The return of live jazz at The Roosevelt. Live film score covers at Golden Age Cinema. Cabaret performances at the Eternity Playhouse. These are just a few of the nightlife boosts we’ll see in Sydney thanks to City of Sydney’s first round of live music and performance grants.

The City of Sydney has awarded more than $360,000 in funding for live music venues and small businesses to expand their programming and encourage night-time trading.

This first round sees 18 local businesses and live music and performance venues receive matched grants; meaning the City has matched each venue or business dollar-for-dollar towards costs to launch new night-time activities or upgrade their acoustics, staging and equipment.

The second round of the program is open until March 12, with the City matching grants up to a maximum of $30,000.

Projects that will benefit from the matched grant funding include:

  • New staging and audio equipment to allow the return of live jazz and acoustic performances at The Roosevelt in Kings Cross
  • Regular live music and performance nights featuring local artists at The Imperial Hotel in Erskineville
  • Upgrades to the mixing equipment, speakers and PA systems at the Oxford Art Factory in Darlinghurst and The World Bar in Kings Cross
  • upgrades to audio equipment and in-house musical instruments at Hudson Ballroom in the city centre
  • Acoustic upgrades at the Knox Street Bar and Freda’s in Chippendale and Staves Brewery in Glebe
  • A monthly program of music trivia, slam poetry and live music in the foyer of the City Recital Hall in the city centre
  • An after-midnight live music and dining program at Foundry 616 in Ultimo
  • fortnightly ‘paint and sip’ evenings and ‘beanbag and popcorn’ arthouse movie nights at The Tribe creative retail store in Darlinghurst
  • Small-scale cabaret performances between theatre seasons at the Eternity Playhouse in Darlinghurst
  • Fortnightly ‘in conversation’ evenings with local authors at Ariel Bookshop in Darlinghurst
  • New flooring, staging and lighting at the East Sydney Community and Arts Centre in Darlinghurst.

Co-owner of The Roosevelt, Naomi Palmer, said: “Today, The Roosevelt is best known as a cocktail bar – but we want to add to this and bring back some of the glamour and identity of the original venue, and we see live music as being key to this.”

Projects funded in this round will start from April and will be completed over the next 12 months.

Perhaps the most ingenious part about City of Sydney’s live music and performance grants is the fact you don’t have to be a live venue – or even a business that hosts live music from time to time – to apply.

Funding is available for both non-profit and for-profit organisations, and programming of activities by retailers and in non-licensed and other non-traditional premises is encouraged.

You could run a nail salon and have hopes to host jazz music, or an art gallery with the perfect space for acoustic shows, or perhaps you even own a pie shop and want to tie in your passion for EDM (it worked for Pie Face in Newtown a few years back).

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said: “From supporting regular music programs at the Imperial Hotel in Erskineville and Golden Age Cinema & Bar in Surry Hills, to author talks at Ariel Bookshop and arthouse cinema at The Tribe in Foley Street, this new category of grants are designed to support businesses who want to diversify the things they offer after dark.”

The next round of the program is open until March 12. If you’re a small business or venue, or would just like more information, click here.