American Express will channel $1 million in funds into the Australian Music Industry via the launch of the Music Backers Fund.
The American Express Music Backers Fund is an extension of the already launched Music Backers Program.
The fund can be accessed from two categories:
• Grant – Open for music businesses and artists to apply for grants between $2,000 to $50,000. The three grant categories range from: assistance designed to help a career or business get back on track, funding a new idea or income stream, through to supporting growth and bigger innovation projects that have a positive impact on the music-loving community. Applications are open until 9:00am, Monday 9 November (AEDT).
• Nominate a Mate – Open for the public to nominate a mate who has been doing something great for music. If selected, their mate will receive $1,500. The person nominating will also go into the draw to win a $250 voucher*. Applications are open until 11:59pm, Sunday 13 September (AEST).
Judges for the Back Fund are industry luminaries:
Roger Field, CEO, Live Nation Australasia
George Ash, President, Universal Music ANZ
Kathy McCabe, National Music Writer, News Corp
Emily Nichol, Content Producer, Music Journalist & Spotify Curator
Tim Worton, Group Director, ASM Global
Nick Yates, General Manager, Unified Music Group
Naysla Edwards, American Express, Vice President of Brand and Experiences ANZ
Nina Las Vegas, Artist, Manager, Producer, Label co-Founder/Director
Clive Miller, CEO, Support Act
“When the lockdown led to shutdowns and closures, those within the music industry were some of the first to feel the harsh impacts of the pandemic and are likely to be among the last to fully recover too, financially and mentally,“ said music industry spokesperson and Support Act CEO, Clive Miller.
“Seeing a 883 per cent increase in music workers accessing crisis relief and a 52 per cent increase in those accessing the Wellbeing Helpline since the outbreak really cements the fact that an ongoing range of support is needed for those working within the industry,” Miller added.
American Express Music Backers Fund judge and Live Nation CEO, Roger Field said: “The Australian music industry has never been in greater need of support. The way the sector has rallied together during these challenging times has been encouraging to see, with many changing the way they do business in order to service and entertain their communities. Programs like the American Express Music Backers Fund are crucial to ensure we help the industry make it through recovery and out the other side.”
American Express Vice President of Brand and Experiences, Naysla Edwards said: “We started Music Backers out of an awareness that the industry needed backing to survive. Today, that’s truer than ever. Following on from the $1 million we invested in year one, the new Music Backers Fund will support a variety of initiatives that contribute to the music sector to help keep the music playing across Australia.”.
First Nominate a Mate winners already announced are:
Due to the spare time Nic found himself with at the start of the pandemic, he began producing a twice-weekly interview show, ‘Isolation Hour’, on Instagram to elevate as many musicians as he could to support them in a time of crisis. The ‘Isolation Hour’ ran interviews with more than 70 acts in the space of six weeks. In addition, he took the time to re-launch the blog Project U’s podcast, with the aim of elevating the voices of independent Australian artists in the same conversation as the big and established ones.
Rhiannon saw the impact of COVID-19 as an opportunity to create a new era of music through an online live streaming festival, Isolaid. As live gigs, festivals and tours were being cancelled around the world, the music industry was feeling the devastating effects of the pandemic. With the help of Emily Ulman and Shannen Egan, Isolaid soon became an opportunity for artists to connect with fans whilst in isolation.
Throughout the period of isolation, Mitch has been using his Instagram account to do a daily TAMBO TALK to motivate and connect with his fans directly. The TAMBO TALK content speaks to a range of topics from mental health to staying inspired during these challenging times.
Cody Munro Morre and Jordanne Chant
Jordanne and Cody of Dinosaur City Records run regular shows to help promote the artists they work with, however due to COVID-19 no longer allowing this to be possible, as a way to support their extended roster and friends, they concepted a “COVID Compilation”, ‘Stay Inside: Songs from the Great Indoors’. A great range of artists featured, and all proceeds were sent directly back to the artists, who had suffered great financial loss as a result of these trying times.
Applications are now open. To get involved and to learn more, visit: www.amex.com.au/MusicBackers.
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