Amp It Up! fund to support live gigs in Canberra

Direct support will be offered to local live music venues to help them continue to recover from the impacts of COVID-19, to grow opportunities for local musicians and other performance artists to get back on stage, and give Canberrans and visitors even more great live entertainment options throughout 2021.

The ACT Government Amp It Up! fund will assist small to medium sized live music venues to recover by offsetting the costs associated with performance programming and promotion, offering live performance and music lovers an exciting calendar of gigs from June to November 2021.

Minister for the Arts and Minister for Business and Better Regulation Tara Cheyne said the live music and performance industry continued to struggle to return to pre-COVID levels, and the winter months would likely further impact the sector’s confidence.

“Live music and performance venues are an important part of Canberra’s night-time economy and the character of our city, and integral to the development and employment of our talented local artists.

Tara Cheyne MLA

“Unfortunately, due to the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 and the onset of winter, our live music and performance venues are continuing to face financial stress.

“The ACT Government will provide urgent support to live music venues through the Amp It Up! fund to help the industry stay viable, provide new and more opportunities to artists, and keep Canberra’s night-time economy strong.

“Through this fund we hope to see a whole new calendar of live gigs in Canberra during 2021, offering audiences a great opportunity to get along to a live music, comedy or poetry performance and safely enjoy live entertainment again at one of the many amazing venues across the ACT.

“This coincides with venues being able to engage with the Office of the Chief Health Officer to apply for exemptions to increase capacity to 75 per cent,” said Minister Cheyne.

The $750,000 Amp It Up! fund is open to any ACT-based business or organisation that operates a live music venue.

Venues should be able to demonstrate that they regularly host live music or other gig performances, and/or have history of hiring acts, and/or have a dedicated performance and audience space.

Venues can apply for a grant through the Amp It Up! fund to meet 100% of their expected costs between 1 June 2021 and 30 November 2021 for engaging artists and technicians and up to 50% of their marketing and promotion costs.

“MusicACT will assist in the administration of the fund and support local venues in their applications and programming.

“I commend them on their continuing advocacy for the industry,” said Minister Cheyne.

As part of the assessment criteria, at least half of the acts programmed by venues for this fund will need to be local acts, ensuring that we are continuing to provide opportunities and paid employment to local artists.

Applications for the Amp It Up! Fund will open on 3 May 2021.

Industry Information Session

MusicACT and the ACT Government will host an industry information session for venue managers and operators, to assist with any questions about the fund or eligibility.

·        When: 4pm Friday 30 April

·        Where: Sideway, Level 1, 21 East Row (Sydney Building), Canberra

For more information go to

Quotes attributable to David Caffery, President, MusicACT:

“This Fund for gigs at local venues is critical. With the end of JobKeeper and restricted venue capacities, this fund allows people to come together in safe venues to have a great time and sustain the engine rooms of the music industry.

“Music is a wonderful remedy for social isolation – something that still lingers in our city – so we encourage everyone to see a local gig backed by the ACT Government.

“This fund will sustain venues, musicians and technicians to present great music for Canberrans to enjoy.”

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