Contemporary Music Touring Program

The Contemporary Music Touring Program (CMTP) supports national touring activity undertaken by Australian musicians performing original contemporary music.

The Contemporary Music Touring Program (CMTP) supports national touring activity undertaken by Australian musicians performing original contemporary music.

If you think you will have difficulty submitting your application online, please contact the Artists Services team at least four weeks before the closing date.

The CMTP is open to applications for funding with some fixed-term adjustments to the guidelines to account for COVID-19 conditions.

These adjustments take account of:

  • additional costs that may be required for the safe delivery of tours
  • ongoing financial implications of COVID-19
  • acknowledging that in some circumstances physical tours may include a portion of digital delivery.

Who can apply

Individuals or organisations may apply to tour live music performances within Australia. Touring musicians must be performing original Australian contemporary music. Funding can be provided to performers, managers, agents, and music networks on behalf of professionals working in the Australian music industry. Applications must contain one tour only.

Who can’t apply

You can’t apply for a grant if:

  • you received a grant, or administered a grant, from the Australia Council in the past and that grant has not been satisfactorily acquitted
  • you owe money to the Australia Council.

What can you apply for

Under the Contemporary Music Touring Program, performances of original Australian contemporary music can include a wide range of different musical styles.

The tour must comprise of performances in at least three venues or locations outside of the performer’s hometown. Tours that include regional and remote destinations, or which assist performers residing in regional and remote areas to tour, are a priority for funding.

  • If your itinerary contains only metropolitan performances, you may request up to $15,000.
  • If your itinerary contains at least one regional or remote performance, you may request up to $25,000.
  • If 75% of your itinerary is to remote and/or very remote locations, you may request up to $50,000.
  • Please note: The minimum grant amount you can apply for is $5,000.

The Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia (ARIA) helps determine the regional and remote reach of the tour. To find out if you meet the ARIA rating to qualify for additional funding, begin a grant in the Australia Council’s online system. When you get to the ‘Outline your project’ section, the system will automatically look up the ARIA code once you enter the details of the state, town and postcode of the location you are searching for. To assist in planning your tour, you can download the ARIA Code list from our website to search for the relevant ARIA codes. If you need help with your application, contact an Artists Services Officer now.

Joint tours, where two or more independent performers are undertaking the same tour itinerary, are eligible under this program. These should be submitted as a single application. In such cases, the funding caps still apply.

You may apply for costs associated with the delivery of COVIDSafe touring. These may include costs such as additional cleaning costs within performance locations or for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to ensure the safety of the touring party.

To take account of the changed touring environment during the COVID-19 pandemic we will consider applications which include a portion delivered via digital channels.

We encourage the inclusion of additional activities which extend opportunities for community participation, such as workshops, master classes and all-age performance. This activity must take account of appropriate COVIDSafe protocols.

What can’t you apply for

You can’t apply for the following activity:

  • a tour to fewer than three venues or locations
  • overseas tours
  • tours by non-Australian performers
  • tours which are primarily schools-based (except for applications seeking remote or very remote touring funds where the school is the primary venue in a remote or very remote location)
  • a series of performances at one festival
  • competitions, such as ‘Battle of the Bands’ events
  • attendance at conferences.

Your application must comply with the following Protocols. We may contact you to request further information during the assessment process, or if successful, as a condition of your funding.

  • Protocols for using First Nations Cultural and Intellectual Property in the Arts

All applications involving First Nations artists, communities or subject matter must adhere to these Protocols, and provide evidence of this in their application and support material. More information on the First Nations Protocols is available here.

  • Commonwealth Child Safe Framework

All successful applicants are required to comply with all Australian law relating to employing or engaging people who work or volunteer with children, including working with children checks and mandatory reporting. Successful organisations who provide services directly to children, or whose funded activities involve contact with children, will additionally be required to implement the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations.

Applications to the Contemporary Music Touring Program will be assessed by a panel of peers drawn from the Music sector.

Peers will assess your application against the following three criteria:

The calibre of the artists and arts workers involved and the quality of the music.

In assessing this criterion, the assessment panel may consider:

  • the strength of the artistic support material provided
  • the track record of the key artists involved, including their achievements, as evidenced by their biography and professional profile.

Contributions to development of Australian culture.

In assessing this criterion, the assessment panel may consider:

  • proposed additional community activities included in the tour itinerary, such as workshops, master classes and/or all-age performances
  • any partnerships or collaborations with local personnel or organisations in touring locations
  • benefits provided through tour to people in touring locations (e.g. local emerging artists, audiences).
  • regional extent of the proposed tour, as indicated by the geographical locations of the proposed itinerary.

Realistic budgeting and touring logistics

In assessing this criterion, the assessment panel may consider:

  • how viable and achievable the project is (as evidenced by the budget, itinerary and planning)
  • the quality of the marketing/audience development strategy, including evidence of demand in proposed locations
  • the resources supporting the project (including financial and/or in-kind)
  • the strength of the people, presenters and partners involved (including confirmations)
  • appropriate COVIDSafe protocols in place for artists, venues or locations and audiences.

Additional material can be submitted to help support your application. Peers will review support material to gain an understanding of the quality of your work, and where relevant, the skills and role of other artists or partners involved.

You can submit the following support material with your application:

1. Artistic support material

You can submit up to three URLs (weblinks) to written material, images, video or audio as a recent example of your work. Peers may review up to:

  • 10 pages of written material
  • 10 images
  • 10 mins of video or audio recording.

To find out more about support material, including how to submit late confirmations after the closing date, and advice on how to get examples of your work online, click here.

In some circumstances we will accept support material in another format. Please contact the Artists Services for further advice.

