General questions

What is the Music Works Program?

The Music Works program supports and invests in the development of Victoria’s contemporary music industry at all levels. It supports projects – including new ideas and new approaches – that contribute to Victoria’s position as a world-leading state for contemporary music.

The program is open to Victorian based contemporary music industry professionals from all genres and career stages.

How much funding is available?

This round of Music Works offers funding of between $4,000 to $40,000 for individuals or groups/organisations.

Applications for $20,001 or more must have a minimum 20% of the request in cash co-funding (e.g. generated fees /income and/or applicant cash contribution and/or partnership arrangements such as local government, corporate or philanthropic support.)

While all applicants are encouraged to include access costs within their project budget, those applying under the Deaf and Disabled stream may apply for an additional amount of up to $5,000 on top of the general project costs to cover specific access expenses for Deaf and Disabled participants.

The cash co-funding requirement applies to general project costs only. Access expenses for Deaf and Disabled participants in the Deaf and Disabled stream are not subject to the 20% cash co-funding requirement. For example, an applicant in the Deaf and Disabled stream applying for $20,001 for general project costs and $5,000 for access costs would be required to supply 20% cash co-funding only for the $20,001 general project costs.

If my application is successful, when will the funding period start?

This round supports activities commencing from 1 October 2022 and onwards.

If our application is successful, when will the grant payment be made?

You’ll receive a Common Funding Agreement if your application is successful and you must confirm your acceptance of that agreement.

Your payment schedule and any relevant funding deliverable/milestones will be outlined in the Funding Agreement.

Once the agreement has been executed (i.e. accepted by you and Creative Victoria), you’ve satisfied any conditions and provided us with an invoice, the grant payment will be made.

How will the First Peoples stream be assessed?

Applications from First Peoples or First Peoples-led organisations or businesses will be assessed by a First Peoples panel. This embeds Aboriginal self-determination into the assessment process. Applications from non-First Peoples individuals, businesses or organisations that contain First Peoples content may also be reviewed by a First Peoples panel to ensure best practice cultural protocols are reflected.

How will this program support Deaf and Disabled people in the music industry?

Applications by Victorian Deaf and Disabled music industry professionals or music industry businesses or organisations will be assessed by an assessment panel of music industry peers with lived experience of Deafness and Disability. Applicants to the Deaf and Disabled Stream will have an extended deadline for their applications to 3pm, 7 July 2022.


Who is eligible for the Music Works Program?

The program is open to Victorian based contemporary music industry professionals from all genres and career stages. This includes artists/bands, managers, promoters, labels and other music industry businesses and organisations.

How do you define ‘contemporary music’?

For this program, Victorian contemporary music is defined as music that’s currently being written, recorded and performed by Victorians. Its genres would include (but aren’t limited to) blues, country, electronic/dance, experimental, folk, funk, hip hop, jazz, metal, pop, rock, roots and others.

Victoria’s contemporary music industry is defined as:

  • Victorian musicians creating music now, with a clear intention and strategy to connect with audiences
  • Victorian individuals, organisations and businesses surrounding these musicians which make up the industry in which they operate.

Can I apply to Music Works if I also received funding from the Creative Ventures Program?

Applicants who have received funding from the Creative Ventures Program are not eligible to apply for Music Works for the same project or activity.

Can I apply to Music Works if I also received funding from the Creators Fund Program?

Applicants who have received funding from the Creators Fund Program are not eligible to apply for Music Works for the same project or activity.

If I meet the eligibility criteria, am I guaranteed funding?

No. Demand for Creative Victoria project funding is high, and this will be an extremely competitive program to enter. Applicants shouldn’t assume they’ll be successful or enter commitments based on that assumption before receiving formal notification of the outcome of their funding. Nor should applicants assume that if they’re successful once, that they’ll be successful again in the future.

I have a new business. Can I apply for business start-up costs and business support?

No. This program was not designed to provide business support. Please refer to LaunchVic’s website for information and resources for start-ups.

Can I submit more than one application?

Only one application can be submitted per applicant. Auspicing organisations can submit multiple applications on behalf of others.

I am applying to present a live music event but how can I plan if there is no certainty about what restrictions will be in place?

We acknowledge that the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation is dynamic. We recommend that you refer to the Victorian government’s dedicated website on coronavirus to keep informed of current restriction levels.

Can I apply for funding to support international touring activity?

Please consider viable planning and contingencies for projects involving international travel. You’ll be responsible for your own COVID-19 safety planning and risk management. Information about travel risks can be found on the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs’ Smart Traveller website.

I am in more than one band and/or working on more than one musical project. Can I apply for funding for different projects/activities?

We’ll only accept one application per individual or organisation You can’t act as the primary contact for two separate applications. This applies to both individual and group projects.

Can my activities commence before 1 October 2022?

Creative Victoria will not consider funding for activity or costs incurred prior to 1 October 2022. You should not enter into any arrangements or make any payments on the assumption you will receive support for activity prior to this date.

Is Music Works funding able to cover costs for non-Victorians?

From time to time, Music Works will allow grant budgets to include payment to non-Victorian services when the overall outcome of the project benefits a Victorian artist, industry individual or organisation as per the assessment guidelines.

Application and Assessment

What is an auspice?

If you don’t have an ABN or you are not sure that you will have the ability to manage the paperwork or requirements associated with a Creative Victoria grant, an organisation or business can submit the application on your behalf. If your application is successful, this party will receive the funding and will be responsible for managing the funds and reporting to Creative Victoria on your behalf. An auspice organisation can apply to this program on behalf of multiple people/projects.

Who can auspice my grant?

For this program, any legally constituted organisation may act as an auspice.

