The Sounds Australia Export Stimulus Program has been designed to bolster Australia’s music export activity and support the industry as they return to global stages. The targeted support will assist Australian artists, crew and music professionals to realise significant career milestone opportunities, earn much needed income after 18 months of cancelled work, and support Australia’s quest to become a net exporting music nation.
Since May 2021, with the cooperation and support of the Department of Home Affairs, Border Force and the Office for the Arts, Sounds Australia has been established as an authorised organisation, processing Travel Exemptions on behalf of the music industry. This streamlined process is allowing Australian artists and skilled industry workers to take advantage of critical international opportunities as both the United States and United Kingdom open up again to live performances. 36 travel exemptions have been granted to date for 100 people
Executive Producer, Millie Millgate says, “We knew two months into the pandemic that we needed to plan and be able to provide assistance in ways we never had before. Whilst we embraced and continue to present virtual showcasing and online networking opportunities, real tangible and practical export support is essential. We thank the Australian Government and our industry partners for the innate understanding and action they have taken with respect to both the belief in, and creation of, this export stimulus program.”
In order to support a return to critical international activity, Sounds Australia’s lead funding partners – APRA AMCOS, ARIA, PPCA, the Australia Council for the Arts and the Office for the Arts – have agreed to redirect Sounds Australia’s 2020 and forecast 2021 retained surplus toward the SAES Program. Furthermore, the Minister for the Arts, The Hon. Paul Fletcher, has committed additional new funding that brings the combined total of the Export Stimulus Package to $1.2 million, to be distributed over the next 18 months.
The competitive grants will be assessed by an external expert panel and awarded to support increased expenses across six distinct areas. These include:
- Visas (petition application and associated legal fees)
- International Flights, Freight and Carnets
- Pre-Tour Rehearsals (venue, wages, backline)
- Artist Managers to travel with their acts overseas
- Hotel Quarantine
- Insurance and other COVID increased premiums
“APRA AMCOS is proud to have helped foster this partnership between the Australian Government and the Australian music industry. It puts the export of Australian music front and centre of our country’s post-pandemic strategy. Year upon year Australian artists are making a name for themselves across the four corners of the globe. This investment will be key to Australia’s goal to become one of the few net exporters of music, delivering a significant economic and cultural dividend for the nation,” said APRA AMCOS CEO Dean Ormston.
This dedicated export funding assistance not only guarantees Australian artists much needed income, it will kickstart international revenue streams for the wider industry ecology, ensuring Australian managers, labels, publishers, crew and merchandisers start to see an uplift.
“Australia is home to so many globally recognised, loved and influential musicians whose unique ability to generate cultural and economic capital should be wholeheartedly supported at the national level. On behalf of ARIA and PPCA, I want to commend the government for recognising the value of our industry, and for supporting the work and passion of the countless crew members, managers, agents, artists and workers who have dedicated so much of their lives to putting Australia centre stage around the world. ARIA and PPCA are immensely proud to contribute to Sounds Australia and are committed to continuing to underscore the true value of the Australian music industry both on and off our shores.” said Annabelle Herd, CEO ARIA & PPCA
The SAES Program funding is available to Australian citizens or permanent residents that are currently practising music professionals. This includes solo artists, bands, DJs, producers, songwriters, technical crew, management companies, and labels and publishers that are working to export Australian music. The SAES grant will support export activity which includes, but is not limited to, touring/live shows, co-writing, media appearances, tour managing, stage production and business meetings.
Applications for Round 1 open on Monday August 9, 2021 and will close on Friday September 3, 2021, for activity taking place from October 1, 2021 onwards. Successful applicants will be notified by the end of September 2021.
Australia Council CEO Adrian Collette AM said, “The Australia Council is delighted to be able to support this vital initiative to help the Australian music industry return to the international touring market and renew their connections with audiences around the world. Our musicians and industry have always been such tremendous ambassadors for Australian talent and creativity, and I am sure audiences will be thrilled to have the opportunity to see them tour again to international venues and festivals.”