COVID-19 NZ Music Recovery Fund 2020 Recap

January 18th 2021
As the new year kicks off, we are taking a quick look back with the full list of the COVID-19 related grants distributed by the Music Commission in 2020 through the New Zealand Music Recovery Fund.

We were very grateful for the support of Manatū Taonga who are administering the NZ Music Recovery Fund as part of the Arts and Culture COVID Recovery Programme. The objectives of the NZ Music Recovery Fund are:

·       allowing musicians and music businesses to recoup some of the revenue lost due to COVID-19

·       reinvigorating the live music industry with support for musicians, technical crews and venues across the country

·       supporting the creation of new New Zealand music providing income opportunities for musicians and the recording industry.


The Music Commission is responsible for four strands in the NZ Music Recovery Fund – the Aotearoa Touring Programme, the NZ Music Venue Infrastructure Fund, the Outward Sound Make Good Fund and the NZ Music Month Make Good Fund.


The Aotearoa Touring Programme launched in the last quarter of the year, with the goal of increasing national touring activity by NZ musicians performing original, live NZ music to maximise the local live music industry’s economic recovery from COVID-19, create skill development opportunities in live music performance and touring to strengthen and grow the New Zealand live music industry, support local artists to grow viable and sustainable careers and promote more opportunities for audiences across New Zealand to access original, live New Zealand music. Allocated to the Aotearoa Touring Programme was $5million over two years.


The Aotearoa Touring Programme has supported 51 artists to date. The Programme initially launched with Tier 1 and Tier 2, and two quick rounds were assessed in November and December. For the inaugural round, there were twenty recipients of Tier 1 grants (capped at $10,000 each) and six recipients of Tier 2 grants (capped at $50,000 each). A further twenty Tier 1 grants and five Tier 2 grants were announced in December. You can find the full list of recipients from November round here and the December round here. The next round closes on Wednesday 27 January.


The Aotearoa Touring Programme Tier 3 for significant, large-scale NZ music tours and/or events launched in December 2020 for events that will occur between March and September 2021.


The NZ Music Venue Infrastructure Fund was for music venues with a capacity of under 1,000 for COVID-19 related health and safety measures and to support the infrastructure costs for original NZ music performance venues across New Zealand. This investment provided music venues a contribution towards the costs associated with operating a live music venue with an environment which is fit for purpose and safe for artists, audiences and staff, and assist in ensuring a viable ongoing touring circuit for original NZ music. The Fund was $3million, with grants capped at $50,000 for each venue.


85 venues were offered support through the NZ Music Venue Infrastructure Fund across 26 towns and cities around New Zealand.  


The venues were:

