COVID-19 NZ Music Recovery Package: NZ Music Venue Infrastructure Fund Is Open

July 8th 2020
The NZ Music Venue Infrastructure Fund is part of a range of music initiatives the Government is supporting due to the impact of COVID-19, to assist the music sector to adapt and revitalise.

NZ Music Venue Infrastructure Fund is to support COVID-19 related health and safety measures for music venues and support the infrastructure costs for original NZ music performance venues across New Zealand.

This Fund will enable music venues to apply for a contribution towards the costs associated with operating live music venue with an environment which is fit for purpose and safe for artists, audiences and staff. Applications will be accepted from businesses that are music venues of less than 1,000 capacity and have a track record of original New Zealand music performances. Applications are encouraged from venues outside of the main centres to support ongoing domestic live touring both nationally and in the regions.

The NZ Music Venue Infrastructure Fund opens on Wednesday 8 July for five weeks until 12 August 2020, or until the Fund is fully distributed (which may be before this date).  Applications will be accepted for grants up to a maximum value of $50,000 per venue and there is no minimum amount.  All applications will be processed within 28 days of the Music Commission receiving them.

Venues will need to provide a plan of the expenditure they wish to undertake with quotes supplied, or proof of expenditure already undertaken in response to COVID-19 (for example, hiring equipment or furniture to operate under Alert Level 2 restrictions or work already undertaken since 23 March 2020).

If a venue is applying for new expenditure with quotes, successful applicants will need to provide the invoice/s for this approved expenditure before payment of the grant. Applicants must agree to be subject to audit if required.


To apply for the NZ Music Venue Infrastructure Fund, venues will need to first get in touch with the Music Commission to briefly discuss their application and receive a password to access the application form – this process is so we can check if venues qualify in advance, before people spend time filling in applications. You can contact the Music Commission either by email to or call the office on 09 3760115. Please read below for more information about qualifying music venues and the list of eligible costs and non-eligible costs.


Qualifying Music Venues

To assess whether or not a place qualifies for the NZ Music Venue Infrastructure Fund, it’s expected that an establishment has an active OneMusic licence and can meet at least three of the following eligibility criteria:

a. It has track record of hosting original, live New Zealand music

b. It has an organisational focus on original, live New Zealand music, with other ancillary services (alcohol, food, merchandise) subsidiary to or dependent upon music activity

c. It possess the amenities and infrastructure of a music venue

d. It occupies an important role within their local community as a hub for live New Zealand music.

Eligibility of other venues who can’t meet three of the above will be considered on a case by case basis if they reach targeted, underserved communities (particularly in the regions and/or for all ages audiences).

Applicants will also need to supply a schedule of all the original live NZ music performances held in the past year, alongside a forecast of music events intended for the coming twelve months (NB. The forecast is the number and regularity of shows, not a confirmed booking schedule).


Eligible and Non-Eligible Costs

The Fund will not cover wages or other general business costs which are addressed through alternative initiatives in the Government’s COVID-19 Economic Response Package.

There are a range of eligible and non-eligible costs for the Fund.

Eligible costs include:

  • Upgrades to staging, backstage and band-room facilities
  • Facility upgrades or supplies for bathrooms
  • Accessibility upgrades
  • Purchase or hireage of equipment and furniture (particularly high contact items i.e. microphones and stands)
  • Additional cleaning costs including more frequent hygiene servicing for bathrooms and cleaning of equipment
  • Sanitiser and relevant supplies
  • Purchase of contactless payment equipment (i.e. Paywave hardware)
  • Upgrade specific contractors (i.e project management to oversee the upgrades)
  • Other expenditure to ensure the safety of technicians, staff and audiences
  • Expenditure since 23 March 2020 towards the above eligible costs.


Non-eligible costs are:

  • Wages, rent or other general business costs which should be addressed through other initiatives in the government’s broader economic response package (such as the wage subsidy, interest free loans, tax relief, and rent relief measures)
  • All staff costs
  • One-off events costs
  • Costs to establish new music venues
  • Contact tracing technology
  • Earthquake strengthening
  • Purchase of stock or alcohol.

Please note, for contact tracing, the NZ Events Sector Voluntary Code recommends using the free NZ COVID Tracer App developed by the Ministry of Health.

Application does not guarantee payment or a full reimbursement of costs.

To apply for the NZ Music Venue Infrastructure Fund contact the Music Commission either by email to or call the office on 09 3760115.

The Fund will close at 5:00pm on Wednesday 12 August or when the Fund is fully distributed, which may be before this date.


The total investment for the NZ Music Venue Infrastructure Fund is $3million and the full list of successful applicants will be published on the Music Commission website.


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