2024 Austin Live Music Fund

Grant Application Now Open Through June 18!


The Austin Live Music Fund encourages, promotes, improves, and showcases Austin’s diverse music industry through supporting a wide array of activities marketed to visiting and potential tourists and convention delegates, including live and online events open to the public; studio, video and merchandise production; promotional tours outside of Austin; broadcasting; and, tourism marketing and promotional campaigns.

The "Live Music Fund" was established by City of Austin Ordinance No. 20190919-149, and pilot guidelines were developed based on direction from the Music Commission to prioritize the core principles of Preservation, Innovation, and Elevation & Collaboration (PIE). In February 2022, Music Commission Recommendation 20220207-3b recommended that Live Music Venues are eligible to apply in 2024.

Apply Now for the Austin Live Music Fund

Application Preview & Assistance


The 2024 Austin Live Music Fund application will be open from Tuesday, May 21, through Tuesday, June 18. The program supports Professional Musicians and Independent Promoters with $15,000 or $30,000 grant awards and Live Music Venues with $30,000 or $60,000 grant awards.

Application Questions - Professional Musicians / Independent Promoters


Narrative – No awarded points; for information purposes only

  • Explain the following:
    • How will the investment of any awarded grant funds improve and grow your business?
    • How will the investment of any awarded grant funds attract tourists and convention delegates to Austin?


Limited Access to Services – Up to 35 Points

  • Is the applicant’s home address located in a Qualified Census Tract?
  • Are other languages other than English spoken in the applicant’s household?
  • How long has the applicant been banking with a traditional bank or credit union?
  • When was a commercial loan, line-of-credit, or other type of commercial lending last secured for the applicant’s business?
  • Were you awarded grant funding from the City of Austin Cultural Arts Division in Fiscal Year 2023, including funding programs Elevate, Nexus, and Thrive?
  • What is the applicant’s healthcare coverage?
  • What percentage of the applicant’s current income is derived from professional music activities?


Local Economic Impact – Up to 30 Points

  • How have the applicant’s past activities supported Austin’s economy, including creatives, tourism, and local businesses?


Programming & Outreach – Up to 20 Points

  • How have the applicant’s past activities expanded audiences and amplified Austin’s diverse arts and culture sector?
  • Tourism Marketing Plan Budget – The budget should include paid and unpaid strategies for how the applicant will market and promote the grant-funded activities to visiting and potential tourists and convention delegates, as well as local audiences.


Accessibility – Up to 30 Points

  • Have the applicant’s past activities provided accessibility features for participating audiences with disabilities? Examples include American Sign Language interpretation, materials in braille, online accessibility tools, architectural features, and nondiscrimination policies.
  • Have the applicant’s past activities provided programming for non-English speaking communities?
  • Have the applicant’s past activities been open to the public and easily accessible?


Previous City of Austin Funding – 15 Points

  • Did the applicant receive grant funding from the 2023 Live Music Fund Event Program?


Grant Award Budget – No awarded points; for information purposes only

  • The budget must show how the grant funds will be used to pay eligible expenses. 
Application Questions - Live Music Venues


Narrative – No awarded points; for information purposes only.

  • Explain the following:
    • How will the investment of any awarded grant funds improve and grow your business?
    • How will the investment of any awarded grant funds attract tourists and convention delegates to Austin?


Limited Access to Services – Up to 20 Points

  • Is the applicant’s Live Music Venue located in the Qualified Census Tract?
  • How long has the applicant been banking with a traditional bank or credit union?
  • When was a commercial loan, line-of-credit, or other type of commercial lending last secured for the applicant?
  • Does the applicant provide healthcare coverage?


Local Economic Impact – Up To 25 Points

  • How have the applicant’s past activities supported Austin’s economy, including creatives, tourism, and local businesses?


Programming & Outreach – Up to 20 Points

  • How have the applicant’s past activities expanded audiences and amplified Austin’s diverse arts and culture sector?
  • Tourism Marketing Plan Budget – The budget should include paid and unpaid strategies for how the applicant will market and promote the grant-funded activities to visiting and potential tourists and convention delegates, as well as local audiences.


Accessibility – Up to 20 Points

  • Have the applicant’s past activities provided accessibility features for participating audiences with disabilities? Examples include American Sign Language interpretation, materials in braille, online accessibility tools, architectural features, and nondiscrimination policies.
  • Have the applicant’s past activities provided programming for non-English speaking audiences?


