American Express launches $1M music relief fund

Subscribe to Forte Magazine


American Express launches $1M music relief fund

Matt Bourke and the Delusional Drunks captured by Patrick Callow.

The new Music Backers Fund will support a variety of initiatives that contribute to the music sector to help keep the music playing across Australia

American Express has today launched its 2020 Music Backers Fund, a million-dollar initiative that intends to reinvigorate the Aussie music sector which was derailed by the global health pandemic, and its necessary restrictions and bans on gatherings.

The industry has been hit hard; to the same time last year, 84 per cent of those in the music and supporting industries have seen a decrease in their annual income.

Despite the harsh challenges five out of six (83 per cent) are more determined than ever to succeed. American Express recognises the various challenges currently faced by music businesses and artists in doing so, and has designed the Music Backers Fund with multiple initiatives to support them.

With more rolling out over the coming months, today marks the start of two in particular.

The first is a number of grants between $2,000 and $50,000. Open for music businesses and artists, the grants are divided into three categories: helping careers or businesses to get back on track, funding new ideas or income streams, and supporting innovation projects that have a positive impact on the music-loving community. These applications are open until 9am on Monday 9 November (AEDT).

The second is an initiative where the public is able to ‘Nominate A Mate’ working in the industry who they feel deserves a grant. Successful nominees will receive $1,500, while those nominating their mates will go in the draw to win a $250 voucher. Applications are open until 11:59pm, Sunday 13 September (AEST).

To coincide with applications opening, Amex announced the first four winners of ‘Nominate A Mate’ grants today. The recipients are singer-songwriter Mitch Tambo, Isol-Aid co-founder Rhiannon Atkinson-Howatt, podcast host Nic Kelly and Cody Munro Morre and Jordanne Chant of Dinosaur City Records who have been recognised for their ongoing commitment to the sector, tirelessly giving back and innovating to help keep the industry alive.

“We started Music Backers out of an awareness that the industry needed backing to survive,” says American Express Vice President of Brand and Experiences, Naysla Edwards.

“Today, that’s truer than ever. Following on from the $1 million we invested in year one, the new Music Backers Fund will support a variety of initiatives that contribute to the music sector to help keep the music playing across Australia.”

Applications are now open. To get involved and to learn more, visit