The Live Music Fund was established by City of Austin Ordinance No. 20190919-149 on September 19, 2019. In response, the pilot Live Music Fund Event Program was formed with the Music Commission and community to prioritize the core equity principals of Preservation, Innovation, and Elevation & Collaboration.

Pilot Program Guidelines

The Live Music Fund Event Program pilot will launch its application based on the below guidelines in early 2023. Visit the Live Music Fund Community Engagement Speak Up Austin webpage to learn about this inaugural program's development. Or, contact Kim McCarson at 512-974-7963.

Program Purpose
  • Encourages, promotes, improves, and showcases Austin’s diverse live music industry through supporting 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) that can be marketed to local audiences, visiting and potential tourists, and conventions delegates.
  • Prioritizes Austin’s professional musicians, bands, and independent promoters who produce and promote live and online music events, recording studio production, video production, merchandise distribution, and music broadcasting.
Core Equity Principles

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 equity principals of PIE are incorporated in the Live Music Fund Event Program, the pilot program supported through the Live Music Fund.

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 ($200 / 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 ($200 / hour per artist) 
    • Event / show Creative Workers ($18 / 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
  • 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. 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, Studio, Video
    • Security (if separate from other fees)
    • Stage Crew (if separate from other fees)
  • Employee Salaries Dedicated to Event
  • Distribution Materials & Fees (Vinyl, Digital, Compact Disc, Cassette, Video)
  • Insurance - General Liability
  • Marketing
    • Advertising Paid Placements 
    • Design Fees for Artwork 
    • Project Merchandise 
    • Posters, Banners, Signage 
    • "Street Team" Contractors
  • Miscellaneous Project 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)
  • Studio Production & Rental, excluding Capital Expenditures (see “Ineligible Expenses)
  • Supplies for Project Activities
  • Telephones / Internet
  • Venue / Office Rental
  • Video Production & Rental, excluding Capital Expenditures (see “Ineligible Expenses)

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

Category

Criteria

Available Points

Access to Services

  • Applicant demonstrates greatest level of urgent need and lack of access to health services and financial capacity & support.
  • Applicant and/or project are located in a Qualified Census Tract (QCT).

Up to 30 Points

Preservation

  • Project celebrates or showcases diverse Cultural Heritage and music history
  • Project is presented or produced in the African American Cultural Heritage District

Up to 20 Points

Innovation

  • Project highlights accessible tools and technologies ensuring the project is revenue generating and can be accessed by a wide range of residents and visitors
  • Marketing Plan for New Audience Development & Cultural Tourism for reaching new audiences, conference attendees, and potential visitors

Up to 20 Points

Elevation & Collaboration

  • Applicant demonstrates a critical need for professional and technical assistance
  • Project highlights Emerging Professional Musicians and/or new collaborators and partners 
  • Applicant demonstrates partnerships established with global and national brands to highlight the contributions of Austin talent

Up to 20 Points

Event Budget Template

  • Budget demonstrates how the award will cover expenses for a successful project

10 Points 

Required Documentation

Eligibility

Documentation must demonstrate active participation as a Professional Musician and/or Independent Promoter for at least two years. Points are not associated with this application requirement, but documentation is required to confirm eligibility and process an application: 

  • “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 location

Preservation

  • Executed agreements or letters of interest demonstrating the project celebrates or showcases diverse cultural heritage and music history
  • Executed agreements or letters of interest demonstrating the project will be presented and / or produced in the African American Cultural Heritage District

Elevation & Collaboration

  • Executed agreements or letters of interest with emerging Professional Musicians
  • Executed agreements or letters of interest with new partners and collaborators
  • Executed agreements or letters of interest with global and national brands

Event Budget Template

  • Downloadable Event Budget Template
Awardee Contract Commitments

Awarded applicants will enter into service contracts for proposed activities. Applicants must acknowledge and affirm understanding of the following service contract commitments:

  • Musician & Creative Worker Compensation: At least the City of Austin fair pay / Living Wage standard rates of pay
  • Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Training: No-cost options provided by the City of Austin
  • Business Training & Professional Development: No-cost options provided by the City of Austin
  • Project Final Report
Glossary of Terms

African American Cultural Heritage District: Boundaries include,

  • (1) West Boundary: I-35 East frontage road
  • (2) East Boundary: Airport Blvd.
  • (3) North Boundary: Manor Rd.
  • (4) South Boundary: Beginning on East 11th St., then South on Chalmers Ave., then East on East 7th St., then North on Chicon St., then East on Rosewood Ave., then merge into Oak Springs Dr. until connection with the East Boundary (Airport Blvd)

City of Austin Council District: The City of Austin is made up of ten single-member districts. To determine where address is located, go to https://www.austintexas.gov/GIS/CouncilDistrictMap/ and click “I Want to...” then click “Find my Council District”.

Cultural Heritage: An expression of the ways of living developed by a community and passed on from generation to generation, including customs, practices, places, objects, artistic expressions and values, that produces representations of the value systems, beliefs, traditions, and lifestyles of that particular culture. It inspires community pride and awareness of local historic resources, emboldening a sense of identity and responsibility to society at large.

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.

Extraterritorial Jurisdiction (ETJ): 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. To learn where the address is located, go to https://www.austintexas.gov/GIS/JurisdictionsWebMap/ 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 documentation showing that Applicant has curated and promoted live shows featuring musicians and bands, and
  • Must not be contractually tied to one venue

Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA): Austin–Round Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Travis, Williamson, Hays, Bastrop, and Caldwell Counties.

MSA Eligibility Search: Look up the home address to ensure it’s located in the Austin-Round Rock, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) via the following look up tool: https://geomap.ffiec.gov/FFIECGeocMap/GeocodeMap1.aspx

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.

Qualified Census Tract (QCT):  A qualified census tract is a geographic area defined by the Census Bureau in which 50% of households have an income less than 60% of the Area Median Gross Income.