Today, Sounds Australia has opened applications for Round 3 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 two rounds of the SAES package were awarded to a diverse cross section of local music industry made up of artists, producers, songwriters, composers, managers and crew. In Round 1, 31 applicants were awarded AU $408,936.28, whilst in Round 2, 32 Applicants were awarded AU $434,878.35.The full list of recipients can be found at the SAES website.

“The backing received from SAES could not have come at a more crucial time for me. After the impact of Covid, SAES support made getting back to international touring a reality.” – Ruel (Round 2 recipient)

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 former 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 3 is now open, with applications closing on Friday July 8 at 5:00pm AEST. Head to the SAES website to apply, as well as read the guidelines, criteria, and terms and conditions.