Today, Sounds Australia has opened applications for Round 2 of the Sounds Australia Export Stimulus (SAES) program. The funding package was established in 2021 to bolster Australia’s music export activity and support the industry as they return to global stages. The targeted support assists established 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.

The first round of the SAES package was awarded to a diverse cross section of local music industry made up of artists, producers, songwriters, composers, managers and crew. In total, 31 applicants were awarded AU $408,936.28. The full list of recipients can be found here.

“The support from the SAES program has been so impactful for us. This funding has been a huge help in reconnecting us with our beloved US fanbase, especially after the incredibly challenging last couple of years. With this help, we’ll be back on stage, sharing light, love and music with our American friends soon.” – The Avalanches

The competitive grants will be judged by an external panel of highly experienced assessors, with priority given to activity undertaken by established talent re-entering the international music market. Funding will be awarded to support increased expenses across five distinct areas. These include:

  • Visas (petition application and associated legal fees)
  • Freight and Carnets
  • Pre-Tour Rehearsals (venue, wages, backline)
  • Artist Managers to travel with their acts overseas
  • Insurance and other COVID increased premiums
  • COVID compliant consumables

The program was first announced in June 2021 at AIR Indie Con, with the support of Sounds Australia’s lead funding partners. APRA AMCOS, ARIA, PPCA, the Australia Council for the Arts and the Office for the Arts 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, committed additional funding which brought the combined total of the Export Stimulus Package to $1.2 million, to be distributed over the three rounds.

Successful applicants will play a significant role in presenting Australia as an incomparable nation of sought-after artists and skilled music industry professionals, and reignite foreign trade and income for broader Australian music businesses.

Round 2 is now open, with applications closing on Friday February 4 at 11:59pm AEST. Head to the SAES website to apply, as well as read the guidelines, criteria, and terms and conditions.