We do not accept support materials submitted via post. Application-related material received by post will not be assessed and will be returned to the sender. If you think you will have difficulty submitting your support material online, please contact Artists Services  at least four weeks before the closing date.

2.  Additional artist information

You can include a brief bio or curriculum vitae summary of any additional artists involved in your project. All bios should be included as a single document and a maximum of two pages in total.

3.  Letters of support

Where appropriate, you can include up to five letters from proposed participants in support of your project. All letters of support should be included as a single document and a maximum of five pages in total.

Additional information

Once you submit your application, we will send you an email acknowledging receipt of your application.

After you submit your application, we first check it meets the eligibility criteria for the grant or opportunity to which you are applying.

Applications to the Australia Council Grant Programs are assessed by arts practice peer panels against the published assessment criteria for the relevant grant program.

We aim to notify you of the outcome of your application no later than 12 weeks after the published closing date for the applicable grant round.

Once all applications have been assessed, you will be contacted about the outcome of your application. If you have been successful, you will also be sent a funding agreement. This outlines the conditions of funding, how you will be paid and your grant reporting requirements. The following pages outline these stages in more detail.

If your application is successful, you will receive an email advising you a grant is offered. You must then agree to the conditions of your grant, which represents the Australia Council’s contract with you – this can be done online, by email or by letter. Payment of a grant will not be made until the grant conditions have been agreed and accepted by all the relevant parties.

You should not start a project that depends on a grant until all relevant parties have agreed and accepted the grant conditions and we have evidence of such acceptance on file.

Standard grant conditions require you to, among other things:

  • seek prior approval for making a change to a funded project (for example, changes in the activity budget; changes to key creative personnel; or changes to start or end dates)
  • respond to requests for information about the project or grant
  • satisfactorily account for how the grant is spent (if you do not you will be required to return all monies for which you cannot satisfactorily account)
  • comply with all applicable laws
  • acknowledge the Australia Council’s support in all promotional material associated with the project; this includes use of the Australia Council’s logo and a standard text of acknowledgement.
  • provide artistic and financial acquittal reports at the end of the project
  • return any unspent grant funds at the completion of your project or on notice from us to return such unspent funds.

Grant agreements must be signed by a legal entity – either a legally constituted organisation or an individual. For unincorporated groups, see the section on administered grants

All individual or organisation grant applicants based in Australia must have an ABN. Individual applicants without an ABN may have their grant administered by an individual or organisation with an ABN. Organisations operating outside of Australia do not need an ABN to apply. Individuals based outside of Australia may not need an ABN to apply, depending on their circumstances (please check with your accountant or tax advisor).

The name of the applicant must match the name of the ABN and the name of the bank account into which we pay the funds. There are no exceptions to this rule. If applicants cannot provide an ABN and bank account that are in the same name as the applicant’s name, they will need to nominate an administrator for their grant.

Groups/ensembles/collectives, unincorporated associations/ unincorporated entities and other bodies with no legal status do not need an administrator if they have an active Australian Business Number (ABN) and bank account in their name. If they are unable to provide an active ABN and bank account that matches the name of the applicant, they must nominate an administrator. The name of the administrator must match the name of the ABN and bank account into which funds are paid if the application is successful.

If we approve your application you will need accept the conditions of the grant in a funding agreement.

After you accept your funding agreement online, we will automatically generate a payment for the grant on your behalf. You do not need to send us an invoice.

We will pay grant funds directly into your nominated bank account within two weeks after acceptance of the funding agreement. Grant payments cannot be postponed.

If you do not wish to have the grant funds paid directly into your bank account you can choose to have your grant administered by another individual or legally constituted organisation (Doesn’t apply to Arts Projects – Organisations).

When you apply, you will be asked to provide an active Australian Business Number or ‘ABN’. The ABN that you provide must correspond to the name of the applicant (or the administering body, if one has been nominated). When you accept your funding agreement, you will be asked to enter the details of the bank account you wish the grant to be paid into. The name associated with that bank account must correspond to the name in which the ABN has been registered.

Download the Australia Council for the Arts logo guidelines here.

Download the Major Festivals Initiative logo guidelines here.

Grant reports are required on completion of your project. Acquitting a grant means accurately reporting on the funded activities and the expenditure of Australia Council funding.

Please read your funding agreement to check details of the grant acquittal material you should provide.

The grant acquittal report is where you tell us:

  • how you spent your grant
  • what the artistic outcomes of your funded activity were.

If you do not provide a satisfactory grant report at the times and in the manner detailed in your funding agreement, the Australia Council will not make any further payments that may be due to you, and you will not be eligible  to apply for further grants.

If you do not provide a satisfactory grant report, the Australia Council may ask you to pay back all or part of the funding provided to you.

Grant reports are used by the Australia Council to fulfil obligations of accountability to the Australian Government. They are also essential to the development work of the Australia Council. The reports help us evaluate the achievements of funded activities, monitor the effectiveness of grant categories and ensure our policy development is consistent with the experience of artists in the field.

Reporting for Multi-year Funded Organisations

Organisations in receipt of multi-year funding are required to submit financial, statistical, and artistic reporting on an annual basis.

All reporting is submitted online via the Australia Council’s arts organisations reporting system.

If you are not sure what reporting you need to submit as part of your annual reporting, or what information to provide, please get in touch with your Australia Council contact.

All recipients must acknowledge that the Australia Council provided funding for their activities. When you acquit your grant, we will ask you how you acknowledged the Australia Council.

For printed or online material use our logo and this phrase:

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body OR The (company name) is assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.

Logos for download and guidelines for the use of our logos.

Where projects do not have a public outcome, or do not produce any printed or online material, you will need to think about how best to acknowledge the Australia Council funding.