How Amex Is Pumping $1 Million Back Into Aus Music, And How Artists Can Get A Cut

Times are tougher than ever for the Australian artists, with that microbial douche COVID-19 taking a wrecking ball to the live music economy.

To boot, mass confusion still abounds over the federal government’s $250 million arts rescue package, the recently-released funding criteria for which is, to put it bluntly, a shitfight.

ScoMo & co would do well to take some pointers from the folks at American Express, who are injecting $1 million from their own wallets into the Aussie music biz via their 2020 Music Backers Fund. The funding program been sliced into three easy-to-understand application categories, with artists able to apply for a chunk of cash up to a game-changing $50K.

First up, there’s the Nominate a Mate initiative, which lets you dob in one of your buddies, who’s used music for the powers of good this year,  to be in with a shot for one of 100 $1500 cash prizes.

Then there’s the Studio Week initiative, which allows artists to put their hand up to win one of 50 recording studio sessions to lay down their latest track, as well as go into the running for a $5K grant to promote the release.

Finally, we have the grants themselves, which are open to both artists and music businesses who want to “get back on track, fund innovations or make dream business transformations a reality”. The grant amounts range from $2K to $50K, with applications judged by a panel of industry professionals.

Previous grant recipients include L-Fresh the Lion, Cub Sport, Caiti Baker and Briggs’ Bad Apples Music.

“We recognise that everyone is in different stages of recovery and understand that everyone’s wants and needs vary,” Amex says in a statement. “That’s why we have created a number of ways you can get involved and be supported.”

Applications for the first round of applications close this Sunday, September 13th at 11.59pm AEST, while round two will stay open until 9am AEST on Monday, November 9th.

Successful candidates from round one will be announced on Friday, October 16th. All applicants from round one will also be considered in round two.

If you want to apply for a cut of the loot, head here now.

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