Sydney’s live music scene is currently weathering one of the most catastrophic storms in its history. Since the lockout laws ere introduced to the NSW Parliament on January 31, 2014, thousands have become unemployed, venues have closed their doors and the city’s culture has been threatened. City of Sydney hopes to change that.

Today the local government authority introduces a new funding program for music venues, offering $450,000 in grants.

Revamping the current live music and performance grants program, the new initiative offers funding for live music venues to make improvements like sound baffling or sound equipment, offer safer spaces, or boost their programming.

The grants are also for businesses across the city to stay open later or increase the diversity of their night-time activities like cultural and food events, retail promotions or live music programming.

The first round of applications is now open, with the City offering up to $30,000 matched funding per recipient – meaning, recipients must match the City’s funding with their own cash contribution.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said:

“We know the lockout laws have had a significant impact on Sydney’s night-time economy, so we are finding practical ways to support local businesses and live music venues.

“We look forward to hearing from businesses across our community with their ideas for creating a more diverse and dynamic city after dark.”

Isabella Manfredi of The Preatures, said:

“One of the truly beautiful things about a city is its subcultures. It’s great to see the City of Sydney supporting nightlife in Sydney, and with it the many artistic and musical subcultures that make a city kick serious butt.”

Emily Collins, managing director of industry association MusicNSW, said:

“It’s great to see the City of Sydney providing some serious financial support to Sydney’s music venues, artists and cultural leaders. This funding directly supports those who want to do new and exciting things in Sydney after dark, and we can’t wait to see the exciting projects and developments that will come as a result of this program.”

The first round of applications is open until 13 November. An information session for businesses interested in applying will be held from 5.30pm to 7pm on Wednesday 27 September at Customs House, 31 Alfred Street, Sydney.