Previous City of Austin Funding – 10 Points

  • Has the applicant received grant funding from the City of Austin Economic Development Department in the last year?


Grant Award Budget – No awarded points; for information purposes only

  • The budget must show how the grant funds will be used to pay eligible expenses.
Application Documentation - Required Evidence


Applicants must upload evidence for each eligibility requirement, as well as for each selected multiple-choice answer to receive points. Uploads may consist of web links to your evidencewhich can be entered directly into the application formor as multiple document uploads of evidence, including screenshots, scans, and photos of online and physical materials.

Please refer to this webpage if you are using a Mac before you start. Apple files are not supported and cannot be uploaded in this application.  

Acceptable file upload types for all computer operating systems (PC and Mac) include .doc, .docx, .pdf, .jpg, .png, .mp3, .wav, .mov, .mp4, .ppt, .pptx, .xls, and .xlsx 
 

Application Answers – All Applicants

Applicants must provide uploaded documentation to support their scored application answers, including:

  • Evidence of local economic impact, accessibility, and programming outreach, including executed agreements, reservations, receipts, photos, and such marketing placements as a website, e-newsletter, social media, and printed publications.


Eligibility – Professional Musicians & Independent Promoters

To confirm eligibility to process an application, documentation must demonstrate active participation for at least 2 years, including:

  • Professional Musician: Applicant has regularly performed solo or as part of a band in live performances to public audiences for at least 2 years; or, evidence of 6 released recordings, or evidence of 6 promotionally released music videos.
  • Independent Promoter: Applicant has curated and promoted live shows featuring musicians and bands for at least 2 years; must not be contractually tied to one venue; and has no more than 3 employees.
  • 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 for 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  


Eligibility – Live Music Venues

Applicants must provide documentation supporting their eligibility as a Live Music Venue, including:

  • Photos of performance and audience spaces, mixing desk, PA system, lighting rig, and backline
  • Employee documentation for sound engineer, booker, promoter, stage manager, or security personnel, including Forms W-2, W-9, 941, or 1099
  • Evidence of marketing placements, hours of operation coinciding with performances, ticketing, and frequency of live music performances through a website, social media, and print publications
  • Previous year operating budget or profit & loss statement to determine grant award amount (accounting software and applications can easily generate this information)
Frequently Asked Questions


Why can’t I receive grant funding from both the “Live Music Fund” (2024 Austin Live Music Fund) and the “Cultural Arts Fund” (2024 Nexus / Elevate / Thrive) in the same City of Austin fiscal year? The projects would be completely unrelated.

The City of Austin Ordinance No. 20190919-149 establishing the Live Music Fund by Mayor and City Council explicitly states that the Municipal Hotel Occupancy Tax revenue sourcing the Live Music Fund is for eligible local music activities that are not funded through the Cultural Arts Fund.

As a reminder, the City of Austin Fiscal Year runs from October 1st through September 30th of the following year. For example, the City of Austin Fiscal Year 2024 is October 1, 2023, through September 30, 2024.

 

I just applied for the 2024 Nexus grant, which closed on May 14, 2024. Can I accept an award from Nexus then change my mind if I apply for and am awarded from the 2024 Austin Live Music Fund?

If you are awarded a 2024 Nexus grant from the application that just closed, you must accept or decline the award by June 17, 2024, which will be explained in the award notification email that will be sent after the evaluations are complete for all applicants.

If you choose to accept the award, you will not be eligible to accept an award for the 2024 Austin Live Music Fund.

If you forget to accept or decline by the deadline of June 17, you will be automatically opted into accepting the award and will be ineligible for a 2024 Austin Live Music Fund Award.

 

I applied for a 2024 Austin Live Music Fund grant and was awarded. But now I have decided to decline the award to apply for another program about to open (Elevate and/or Thrive). Is this possible?

You may change your selection in your Submittable account if done so by the award acceptance deadline listed in the 2024 Austin Live Music Fund award notification e-mail received through your Submittable account.

 

I forgot to complete the step to accept the grant award by the acceptance deadline in my Submittable account! Can I simply not sign the grant agreement to apply for another grant program about to open?

No. If you forget to accept the award by the deadline, you will be assigned as "awarded” for the grant. The acceptance deadline exists to ensure the City meets the total annual award budget allocated for the funding program. The deadline provides the window of time needed to award the next eligible applicant.

 

I can’t decide what grant I should apply for and accept since I’m eligible for them all—please tell me what to do!