In the application, you will be asked to provide details of the auspicing organisation, such as the organisation’s legal name, ABN and contact details.

I received a Creative Victoria grant in 2021, can I apply to this program?

Yes, you can apply to this program. However, it cannot be for the same project/activity.

I’m an artist manager. Can I apply on behalf of one of my artists?

If you’re an artist manager applying on behalf of an artist and you intend to receive the funds and manage the grant for that artist (with the artist’s consent), you must auspice the application. If you’re not legally constituted and therefore not eligible to auspice the application, you must ensure the ABN details provided in the application are the artist’s, not your own.

What should I consider when engaging with First Peoples content in my application?

One of the key guiding principles of Creative State 2025 is First Peoples First. We are committed to the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and the 11 guiding principles of Aboriginal Self-Determination as identified in the Victorian Aboriginal Affairs Framework 2018-23.

Applicants must follow correct protocols when working with First Peoples artists, content and/or communities. Please refer to Australia Council’s Protocols For Using First Nations Cultural And Intellectual Property In The Arts. In particular, the project checklist (pp. 168-172) can be used as a resource to guide considerations when engaging with First Peoples content, creatives/artists and cultural heritage.

For the protection of First Peoples arts practice from misappropriation, moral and copyright infringement, appropriate documentation must be submitted if you propose to work with First Peoples stories/cultural material that is not your own, such as letters of confirmation from the First Peoples you are working with and protocols you will put in place to ensure cultural safety.

Applications from non-First Peoples applicants that contain First Peoples content may also be reviewed by a First Peoples panel. Activity that does not follow or demonstrate correct protocols will not be supported.

I am on a Disability Support Payment plan/NDIS. Will this grant impact my payments?

It may affect the payments that you are receiving. Please check with Centrelink or your contact person at NDIS. You may want to consider being auspiced by an organisation.

Do I need to confirm the 20% cash co-funding requirement at the point of application?

No. The cash co-funding requirement does not need to be fully confirmed at the point of application. You will need to indicate in the application budget section how much of your income is confirmed or unconfirmed.

If your application is successful and before we release payment to you, we may ask for confirmation and updates on your budget, including the status of the co-funding requirement. The cash co-funding may be covered through:

  • the generated fees/income/ticket sales you earn
  • other applicant cash contribution (i.e. your organisation’s own cash investment)
  • grants sourced from other funding bodies (e.g. other government, philanthropic bodies, foundations)
  • corporate or private cash sponsorship.

You should also consider your budget contingency in your application. For example, what is your financial back up plan if you are unable to source the cash co-funding through other grants?

Can the funding be used for access costs?

We strongly encourage applicants to consider inclusive ways of working and ensuring access to all audiences. Funding can be used to cover any access costs that help remove barriers for participants involved in your activity. You can also use the funding to make your activity accessible to a wider audience.

Applicants under the Deaf and Disabled Stream (Stream 2) may also apply for an additional amount of up to $5,000 on top of their general project costs to cover specific access expenses that will help reduce barriers for Deaf and Disabled artists/industry workers involved in the project.

You should provide budget notes about any access costs that are included in your application budget.

Examples of Access costs

This is not an exhaustive list as it is dependent on type of activity and individual:

  • Access consultant - for support in designing an accessible space/event
  • Access/disability support workers
  • Assistive listening devices, audio loops, etc
  • Audio description
  • Auslan interpreters
  • Blind or low vision assistance
  • Braille in labelling, marketing, signage at venue, etc
  • Captioning services (open/closed)
  • Coordinate or develop a support program like Bandmates Victoria – Inclusive Arts Network
  • Disability concession pricing or subsidised ticket prices
  • Disability liaison person – for meeting and/or engaging with Deaf and/or Disabled people to be responsive to their access needs
  • Ergonomic equipment and/or an ergonomic consultant
  • Guide dog access
  • Hiring access aids/equipment
  • Plain English marketing material – short, simple sentences with pictures
  • Setting up a quiet or sensory space or session – to avoid sensory overload or to provide sensory input to meet a sensory need
  • Staff and volunteer training e.g. disability awareness, communication, etc
  • Therapy – incl. counselling, physio, occupational therapy, etc
  • Updating website and booking system to a more accessible user interface.

I want to make my activities/organisation more accessible, but I don’t know where to start?

Access costs vary depending on the project and services required. Please get in touch with an Access Consultant. An Inclusive Practice Guide and a list of organisations in Victoria offering support to Deaf and Disabled people can be found on Arts Access Victoria’s website.

What are the deliverables and reporting obligations for Music Works?

Any relevant funding deliverable/milestone will be outlined in the funding agreement.

You will be required to provide regular updates about your funded activity, including information about the activity budget and activity plan.

At the end of your funded period, you must submit an acquittal which provides information about the outcomes of your funding.

During and after your funded period, you are required to participate in a program evaluation. You may be asked to provide information about your funded activity and any longer-term outcomes that may inform the evaluation of the Music Works program.

Why does it take so long to assess this program?

After the round closes, submitted applications go through an eligibility and due diligence check. External assessors are then allocated applications and given a period to review them.

Recommendations are compiled and provided to the Minister for Creative Industries for final approval. All applicants will be advised on the outcome of their application approximately 12 weeks from the closing date.

How does Creative Victoria support a fair distribution of funds and ensure applicants from a diverse range of backgrounds and genres are supported?

To ensure that our funding is equitably distributed, we need to engage people from diverse backgrounds in our processes, from inception to delivery. We work with industry representatives to make sure that there’s diverse representation on assessment panels for this program. We also reach out to a broad range of organisations to promote the program to encourage applicants from diverse backgrounds, including Deaf and Disabled, women, LGBTIQ+ and those from culturally and linguistically diverse communities.