     

Eligibility Requirements

 

Professional Musician:

  • Professional musicians who live in the Austin–Round Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA)—which includes Travis, Williamson, Hays, Bastrop, and Caldwell Counties—and perform solo, lead a band, or have an equal stake in a band
  • Only one application per individual or band
  • Musicians may perform in multiple bands receiving awards; however, the band leader or lead applicant may only qualify for one application
  • Activities proposed in the application must take place in a City of Austin Council District and/or the Extraterritorial Jurisdiction (ETJ) and include at least 51% performers who fit the COA definition for "Professional Musician" and live in the MSA
  • Compensates participating Professional Musicians and Creative Workers at least the City of Austin fair pay or Living Wage standard rates of pay, including: 
    • Professional Musicians ($150 / hour per artist) 
    • Event / show Creative Workers ($15 / hour) 
  • Must be at least 18 years old to apply

 

Independent Promoter:

  • Independent live music promoters who live in the Austin–Round Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA)—which includes Travis, Williamson, Hays, Bastrop, and Caldwell Counties)—and regularly curate shows for audiences. 
  • Only one application per promoter is allowed
  • Event activities proposed in the application must take place in a City of Austin Council District and/or the Extraterritorial Jurisdiction (ETJ) and include at least 51% of performers who fit the COA definition for "Professional Musician" and live in the MSA
  • Compensates participating Professional Musicians and Creative Workers at least the City of Austin fair pay or Living Wage standard rates of pay, including: 
    • Professional Musicians ($150 / hour per artist) 
    • Event / show Creative Workers ($15 / hour) 
  • Must be at least 18 years old to apply
Ineligible Applicants
  • Applicants who do not fit the Eligibility definitions and requirements for Professional Musician and Independent Promoter
  • Applicants that have a “Delinquent Status” with the City of Austin Economic Development Department (refer to Glossary of Terms for the definition of “Delinquent Status”)
  • Government agencies or public authorities
  • City of Austin Employees
Award Amounts
  • Eligible minimum award of $5,000 and a maximum award of up to $10,000 may be made the first year, with reductions for consecutive awards the following 2 years
  • The first disbursement of funds will be 50% of the total award upon execution of the contract
  • Awards are paid over a 12-month contract period and may be drawn down monthly for reimbursing eligible expenses, including the “night of show” settlement, with the final 10% of the total award paid upon receipt of the final report to the City of Austin
  • Any award funds not utilized by Awardees will go back into the Live Music Fund Event Program for future applicants
Eligible & Ineligible Expenses

 

Eligible Expenses

  • Contractors -
    • Accounting 
    • Event Producer (if separate from any Venue Rental Fee) 
    • Security (if separate from any Venue Rental Fee) 
    • Stage Crew (if separate from any Venue Rental Fee) 
  • Employee Salaries Dedicated to Event 
  • Insurance - General Liability
  • Marketing -
    • Advertising Paid Placements 
    • Design Fees for Artwork 
    • Event Merchandise 
    • Posters, Banners, Signage 
    • "Street Team" Contractors
  • Miscellaneous Event Expenses (please specify)
  • Performance Fees / Guarantees 
  • Stage Lighting Rental (if separate from any Venue Rental Fee) 
  • Stage Rental (if separate from any Venue Rental Fee) 
  • Stage Sound Rental (if separate from any Venue Rental Fee) 
  • Supplies for Event - No more than $1,000 total 
  • Telephones / Internet 
  • Venue / Office Rental

 

Ineligible Expenses 

  • Previously completed activities. 
  • Capital expenditures, purchase, repair or renovation of equipment or real property, including construction, renovation or purchase of equipment and/or real property
  • Food expenses that are not essential to the event
  • Costs associated with the start-up of a new organization
  • Direct project costs incurred prior to the application due date
  • Any fundraising expenses, including but not limited to entertainment, reception or hospitality functions expenses
  • Consultants who are members of an Applicant’s staff
  • Payments to students or interns whose employment is tied to class credit
  • Operating costs not associated with the project
  • Purchase of gifts, awards, cash prizes, scholarships, contributions or donations
  • Existing debts, fines, contingencies, penalties, interest or litigation costs
  • Purchase of gasoline; however, mileage is allowed at the approved per diem rates when accompanied by a completed City of Austin Private Vehicle Report. Travel activity must be essential to the event
  • Property Taxes or any other tax with the exception of retail sales or payroll tax
Scoring Matrix

Priority will be given to Professional Musicians and Independent Promoters living in the Austin area and belonging to one of the following groups:

  • Applicants who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), including from the Black / African American, Native American, Asian, Hispanic / Latino, Middle Eastern, or Pacific Islander communities
  • Applicants who are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and Asexual (LGBTQIA+)
  • Applicants who are part of disability communities
  • Applicants who are Woman-Identifying