The City of Austin and its partners cannot advise you on what grant application is the best fit or which award you should accept. This is up to you to decide based on the guidelines for each program and your preferences.

 

What if locations, dates, times, and talent are not yet confirmed for the activities I would like to pay for with awarded grant funds?

Unlike the 2023 Live Music Fund Event Program, the 2024 program is not awarding specific future projects. Instead, grant funds may cover any eligible expense if the related activities are being marketed and promoted to visiting and potential tourists and convention delegates. Evidence and outcomes of these promotions will be required as part of your Final Report.

 

How many pieces of documenting evidence am I required to upload to support my eligibility and application answers?

You must provide evidence for each eligibility requirement. For scored points for application questions, you must provide evidence for each selected multiple-choice answer. Evidence may be uploaded to your submittable account as web links or as files. You can paste multiple links directly into the application form, as well as upload documents, screenshots, scans, and photos of online or physical materials.

Please refer to this webpage if you are using a Mac before you start. Apple files are not supported and cannot be uploaded in this application. Acceptable file upload types for all computer operating systems (PC and Mac) include .doc, .docx, .pdf, .jpg, .png, .mp3, .wav, .mov, .mp4, .ppt, .pptx, .xls, and .xlsx

“Professional Musician” or “Independent Promoter” Eligibility: Upload documenting evidence that prove you have been performing or promoting shows for at least two years, including links to or digital images of marketing materials for live shows, music videos & recordings, band & show merchandise, contracts for performances and recordings.

"Live Music Venue" Eligibility: Upload documenting evidence that prove you fit the Live Music Venue definition, including links to or digital images of performance and audience spaces, mixing desk, PA system, lighting rig, and backline; employee documentation for sound engineer, booker, promoter, stage manager, or security personnel, including Forms W-2, W-9, or 1099; marketing placements, hours of operation coinciding with performances, ticketing, and frequency of live music performances through a website, social media, and print publications; and, a previous year operating budget or profit & loss statement to determine grant award amount.

 

Can multiple awardees combine their grant awards to pay for the same promoted activities?

Yes. But payments for specific expenses cannot overlap since City funds cannot pay for the same expense twice. 

 

Studio time, merchandise production, and CD/record distribution are allowed?

Yes. These activities are eligible expenses if the activities are marketed and promoted to visiting and potential tourists and convention delegates to Austin. For example, you could take part of the budget to cover the costs of video edits of recording sessions for boosted digital placements about the coming public-facing end-product in Austin, like a record release show or a heritage festival. Or it could be marketing the resulting record to potential tourists.

Always remember that award funds are sourced from hotel/motel occupancy taxes, which are intended to support cultural experiences that draw visitors to Austin (and stay in hotels). Market and promote your activities like you normally would in order to expand your fan-base—take every opportunity to promote to potential audiences while recording, touring, making music videos, etc. 

 

Is a business plan required?

No. But a Grant Award Budget is required which details how you will spend grant funds on eligible expenses. If awarded, you will be provided detailed working budgets for keeping track of eligible expenses for your activities, including marketing and promotional spends. Some awardees may not be accustomed to creating and budgeting all elements of potential activities like booking live shows, recording a record, etc., which is why this tool will be provided. We want awardees to learn how to advance their projects, from concept to final product. Through this professional development, awardees will learn music industry standards and best practices, which in turn will better prepare them to advocate for themselves as professionals in the industry. Mentorship and ongoing technical assistance will be provided.

 

What does “released” mean in the “Professional Musician” definition?  

Publicly distributed.  We’ll accept evidence of your records or CDs in retail stores, as well as recordings released through Bandcamp, Soundcloud, YouTube, your own webpage, or any other streaming service.

 

To be considered a qualifying “Professional Musician” do I have to have 2 years performing in Austin or anywhere?

Anywhere.  And your qualifying experience doesn’t have to be from the last two years but from anytime.

 

What percentage of band members must live in the MSA?

The lead applicant must reside in the MSA, and at least 51% of the remaining performers in the band must live in the MSA.

 

How soon or how late can eligible activities happen for the 2024 Austin Live Music Fund?

Grant agreements are for up to 24 months from the date the agreement is executed by your signature. However, awarded grant funds may reimburse eligible expenses spent after the grant application closed, which is June 18, 2024. Just remember that all grant funded activities must be promoted to visiting and potential tourists and convention delegates.

 

I have a regular gig in Austin where I invite different musicians to play at each show.  Does this qualify as an eligible activity?

