Playing Australia: Regional Performing Arts Touring Fund

Key dates

The next round closing dates are:

  • ­Tuesday 12 October 2021, 3pm AEDT – for projects starting after 1 January 2022.
  • Tuesday 1 March 2022, 3pm AEDT – for project starting 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.

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.

Apply now 

About the program

The Regional Performing Arts Touring program (Playing Australia) supports performing arts to reach regional and remote communities across Australia. Grants are available to support the net touring and other designated costs associated with tours. There is no limit on the amount that can be requested. 

Playing Australia is open to applications for funding with some temporary adjustments to the guidelines, accounting for COVID-19 conditions.

These adjustments take account of:

  • current extenuating circumstances for producers and presenters, allowing for flexibility within tours
  • additional costs which may be required for the safe delivery of tours
  • potential for state border closures and varying conditions between states and regions
  • ongoing financial implications of COVID-19.

Please read the guidelines below, which outline temporary adjustments. Applicants are strongly encouraged to speak to a member of the Artists Services team before applying to this fund.

If you think you will have difficulty submitting your application online, please contact Artists Services at least four weeks before the closing date.

Please read our updated FAQ's before commencing your application.

Read our updated FAQs 


Who can apply

We accept applications from individuals and organisations.

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 you can apply for

Regional touring will be occurring in a very different operating environment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We encourage applicants to consider creative ways in which work can be brought to audiences and communities at this difficult time.

The following adjustments to eligible costs will be in place for the 1 June 2021 and 12 October 2021 closing dates.

You can apply for:

  • inter-state and/or intra-state touring costs, including freight, transport, accommodation and travel allowances
  • a contribution towards tour coordination expenses
  • costs associated with re-mounting a work, to be used to demonstrably reduce the performance fee for a presenter or venue
  • a contribution towards costs associated with COVIDSafe delivery of touring. These may be costs of the presenter or costs of the touring party and may include:
    • additional cleaning or staffing costs within venues
    • touring costs for understudies or additional crew in the touring party
    • costs for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) or other safety equipment.

What you can’t apply for

You can’t apply for:

  • projects for which the performers and artistic personnel are not paid at award rates
  • projects that are to tour an international production
  • touring projects that only include capital city or metropolitan presentations
  • touring projects that only include presentations in schools
  • tour dates that have already taken place
  • projects with a budget in surplus.


Your application must comply with the following Protocols where relevant. We may contact you to request further information during the assessment process, or if successful, as a condition of your funding.

  • Protocols for using First Nations Cultural and Intellectual Property in the Arts
    All applications involving First Nations artists, communities or subject matter must adhere to these Protocols, and provide evidence of this in their application and support material. More information on the First Nations Protocols is available here.

  • Commonwealth Child Safe Framework
    All successful applicants are required to comply with all Australian law relating to employing or engaging people who work or volunteer with children, including working with children checks and mandatory reporting. Successful organisations who provide services directly to children, or whose funded activities involve contact with children, will additionally be required to implement the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations.

Peer assessment

Your application will be assessed by a panel of peers. The peers will be representative of a range of areas relevant to performing arts touring, including:

  • regional audience engagement and presentation
  • performing arts production 
  • tour coordination and management.

Assessment criteria

Peers will assess your application against the following four criteria:


  • The regional and remote coverage proposed by the itinerary taking into account COVID-19 conditions. Shorter tours which target a particular state or region are appropriate in light of current COVID-19 conditions.


  • the artists and the arts workers involved in the project
  • the quality of proposed work
  • the calibre of the individual or organisation, including demonstrated evidence of good planning, governance and management.


  • experiences offered to regional and remote communities – including audience attendance and where appropriate other participation activities, such as workshops and master classes, digital offerings
  • appropriate levels of engagement and partnerships developed with presenters to achieve audience goals within COVID-19 conditions
  • the impact on audiences in the proposed locations considering COVID-19 conditions - how the activity responds to a need or contributes to COVID-19 recovery.


  • evidence of a realistic and well-planned budget
  • evidence of home state of applicant
  • given the limitations of COVID-19, the chosen itinerary is the most efficient and logical trajectory for the tour which take into account the different COVID-19 restrictions in each state and territory
  • the itinerary takes into account the overall well-being of the touring party whilst on the road
  • appropriate level of support from other sources
  • capacity to deliver the project
  • appropriate COVIDSafe protocols in place for touring party, venues and audiences
  • appropriate consideration of mitigation strategies if the touring environment changes due to restrictions for COVID-19 within state or territory jurisdictions.

Support material


1. Playing Australia Budget

This must be submitted in Excel format only. Download the template in the ‘Budget’ section of the application form. Submit the completed form as support material titled ‘Budget form’.


1.  Production excerpt
You may submit a video of up to five minutes of the production you plan to tour. For companies proposing to tour works yet to be produced, a video of a past example of the company’s work should be submitted. For music works, a sound recording is acceptable. Files must be provided as a URL link.

Provide only one video URL link with your online application.

2. Letters of Support

Individuals, groups or organisations can write letters in support of your project. Presenters and venues may also wish to provide letters of support reflecting their commitment to the tour. A support letter should explain to the assessment panel how the project or activity will benefit the applicant or the broader community (and if applicable, how the project or activity will benefit community participants).

If relevant to your activity, letters of support must provide evidence of appropriate permissions and support from First Nations organisations, communities, and Elders. Please refer to the First Nations Protocols for more information.

You can include up to five letters of support, with each letter not exceeding one A4 page. Maximum 5 pages submitted as one PDF.

3. Reviews relating to the production (if applicable)

Maximum 3 pages submitted as one PDF.

4. Brief biographical information on principal personnel (if applicable)

Maximum 3 pages as one PDF.

Whilst this material is not compulsory, you are advised to consider providing any relevant items, to support the overall competitiveness of your application.

Please note you are no longer required to supply Presenter Confirmation Forms as essential support material but should consider supplying letters of support from selected presenters / communities to support your application. 

Apply now 


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

You can find a list of the previous recipients here.

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