Contemporary Music Touring Program

Key dates

The next round closing dates are:

  • Tuesday 7 September 2021 at 3pm AEST, for projects beginning after 1 December 2021
  • Tuesday 1 March 2022 at 3pm AEDT, for projects beginning after 1 June 2022.

The 3pm closing time falls within business hours. This allows Artists Services staff to troubleshoot any issues and generally support applicants as the deadline approaches. This was not possible with our previous, midnight, closing time.

Please note: To apply you must be registered in our application management system a minimum of two business days prior to the closing date. 

Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application approximately 12 weeks after the closing date.

About the program

The Contemporary Music Touring Program (CMTP) supports national touring activity undertaken by Australian musicians performing original contemporary music.

We do not accept applications submitted via post. Applications received by post will not be assessed and will be returned to the sender. If you think you will have difficulty submitting your application online, please contact the Artists Services team.

The CMTP is open to applications for funding with some fixed-term adjustments to the guidelines to account for COVID-19 conditions. 

These adjustments take account of:

  • additional costs that may be required for the safe delivery of tours
  • ongoing financial implications of COVID-19
  • acknowledging that in some circumstances physical tours may include a portion of digital delivery.


Who can apply

Individuals or organisations may apply to tour live music performances within Australia. Touring musicians must be performing original Australian contemporary music. Funding can be provided to performers, managers, agents, and music networks on behalf of professionals working in the Australian music industry. Applications must contain one tour only.  

Who can’t apply

You can’t apply for a grant if:

  • you received a grant, or administered a grant, from the Australia Council in the past and that grant has not been satisfactorily acquitted
  • you owe money to the Australia Council.

What can you apply for

Under the Contemporary Music Touring Program, performances of original Australian contemporary music can include a wide range of different musical styles.

The tour must comprise of performances in at least three venues or locations outside of the performer’s hometown. Tours that include regional and remote destinations, or which assist performers residing in regional and remote areas to tour, are a priority for funding. 

  • If your itinerary contains only metropolitan performances, you may request up to $15,000.
  • If your itinerary contains at least one regional or remote performance, you may request up to $25,000.
  • If 75% of your itinerary is to remote and/or very remote locations, you may request up to $50,000.
  • Please note: The minimum grant amount you can apply for is $5,000.

The Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia (ARIA) helps determine the regional and remote reach of the tour. To find out if you meet the ARIA rating to qualify for additional funding, begin a grant in the Australia Council's online system. When you get to the 'Outline your project' section, the system will automatically look up the ARIA code once you enter the details of the state, town and postcode of the location you are searching for. To assist in planning your tour, you can download the ARIA Code list from our website to search for the relevant ARIA codes. If you need help with your application, contact a Artists Services Officer now.

Joint tours, where two or more independent performers are undertaking the same tour itinerary, are eligible under this program. These should be submitted as a single application. In such cases, the funding caps still apply.

You may apply for costs associated with the delivery of COVIDSafe touring. These may include costs such as additional cleaning costs within performance locations or for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to ensure the safety of the touring party.

To take account of the changed touring environment during the COVID-19 pandemic we will consider applications which include a portion delivered via digital channels.

We encourage the inclusion of additional activities which extend opportunities for community participation, such as workshops, master classes and all-age performance. This activity must take account of appropriate COVIDSafe protocols.

What can't you apply for

You can’t apply for the following activity:

  • a tour to fewer than three venues or locations
  • overseas tours
  • tours by non-Australian performers
  • tours which are primarily schools-based (except for applications seeking remote or very remote touring funds where the school is the primary venue in a remote or very remote location)
  • a series of performances at one festival
  • competitions, such as ‘Battle of the Bands’ events
  • attendance at conferences.

Peer assessment

Applications to the Contemporary Music Touring Program will be assessed by a panel of peers drawn from the Music sector.

Assessment criteria

Peers will assess your application against the following three criteria:

The calibre of the artists and arts workers involved and the quality of the music.

In assessing this criterion, the assessment panel may consider:

  • the strength of the artistic support material provided
  • the track record of the key artists involved, including their achievements, as evidenced by their biography and professional profile.

Contributions to development of Australian culture.

In assessing this criterion, the assessment panel may consider:

  • proposed additional community activities included in the tour itinerary, such as workshops, master classes and/or all-age performances
  • any partnerships or collaborations with local personnel or organisations in touring locations
  • benefits provided through tour to people in touring locations (e.g. local emerging artists, audiences).
  • regional extent of the proposed tour, as indicated by the geographical locations of the proposed itinerary.

Realistic budgeting and touring logistics

In assessing this criterion, the assessment panel may consider:

  • how viable and achievable the project is (as evidenced by the budget, itinerary and planning)
  • the quality of the marketing/audience development strategy, including evidence of demand in proposed locations
  • the resources supporting the project (including financial and/or in-kind)
  • the strength of the people, presenters and partners involved (including confirmations)
  • appropriate COVIDSafe protocols in place for artists, venues or locations and audiences.

Support material

Additional material can be submitted to help support your application. Peers will review support material to gain an understanding of the quality of your work, and where relevant, the skills and role of other artists or partners involved.

You can submit the following support material with your application:

1. Artistic support material

You can submit up to three URLs (weblinks) to written material, images, video or audio as a recent example of your work. Peers may review up to:

  • 10 pages of written material
  • 10 images
  • 10 mins of video or audio recording.

To find out more about support material, including how to submit late confirmations after the closing date, and advice on how to get examples of your work online, click here.

In some circumstances we will accept support material in another format. Please contact the Artists Services team for further advice.

We do not accept support materials submitted via post. Application-related material received by post will not be assessed and will be returned to the sender. If you think you will have difficulty submitting your support material online, please contact the Artists Services team for further advice.

2.  Additional artist information

You can include a brief bio or curriculum vitae summary of any additional artists involved in your project. All bios should be included as a single document and a maximum of two pages in total.

3.  Letters of support

Where appropriate, you can include up to five letters from proposed participants in support of your project. All letters of support should be included as a single document and a maximum of five pages in total.


If you need help with your application, contact an Artists Services officer now.

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