4th Wall Theatre, New Plymouth; ADJØ, Dunedin; Anthology K Road, Auckland; Biddy Mulligans, Hamilton; Blue Smoke, Christchurch; Cassette Nine, Auckland; Common Room, Hastings; Darkroom, Christchurch; Ding Dong Lounge, Auckland; Dive Music Venue, Dunedin; Dog with Two Tails, Dunedin; Dome Bar, Gisborne; Eggsentric Café, Whitianga; Flux, Christchurch; Freida Margolis, Auckland; Galatos, Auckland; Grainstore Gallery, Oamaru; Hide, Christchurch; Hollywood Avondale, Auckland; Ink, Auckland; Jam Factory, Tauranga; Laundry, Wellington; Leigh Sawmill Cafe, Leigh; LOOP, Papanui, Christchurch; Meow, Wellington; Mood, Tauranga; Moon, Wellington; MoveSpace, Auckland; Neck of the Woods, Auckland; Nelson Centre of Musical Arts, Nelson; Nivara Lounge, Hamilton; Paisley Stage, Napier; Parrotdog, Lyall Bay, Wellington; Powerstation, Auckland; Pyramid Club, Wellington; R Bar, Wellington; Raynham Park, Auckland; Red16, Nelson; Roots Bar, Takaka; San Fran, Wellington; Screaming Rooster, Dunedin; Sherwood, Queenstown; Silent Studios, Onehunga, Auckland; Smash Palace, Gisborne; Snails artist run space, Palmerston North; Space Academy, Christchurch; Space Studio & Gallery, Whanganui; Starters Bar, Dunedin; Studio the Venue, Auckland; SUPER, Lyttelton; Sweat Shop Brew Kitchen, Auckland; The Butter Factory, Whangarei; The Cabana, Napier; The Crown Hotel, Dunedin; The Dog's Bollix, Auckland; The Great Hall at The Arts Centre, Christchurch; The Lucky Bar, Whanganui; The Meteor, Hamilton; The Mussel Inn, Golden Bay; The Piano, Christchurch; The Plant, Blenheim; The Playhouse Theatre, Richmond, Tasman; The Ponsonby Social Club, Auckland; The Rogue and Vagabond, Wellington; The Sitting Room Sessions, Haumoana, Hawkes Bay; The Southland Musicians Club, Invercargill; The Stomach (Creative Sounds Society Inc), Palmerston North; The Thirsty Dog, Auckland; The Tuning Fork, Auckland; The Turner Centre, Kerikeri; The Vault, Auckland; The Whiskey, Auckland; The Wine Cellar, Auckland; The Yot Club, Raglan; Totara Street, Mount Maunganui; Tuatara, Invercargill; Valhalla, Wellington; Vogelmorn Hall, Brooklyn, Wellington; Waihi Beach Hotel, Waihi Beach; Water Bar, Wanaka; Whammy! & Whammy Backroom, Auckland; Win-Win, Auckland; Wunderbar, Lyttelton.


The Outward Sound Make Good Fund supported artists who had Outward Sound grants where the artist had incurred costs and losses, and the international activity was cancelled or disrupted due to circumstances related to COVID-19.  All eligible artists were contacted directly by the Outward Sound team and grants were capped at $50,000. The total investment for the Outward Sound Make Good Fund was $400,000.


The seventeen recipients supported through the Outward Sound Make Good Fund were:



Delaney Davidson


Fat Freddy’s Drop

Jonathan Bree


Mama Mihirangi & the Mareikura



Myele Manzanza

Nadia Reid

Purple Pilgrims

Reb Fountain

Tami Neilson

The Beths

Yumi Zouma.


The NZ Music Month Make Good Fund was $1million for events that were booked to take place in NZ Music Month in May 2020 which were cancelled due to COVID-19, although the majority of the Fund was not allocated as there were less eligible applications received than forecast. These grants were also capped at $50,000, and the remaining underspend is being held for potential future initiatives required due to COVID related Alert Level shifts or public gathering restrictions.


The 43 recipients of the NZ Music Month Make Good Fund recipients were:

Adi Dick

Age Pryor

Aly Cook

Anna Coddington

Bailey Wiley

Banished Music

Barnaby Weir

Bridget Dara Walsh

Chris Gee T/A StereoImage

College Hill Productions

ElevenfiftySeven Records Ltd

Fly My Pretties Ltd

Forge Production Services

Grey River Productions Ltd

Hamptone Music Services

Head Like A Hole

Hollie Smith

Iraia Whakamoe

James Coyle

Jarney Murphy

Jenny Mitchell Music

Julia Deans

Laughton Kora

Lauren Barus

Lisa Tomlins

Loop Media NZ Ltd

Mike Fabulous

Moana Ete

Nigel Patterson

Nina Fitzel

OBO of Wotever Events + Pennie Black Artist Services + Green Recordings

Pacific Music Awards Trust



Reb Fountain

Ria Hall

Ryan Prebble

Show Day Productions and Sound

Tate Corp Ltd

The Phoenix Foundation

Theatre Royal Charitable Foundation T/A Isaac Theatre Royal

Tone Deaf Productions Ltd

Twenty Four Touring Ltd.


For more information about the Manatū Taonga Arts and Culture COVID Recovery Programme, please click here.

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