Yes. Regularly scheduled and ongoing events qualify as long as expenses take place after the application closing date (June 18, 2024), events are open to the public, and activities are marketing and promoted to visiting and potential tourists and convention delegates.


2024 Grant Guidelines

Download the Grant Guidelines in English

Download the Grant Guidelines in Spanish

Core Equity Principles


Music Commission Recommendation 20201019-2bii recommended that a Preservation, Innovation and Elevation & Collaboration (P.I.E.) fund be established from the Live Music Fund to create greater equitable economic growth in the music sector. Based on this direction, the core principals of P.I.E. inform the 2024 Austin Live Music Fund, including the grant awardee commitment to participate in free training to create an equity strategic plan as part of the grant award final report.

Cultural Tourism

The Austin Live Music Fund is sourced through Municipal Hotel Occupancy Tax revenues, which must be used for specific allowable uses per State of Texas statute, including promotion of the arts and to “promote tourism and the convention and hotel industry”. Austin Live Music Fund grant funded activities must therefore be marketed and promoted to visiting and potential Austin tourists and convention delegates.

Applicant Eligibility


Professional Musician

  • Definition (must meet at least one of the following items)
    • At least 2 years of documentation showing the 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
  • Requirements (must meet all of the following requirements)
    • Professional musicians who live in the Austin–Round Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) and perform solo or in a band (refer to Glossary of Terms for the definition of “Austin–Round Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area”).
    • Only one application per solo musician / band, and applicant is not eligible to also apply as an Independent Promoter.
    • Musicians may perform in multiple bands receiving awards; however, a lead applicant may only qualify for one application.
    • Unless a promotional tour, public activities must take place in a City of Austin Council District or the Extraterritorial Jurisdiction (ETJ) and include at least 51% of performers who fit the definition of "Professional Musician" and live in the MSA (refer to Glossary of Terms for the definition of “Extraterritorial Jurisdiction”).
    • Activities must be marketed and promoted to visiting and potential tourists and convention delegates.
    • Professional Musicians compensated through grant funds are paid at least the City of Austin musician pay rate outlined in Resolution No. 20230720-123 (refer to Glossary of Terms for the definition of “City of Austin Musician Pay Rate”)
    • Must be at least 18 years old
    • Beginning in Fiscal Year 2025, Professional Musicians and Independent Promoters cannot receive awards in two consecutive City of Austin fiscal years; therefore, if an applicant is awarded in Fiscal Year 2024, they will not be eligible to apply again until Fiscal Year 2026 (refer to Glossary of Terms for the definition of “City of Austin Fiscal Year”)


Independent Promoter

  • Definition (must meet all of the following items)
    • No more than 3 staff
    • And, at least 2 years of documentation showing the applicant has curated and promoted live shows featuring musicians and bands
    • And, must not be contractually tied to one venue
  • Requirements (must meet all of the following requirements)
    • Independent live music promoters who live in the Austin–Round Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) and regularly curate shows for the public (refer to Glossary of Terms for the definition of “Austin–Round Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area”)
    • Only one application per independent promoter, and the applicant is not eligible to also apply as a Professional Musician
    • Unless a promotional tour, public activities 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 City of Austin definition for "Professional Musician" and live in the MSA
    • Activities must be marketed and promoted to visiting and potential tourists and convention delegates
    • Professional Musicians compensated through grant funds are paid at least the City of Austin musician pay rate outlined in Resolution No. 20230720-123 (refer to Glossary of Terms for the definition of “City of Austin Musician Pay Rate”)
    • Must be at least 18 years old
    • Beginning in Fiscal Year 2025, Professional Musicians and Independent Promoters cannot receive awards in two consecutive City of Austin fiscal years; therefore, if an applicant is awarded in Fiscal Year 2024, they will not be eligible to apply again until Fiscal Year 2026 (refer to Glossary of Terms for the definition of “City of Austin Fiscal Year”)


