Supporting a more diverse city after dark

Supporting a more diverse city after dark

Local businesses and live music and performance venues seeking to make Sydney more diverse after dark are being supported by a new funding program offering $450,000 in grants.

The City of Sydney’s grants program has been revamped to include new funding for live music venues to make improvements or boost their programming and for businesses across the city to stay open later or increase the diversity of their night-time activities.

The first round of applications is now open, with the City offering up to $30,000 matched funding per recipient.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the City’s funding would support local businesses and encourage big ideas.

“This new grant program provides targeted support to increase the diversity of businesses open in the city at night, and help live music venues make the improvements they need to put on more performances,” the Lord Mayor said.

“We know the lockout laws have had a significant impact on Sydney’s night-time economy, so we are finding practical ways to support local businesses and live music venues.

“We look forward to hearing from businesses across our community with their ideas for creating a more diverse and dynamic city after dark.”

The live music and performance grants will fund capital improvements that enable and improve live music and performance in city venues, improve their sound, or provide safer spaces for performers, audiences and workers.

Improvements could include installing sound baffling materials to manage sound transfer to neighbouring properties or introducing sound equipment or staging support for better internal acoustics.

They could also include projects to increase patron health and safety, such as better lighting in venues or sexual harassment awareness and response training for venue staff.

Applicants will be required to provide evidence of the need for improvements – for example, if a venue seeks support to address issues associated with sound transfer to neighbouring properties, a history of noise complaints or previous acoustic advice will be required.

The night-time grants seek to build on the city’s daytime business activities by supporting increased night-time programming in commercial precincts.

These activities could include cultural and food events, retail promotions or live music programming.

Funding is available to both non-profit and for-profit organisations, and programming in non-licenced and non-traditional premises is encouraged.

The program offers matched grants, which means recipients must match the City’s funding with their own cash contribution.

Isabella Manfredi, lead singer of award-winning Sydney band The Preatures, said: “One of the truly beautiful things about a city is its subcultures. It’s great to see the City of Sydney supporting nightlife in Sydney, and with it the many artistic and musical subcultures that make a city kick serious butt.”

Emily Collins, managing director of industry association MusicNSW, said: “It’s great to see the City of Sydney providing some serious financial support to Sydney’s music venues, artists and cultural leaders. This funding directly supports those who want to do new and exciting things in Sydney after dark, and we can’t wait to see the exciting projects and developments that will come as a result of this program.”

The first round of applications is open until 13 November. An information session for businesses interested in applying will be held from 5.30pm to 7pm on Wednesday 27 September at Customs House, 31 Alfred Street, Sydney.

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For media inquiries or images, contact Media Team Leader Keeley Irvin. Phone 0448 005 718 or email

For interviews with Lord Mayor Clover Moore, phone 02 8974 4165 or email