Create NSW, in collaboration with the Live Music Office, is inviting expressions of interest from councils in regional New South Wales and Western Sydney for funding to stage free ‘Live and Local’ mini-festivals in 2017 and 2018.

The grants will support six local government areas, and range from $5,000 up to $20,000, earmarked to cover musicians’ booking fees and organisational costs. Musicians and music lovers from around the state are invited to encourage their local politicians to get involved.

The NSW State Government has been under scrutiny for its cultural policies ever since the introduction of the lockout laws in the Sydney CBD, but any assistance it provides for live music in regional areas can only be a good thing.

“Create NSW is the Government’s new agency for arts, screen and culture across NSW and is responsible for furthering the Government’s vision for NSW to be known for its bold and exciting arts and culture that engages the community and reflects the state’s rich diversity,” Create NSW CEO Michael Brealey told the BRAG.

“As well as a range of funding initiatives offered through our Arts and Cultural Development Program, support for screen development and production, screen industry development and for small film festivals, we also offer a wealth of advice and information that may make a huge difference to the many diverse arts individuals and groups in the region.

“There are fantastic musicians across NSW and working with the Live Music Office, and we want to offer as many opportunities to showcase the diversity of talent in each region.”

For more information about the Live and Local funding, including how you can get involved on an individual level, email lucy@livemusicoffice.com.au.

This story originally appeared on The Brag.