Live Music Venue

  • Definition
    • An establishment where live music programming is the principal function of the business and/or the business is a live music destination, and where the venue establishes the ability of an artist to receive payment for work by percentage of sales, guarantee, or other mutually beneficial formal agreement for every performance. A live music venue is a destination for live music consumers, and/or its music programming is the primary driver of its business as indicated by the presence of at least five (5) of the following:
      • Defined performance and audience space
      • Mixing desk, PA system, and lighting rig
      • Backline
      • At least two of the following:
        • (i) Sound engineer
        • (ii) Booker
        • (iii) Promoter
        • (iv) Stage manager
        • (v) Security personnel
      • e) Charges admission to some music performances through ticketing or front door entrance fees
      • f) Markets acts through show listings in printed and electronic publications
      • g) Hours of operation coincide with performances
      • h) Programs live music at least five nights a week 
  • Requirements (must meet all of the following requirements)
    • Live Music Venue must be located in a City of Austin Council District or the Extraterritorial Jurisdiction (refer to Glossary of Terms for the definition of “Extraterritorial Jurisdiction”)
    • Activities must be marketed and promoted to visiting and potential tourists and convention delegates
    • Professional Musicians compensated through grant funds are paid at least the City of Austin musician pay rate outlined in Resolution No. 20230720-123 (refer to Glossary of Terms for the definition of “City of Austin Musician Pay Rate”)
    • Previous year operating budget or profit & loss statement to determine grant award amount 
    • Only one application per Live Music Venue


Ineligible Applicants

  • Applicants who do not fit the definitions and requirements for “Professional Musician”, “Independent Promoter”, and “Live Music Venue” (refer to Glossary of Terms for definitions)
  • Applicants who have accepted grant funding from the Cultural Arts Fund in the current Fiscal Year 2024 grant funding cycle (refer to Glossary of Terms for the definition of “Cultural Arts Fund”)
  • Applicants who have a “Delinquent Status” with the City of Austin Economic Development Department (refer to Glossary of Terms for definition of “Delinquent Status”)
  • Government agencies or public authorities
  • Full-time City of Austin employees
  • Applicants who are under the age of 18 years old 
Grant Award Amounts


The Fiscal Year 2024 Austin Live Music Fund total grant award budget is $4,500,000, which includes: 


Professional Musicians / Independent Promoters

  • $3,500,000 Grant Award Total Budget
    • $15,000 or $30,000 Grant Awards
      * Beginning in Fiscal Year 2025, Professional Musicians and Independent Promoters cannot receive awards in two consecutive City of Austin fiscal years; therefore, if an applicant is awarded in Fiscal Year 2024, they will not be eligible to apply again until Fiscal Year 2026 (refer to Glossary of Terms for the definition of “City of Austin Fiscal Year”)


Live Music Venues

  • $1,000,000 Grant Award Total Budget
    • $30,000 Grant Awards – Live Music Venues with operating budgets under $100,000
    • $60,000 Grant Awards – Live Music Venues with operating budgets over $100,000


Requirements for all Awardees

  • Grant award payments happen over a grant agreement period of up to 24 months:
    • The first grant award payment is 50% of the total award within 30 days of agreement execution
    • The second grant award payment is 40% of the total award with a completed progress report
    • The final grant award payment is 10% of the total award with a completed final report 
Expense Eligibility


Eligible Expenses 
*51% of expenses must be spent within the City of Austin Council Districts
*Expenses must cover grant funded activities marketed and promoted to visiting and potential tourists and convention delegates

  • Commercial Rent – Live Music Venues
  • Compensation – Contractors
    • Accounting  
    • Marketing & Street Teams
    • Public Events
    • Studio and Video Production
  • Compensation – Employee Salaries
  • Insurance – Live Music Venues
    • General Liability
  • Insurance – Professional Musician & Independent Promoter
    • Event Insurance for Public Events
  • Lodging and Travel for Participating Visiting Artists
  • Performance Fees / Guarantees  
  • Stage, Lighting, and Sound Rental  
  • Studio and Video Production Rental, excluding Capital Expenditures (see “Ineligible Expenses)
  • Supplies
  • Telephone / Internet
  • Tourism Marketing
    • Paid Ads
    • Merchandise Production
    • Posters, Banners, and Signage
  • Venue Rental - Public Events Only
     

Ineligible Expenses

  • Awardee travel costs, including gas, flights, hotels, tolls, parking, and ferries
  • Expenses paid before the application due date
  • Capital costs, including the purchase, construction, and renovation of equipment and property  
  • Food & hospitality  
  • Fundraisers and benefits, including entertainment and receptions  
  • Start-up costs of a new organization  
  • Consultants who are also employees  
  • 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  
  • Taxes other than retail sales and payroll 
Application Scoring