 

Scoring Matrix:

  • Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) Applicants (51% of members of band and/or independent promotion company) who belong to a segment of Austin’s diverse population that has historically been underrepresented in the arts, including Black / African American, Native American, Asian, Hispanic / Latino, Middle Eastern, and Pacific Islander communities – 20 points
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and Asexual people (LGBTQIA+), Woman-Identifying, and/or Disability Community Applicants (51% of members of band and/or independent promotion company)  – Up to 15 Points
  • Preservation – Activities that Enrich the Past of Underserved Communities  – Up to 15 points   
  • Innovation – Activities that Envision the Future of Underserved Communities – Up to 15 points 
  • Elevation & Collaboration – Activities that Empower the Present of Underserved Communities – Up to 20 points
  • Event Budget Template – Show how the requested award amount will cover the needed expenses for a successful event – 10 points
  • Marketing Plan for Audience Development & Cultural Tourism – How are you reaching new audiences, conference attendees, and potential visitors? – 10 points
Required Documentation

Applications will not be processed without proper documentation spanning two years. Any type of documentation that demonstrates active participation as a Professional Musician and/or Independent Promoter is acceptable. Points are not associated with this application requirement, but at least two years of documentation is required to confirm eligibility: 

  • “Professional Musician” evidencing at least one of the following: 2 years of documentation showing applicant has regularly performed solo; or, as part of a band in live performances to public audiences; or, evidence of 6 released recordings (link), or evidence of 6 promotionally released music videos.  
  • “Independent Promoter” evidencing all of the following: No more than 3 staff; and, at least 2 years documentation showing that applicant has curated and promoted live shows featuring musicians and bands; and, must not be contractually tied to one venue.
  • Acceptable Documentation to confirm eligibility as a "Professional Musician" and an "Independent Promoter" include:
    • Current resume or curriculum vitae (CV)    
    • Current biography    
    • Screenshot or PDF of LinkedIn work history    
    • Press demonstrating involvement within the music sector
    • Portfolio (web links, screenshots, printouts, scans, etc)
    • Marketing materials of performances, exhibitions, showings, productions, collections, or recitals.
    • Materials showing merchandise created and sold, including screenshots of websites that exhibit or sell the Applicant's products
    • Credits or liner notes
    • Purchased advertising to Austin residents
    • Contracts for performances, exhibitions, showings, commissions, recitals, productions, or production services
    • Letter from employer or manager stating role and involvement in the music sector
    • Website screenshot of events or concert schedule with locations

 

Innovation:

  • Such supporting documents as screenshots of accessible webpages and online payment systems; social media platforms; equitable hiring practices; event layout with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance; and, accessibility and outreach to LBGTQIA+ and BIPOC audiences

 

Elevation & Collaboration: 

  • Executed agreements or letters of interest with Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) talent buyers or promoters
  • Executed agreements or letters of interest with emerging BIPOC talent
  • Executed agreements or letters of interest with global and national brands to highlight the contributions of BIPOC Austin talent

 

Event Budget Template:

  • Downloadable Event Budget Template
Glossary of Terms
  • ADA: Americans with Disabilities Act  
  • BIPOC: Black, Indigenous, People of Color 
  • City of Austin Council District: The City of Austin is made up of ten single-member districts. Determine where your address is located on the Council District map and click “I Want to...” then click “Find my Council District”. 
  • Delinquent Status: An Applicant who has failed to comply with or complete all requirements of another Economic Development Department funding program. 
  • Emerging Professional Musician: Emerging talent refers to artists who don't yet fit the definition in the eligibility section of this application for “Professional Musician”, but who are beginning their professional careers. 
  • ETJ: Extraterritorial Jurisdiction, which includes the unincorporated land within 5 miles of Austin’s full purpose city limit not within the city limits or ETJ of another city. Austin’s ETJ currently extends into 4 counties including Travis, Williamson, Hays, and Bastrop. Find where your address is located on the Jurisdictions Map and click “I Want to...” then click “Find my Jurisdiction”. 
  • Independent Promoter (all of the following requirements):  
    • No more than 3 staff
    • And at least 2 years of documentation showing that the applicant has curated and promoted live shows featuring musicians and bands
    • And must not be contractually tied to one venue.
  • LGBTQIA+: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and Asexual people
  • MSA: Austin–Round Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Travis, Williamson, Hays, Bastrop, and Caldwell Counties
  • MSA Eligibility Search: Look up your home address to ensure it’s located in the Austin-Round Rock, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). 
  • Professional Musician (at least one of the following requirements):   
    • At least 2 years of documentation showing that Applicant has regularly performed as a professional musician—solo or as part of a band—in live performances to public audiences
    • Or 6 released recordings (singles)
    • Or 6 promotionally released music videos
  • Woman-Identifying: People who identify as women