COVID hardship money now available for local musicians

It’s been a long and hard road for musicians in the live music capital of the world.

Driving the news: Until January 28, local professional musicians, independent promoters and music industry workers facing hardship due to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic can apply for grants of $2,000.

By the numbers: Last summer, the Austin City Council decided to allocate $4 million of US federal Rescue Plan Act money to support the local music industry.

  • Of that amount, $1.5 million was distributed last year, and this grant program uses an additional $2.3 million from that basket.

What they say : The funds help “ensure workers in this vital industry can meet immediate needs like rent and groceries,” said Veronica Briseño, economic recovery officer for the city of Austin.

Learn more: An overview of the application process, scoring matrix and eligibility requirements can be viewed at

Our thought bubble: Soaring rents, health insurance shortfalls and expensive gig parking were challenges for musicians before the pandemic, but COVID-19 has presented an existential challenge for live music as clubs have been forced to darken or cancel shows – and viewers think twice before enjoying shows in real life.

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