Professional Musicians / Independent Promoters

Category Criteria Available Points
Limited Access to Services
  • Limited access to healthcare and financial lending
  • Languages other than English spoken in the household
  • High level of dependency on music business income
  • Lives in a Qualified Census Tract (QCT)
  • No grant funding from the City of Austin Cultural Arts Division in the last year
Up to 35 Points
Local Economic Impact
  • Hires local musicians and other creatives
  • Hires local creative spaces (refer to Glossary of Terms for definition of “Creative Spaces”)
  • Hires local businesses for operations, i.e. merchandise production, marketing/PR, equipment, storage
Up to 30 Points
Programming & Outreach
  • Programming that expands audiences and amplifies Austin’s diverse arts and culture sectors
  • Tourism Marketing strategies to reach visiting and potential tourists and convention delegates, as well as local audiences
Up to 20 Points
Accessibility
  • Provides accessibility features for audiences with disabilities
  • Programming and features for non-English speaking communities
  • Programming open and accessible to the public
Up to 30 Points
Previous City of Austin Funding
  • No grant funding received through the 2023 Live Music Fund Event Program
15 Points 

 
Live Music Venues 

Category Criteria Available Points
Limited Access to Services
  • Limited access to organizational healthcare and business lending
  • Located in a Qualified Census Tract (QCT)
Up to 20 Points
Local Economic Impact
  • Hires at least 40% local musicians and other creatives year-round
  • Provides subletting opportunities
  • Provides free or low-cost temporary space for other creative organizations
  • Provides internships and apprenticeships
  • Hires local businesses for business operations
Up to 25 Points
Programming & Outreach
  • Programming that expands audiences and amplifies Austin’s diverse arts and culture sectors
  • Tourism Marketing strategies to reach visiting and potential tourists and convention delegates, as well as local audiences
Up to 20 Points
Accessibility
  • Provides accessibility features for audiences with disabilities
  • Programming and features for non-English speaking communities
Up to 20 Points
Previous City of Austin Funding
  • Did not receive City of Austin grant funding in the previous year
10 points 
Grant Awardee Commitments


Applicants must acknowledge and affirm their understanding of the following awardee commitments:
 

  • Professional Musician Compensation
    • As directed in Resolution No. 20230720-123, the pay rate for Live Music Fund performances is no less than $200 per musician for groups of up to six people; $150 per musician for groups between seven and ten people; and, $1500 total for groups of musicians of ten or more
       
  • Promotional Tours Outside of Austin - Cultural Tourism Marketing Requirements
    • The tagline “Austin Live Music Fund Presents” before the musician/band name on all promotional materials
    • Tourism marketing plan targeted to potential Austin tourists and convention delegates
       
  • Public Events  
    • Must be open to everyone
    • Event insurance required
    • As confirmed, add events to the Visit Austin’s Event Calendar with the submission link for City of Austin awardees
       
  • Training  
    • Equity Strategic Planning  
    • Tourism Marketing & Promotion  
      *Online training options provided at no cost
       
  • City of Austin Marketing Statements
    • “Austin Live Music Fund Presents”
    • “Support provided in part by the City of Austin Economic Development Department”
    •  "#AustinLiveMusicFund"
       
  • Outcome and Cultural Tourism Marketing Reporting
    • Progress Report for the second payment  
    • Final Report with a completed Equity Strategic Plan for the final payment
      *Support provided for Cultural Tourism marketing analytics reporting

Glossary of Terms


City of Austin Council District

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

City of Austin Fiscal Year

The City of Austin Fiscal Year runs from October 1st through September 30th of the following year. For example, the City of Austin Fiscal Year 2024 is October 1, 2023, through September 30, 2024.
 

City of Austin Musician Pay Rate

As directed in Resolution No. 20230720-123, the pay rate for musicians for live City of Austin and Live Music Fund music performances is no less than $200 per musician for groups of up to six people; $150 per musician for groups between seven and ten people; and $1500 total for groups of musicians of ten or more.  
 

Creative Spaces

Commercial locations that include both for profit and nonprofit creative businesses including live music venues, recording studios, performance venues/theaters, museums, art galleries, etc.
 

Cultural Arts Fund

City of Austin cultural funding grant fund sourced through Municipal Hotel Occupancy Tax revenues and facilitated by the City of Austin Cultural Arts Division of the Economic Development Department. The Fiscal Year 2024 grant programs funded through the Cultural Arts Fund are "Nexus", "Elevate", and "Thrive".  
 

Delinquent Status

An Applicant who has failed to comply with or complete all requirements of another Economic Development Department funding program.
 

