Free money for music industry as Australia Council pledges $6.8 million funding

Written by Poppy Reid on 9th May, 2018
Free money for music industry as Australia Council pledges $6.8 million funding

Amy Shark, Gang of Youths and independent label body AIR are among 163 acts and 59 arts organisations to share in $6.8 million in funding for Australia Council’s latest core grants round.

Gold Coast indie-pop artist Amy Shark received $46k to get to the US and Canada to play a series of summer festivals and headline shows, and attend radio conferences.

Watch the video for Amy Shark’s ‘I Said Hi’ below:



Gang of Youths received $50k to play international festivals and headline shows.

Darwin-based record label Skinnyfish Music (Gurrumul, Saltwater Band, B2M) received $50k to go towards this year’s Barunga Festival in June.

Mark Grose and Michael Hohnen of Skinnyfish Music
Mark Grose and Michael Hohnen of Skinnyfish Music

Meanwhile AIR, which represents Australian-owned record labels and local independent artists, received $10k to go towards this year’s Indie Con conference in July.

The funding is part of Australia Council’s latest grant rounds, which includes its regular project categories and the Contemporary Music Touring Program.

The Contemporary Music Touring Program “supports national touring activity undertaken by Australian musicians performing original contemporary music.”

It follows the distribution of $6.4 million in funding in January, when acts like Stella Donnelly, Middle Kids, Jen Cloher and Country Arts WA shared in the investment.

The Council’s core grants program continues to attract new applicants, with 29% of applications this round coming from people applying for the first time.

Australia Council received a total of 1,336 applications for this round, which were assessed by a panel of over 20 expert peers from across the country. The peers for this round included SLAM co-founder Helen Marcou, artist Kris Keogh, MusicNSW’s Emily Collins and producer Anna Laverty.

The music recipients include:



  • Amy Shark $46k to get to the United States, and Canada to play a series of summer festivals and headline show and attend radio conferences

  • RVG $34k to undertake an extensive European and UK tour

  • Caiti Baker $18k to attend Great Escape and undertake UK promotional activity

  • Gang of Youths $50k to play significant international festival and headline shows

  • Kite String Tangle $19k for a major UK & European tour

  • City Calm Down  $24k for their imminent UK European tour

  • Leah Flanagan picks up $25k to record a new album

  • David Leha aka Radical Son receives $50k to create a new touring show with 5 Indigenous male singers

  • Tiwi Islands seven piece B2M pick up $39k to create a new touring show incorporating dance, multimedia & comedy

  • Having won the Toyota Starmaker and multiple WA Country music awards, singer Karen Wolski receives $19k to record a new album

  • Paul Mac picks up $15k to create a new musical theatre work

  • Lucie Thorne gets $20k to record a new album

  • Joel Ma aka Joelistics receives $19k for “The Hanafuda Extension” a collaboration led by Aaron Chouli with a series of Japanese artists that will result in a new album

  • Bashka get $19k to market their latest release which will be a combination of new compositions and arrangements of traditional Turkish music

  • Jazz bassist Ross McHenry picked up $21k to record a new album in New York with Eric Harland and Matthew Sheens

  • Singer songwriter Heath Cullen receives $20k to a record a new album in LA with Grammy award winning producer Joe Henry and drummer Jim Keltner

  • The LDD are a new group consisting of internationally based Australian electronic music producers, Dan Whitford (Cut Copy), Mike Gamwell (Knightlife) and Mirko Vogelto who will receive $14k to record a new album for release on Cutters Records worldwide in late 2018/2019

  • Johannes Luebbers receives $14k for a new recording for the Johannes Luebbers Dectet and filming of a performance

  • Laura Jean will receive $10k to create two music videos for tracks from her forthcoming album

  • Gold Coast artist Stacie Peterson aka “Old Sault” receives $18k to record a debut album with producer Govinda Doyle

  • WA jazz singer Elizabeth Hoyt will receive $10k to record an album of 12 new compositions by Australian women composers

  • Maaike Lebbing picks up $22k to relocate from Perth to Los Angeles to undertake a 12 month mentorship program with a range of producers including Hudson Mohawke, MNDR and Lauren Christie

  • MESS aka the Melbourne Electronic Sound Studio receive $75k to support the operation of their fully functioning sound workshop housing one of the most unique and historically significant publicly accessible collections of electronic instruments in the world.

  • Skinnyfish Music receive $50k towards presentation of 2018 Barunga Festival

  • AIR receive $10k towards this year’s Indie Con conference

  • Jessie Lloyd receives $15k to tour her Mission Songs project feat Emma Donovan, Deline Briscoe and Jessica Hitchcock, to NT and NSW in August

  • Brisbane’s Ethnic and Multicultural Arts Centre receive $15k to tour three artists from refugee backgrounds, being Tenzin Choegyal (from Tibet), Kween G (from Uganda) and Yasmin Ibrahim Mohamed (from South Sudan) to Qld and NSW

  • The 15 piece Sirens Big Band receive $14k to tour NSW & Victoria presenting Ellen Kirkwood’s 60min suite “[A]part” with special guests Andrea Keller, Gian Slater and Sandy Evans and support from the Young Women’s Jazz Orchestra (244218)

  • Karl Williams receives $14k to tour NSW, Tas, Vic, Qld, WA

  • Jackie Marshall receives $12k to tour VIC, ACT, NSW & Qld

  • Perch Creek will support their new album with a 17 date tour of WA, SA, VIC, ACT, NSW & QLD

  • Adam Eckersley and Brooke McClymot receive $15k for a 23 date tour across WA, SA, NSW & QLD


Applications for the next grants round close on Tuesday 2 October 2018.

The article was originally published on The Industry Observer

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