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 the Jurisdiction Web 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 the applicant has curated and promoted live shows featuring musicians and bands
  • And, must not be contractually tied to one venue
     

Live Music Fund

City of Austin cultural funding grant fund established by City of Austin Ordinance No. 20190919-149 and sourced through Municipal Hotel Occupancy Tax revenues. The City of Austin Music & Entertainment Division of the Economic Development Department facilitates the program. The Fiscal Year 2024 grant program funded through the Live Music Fund is "2024 Austin Live Music Fund".
 

Live Music Venue

An establishment where live music programming is the principal function of the business and/or the business is a live music destination, and where the venue establishes the ability of an artist to receive payment for work by percentage of sales, guarantee, or other mutually beneficial formal agreement for every performance. A live music venue is a destination for live music consumers, and/or its music programming is the primary driver of its business as indicated by the presence of at least five (5) of the following:

  • Defined performance and audience space
  • Mixing desk, PA system, and lighting rig
  • Backline
  • At least two of the following:
    • (i) Sound engineer
    • (ii) Booker
    • (iii) Promoter
    • (iv) Stage manager
    • (v) Security personnel
  • e) Charges admission to some music performances through ticketing or front door entrance fees
  • f) Markets acts through show listings in printed and electronic publications
  • g) Hours of operation coincide with performances
  • h) Programs live music at least five nights a week 


Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA)

Austin–Round Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis, and Williamson Counties. Look up the home address to ensure it’s located in the Austin-Round Rock, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) via the Geocoding Mapping System.   
 

Professional Musician (at least one of the following requirements)

  • At least 2 years of documentation showing the 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. 
 

Municipal Hotel Occupancy Taxes

As outlined in State of Texas Statute Chapter 351, municipalities are authorized to charge a tax on individuals staying overnight in hotels or other accommodations, which creates revenue that must be used for one of nine allowable uses, including the promotion of the arts and to “promote tourism and the convention and hotel industry.” 


2023 Live Music Fund Event Program

Download the Live Music Fund Event Program Awardees List (PDF, 165 KB). View a summary dashboard for the 2023 Live Music Fund Event Program applicants and awardees.

Austin Live Music Fund Timeline

2024


April 1, 2024 – Music Commission Meeting

February 5, 2024 – Music Commission Meeting

2023

December 4, 2023 – Music Commission Meeting

August 2023 – 2023 Awardee Announcement

  • Once evaluation and scoring processes are finished by The Long Center for Performing Arts, 2023 Awardees will be announced.
  • 2023 awarded project activities take place from August 2023 through July 2024.

July 18, 2023 – Austin Live Music Venue Summit

May 16, 2023 – Pilot Application Closes

  • 2023 Live Music Fund Event Program application closes and evaluation and scoring processes begin.

April 4, 2023 – Pilot Application Opens

  • 2023 Live Music Fund Event Program opens application to eligible Professional Musicians and Independent Promoters.
  • Contract executed with the Long Center for the Performing Arts to act as the Third-Party Administrator for the cultural funding programs managed by the City of Austin's Economic Development Department.

February 9, 2023 – Request for Council Action

  • Request for Council Action for approving Third Party Administrator contract with The Long Center for Performing Arts
2022

 

September to December 2022 – Evaluation and Negotiation

  • Evaluation and negotiation with the only Request For Qualifications respondent, The Long Center for Performing Arts. 

 

August 1, 2022 – Solicitation No. Request For Qualifications 5500 TVN4006

  • Solicitation published and existing qualified vendors were contacted to apply by August 24th; deadline was extended to August 31 to allow more time for vendor outreach and completed responses. 

 

July 2022 – Request for Qualifications for Third Party Administrator 

  • Purchasing Department commenced the process for the Request For Qualifications to expedite the solicitation process for identifying a qualified Third Party Administrator. 

 

July 11, 2022 – Music Commission Meeting

 

June 21, 2022 – Asian American Quality of Life Advisory Commission

 

May 24, 2022 – Memo to Mayor and Council 

 

May 2, 2022 – Music Commission Meeting

 

April 4, 2022 – Music Commission Meeting

  • Based on Music Commission Recommendation 20220207-3b, Staff incorporated additional uses of funds into updated Live Music Fund Event Program guidelines. The draft included a 24-month contract term for set $20,000 awards to create less contracts to execute and manage, while providing more impactful and targeted support to local musicians and promoters. However, the Music Commission reiterated their preference for 12-month contracts for $5,000–10,000 awards.  
  • Watch the April 4 Music Commission meeting. 

 

February 7, 2022 – Music Commission Meeting

  • Music Commission Recommendation 20220207-3b: Commission recommends "Option 2" to amend guidelines presented on September 13 according to feedback from the Live Music Fund Stakeholder Working Group formed during the November 1 meeting. The recommendation stated:
    • “Includes all eligible uses (live music performance plus music industry production activities which support the music ecosystem) and with Musicians and Independent Promoters as eligible applicants. Includes Live Music Venue Promoter as an eligible applicant in year two of the program. Implements metrics to measure outcomes and to ensure accountability.” 
  • Watch the February 7 Music Commission meeting.  

 

January 2022 – Relief and Recovery Funding Programs 

  • The Economic Development Department’s Music and Entertainment Division launches fiscal year 2022 Austin Music Disaster Relief Grant with additional funds authorized through Resolution No. 20210610-077
2021

 

November 1, 2021 – Music Commission Meeting

 

October 4, 2021 – Music Commission Meeting

  • Discussion from the Third-Party Administrator Working Group about application questions and solicitation recommendations. Commission voted to deliver the recommendations to the Economic Development Department for incorporation into the application and soliciation processes. 
  • Listen to the October 4 Music Commission meeting. 

 

September 13, 2021 – Music Commission Meeting 

  • Presentation on final draft guidelines for the Live Music Fund Event Program, which incorporated community feedback. 
  • Third-Party Administrator Working Group established to “develop guidelines/recommendations around criteria for the third-party for Live Music Fund” 
  • Listen to the September 13 Music Commission meeting. 

 

August 23, 2021 – Hispanic / Latino Quality of Life Resource Advisory Commission Special Called Meeting

 

August 3, 2021 – African American Resource Advisory Commission Regular Meeting

 

August 2, 2021 – Music Commission Meeting

 

July 12, 2021 – Music Commission Meeting

 

June 2021 – Relief and Recovery Funding Programs 

  • Additional funds allocated to Austin Live Music Venue Preservation Fund through Resolution No. 20210610-077 to make payments to additional venues not yet awarded due to lack of funds.
2020

 

December 2020 – Relief and Recovery Funding Programs  

  • The Economic Development Department’s Music and Entertainment Division launches the fiscal year 2021  Austin Live Music Venue Preservation Fund 

 

December 12, 2020 – Building an Equitable Cultural Funding Review: Arts, Heritage, Music - Meeting 2

 

October 19, 2020 – Music Commission Special Called Meeting

 

October 7, 2020 – Building an Equitable Cultural Funding Review: Arts, Heritage, Music - Meeting 1 

 

September 18, 2020 – Music Commission Special Called Meeting 

  • Cultural Funding Review Process: Arts, Heritage, Music presentation – update on process for aligning Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) funded programs within EDD to prioritize equity. 
  • Watch the September 18 Music Commission meeting. 

 

August 2020 – Relief and Recovery Funding Programs

  • The Economic Development Department’s Music and Entertainment Division launches the fiscal year 2020 Austin Music Disaster Relief Fund second round. 
  • The Economic Development Department’s Music and Entertainment Division and Cultural Arts Division launches FY20 Austin Creative Worker Relief Grant. 

 

July 6, 2020 – Music Commission Special Called Meeting

  • Systemic Racism Working Group established to advise on Live Music Fund and relief and recovery programs. 
  • MJR Partners presentation to set expectations and goals, define equity, and draft racial equity focused distribution plans for Live Music Fund. 
  • Watch the July 6 Music Commission meeting. 

 

June 2020 – Relief & Recovery Funding Programs

  • The Economic Development Department’s Music and Entertainment Division launches the fiscal year 2020 Austin Creative Space Disaster Relief Program. 
  • The Economic Development Department’s Music and Entertainment Division launches the fiscal year 2020 Austin Music Disaster Relief Fund. 

 

April 8, 2020 – Music Commission Special Called Meeting

  • Approved Recommendation 20200408-2b, which stated that the Live Music Fund should be considered as a last resort for funding pandemic relief and recovery programs and only if reimbursed (relief and recovery programs were subsequently funded through other sources). 
  • Watch the April 8 Music Commission meeting. 
2019

 

December 16, 2019 – Live Music Fund Community Forum 

  • Gathering of Live Music Fund Working Group, community members, and staff to share priorities for funding and learn the latest information about next steps and ways to be involved in the process. 

 

September 19, 2019 – City Council Action 

  • Live Music Fund Working Group was established. 

 

December 2, 2019 – Music Commission Meeting