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Eligibility and Priorities

How to apply



Definitions and Glossary



The July 2016 round of Music Works Good Music Neighbours grants is now closed. For information about the next round of grants please keep an eye on our website, or get in touch with our Good Music Neighbours - Indsutry Liaison on

The Victorian Government is committed to supporting Victoria’s world renowned night time economy and to help live music venues and their communities grow and prosper together. The Andrews government has committed to the Good Music Neighbours funding program to invest in the co-habitation of venues and residences in our cities and the peaceful and amicable sharing of our great live music culture.

Settlement trends over recent years are increasing the level of residential development in mixed use areas, particularly in the inner city.  While this creates more efficient and vibrant environments, close proximity between residential and entertainment uses can sometimes cause conflict. 

Managing noise is a costly business, but even small design changes can have dramatic effects to the emission of sound.  The Good Music Neighbours program is part of a ground up approach to support the venues and industry that add so much to our cultural conversation and to provide meaningful support to our iconic live music sector.

The Good Music Neighbours grants help venues be proactive about sound management and offer up to $25,000 per venue in matched funding. 

Aims of Good Music Neighbours  

  1. To support Victoria’s iconic live music sector and to help it thrive and continue to be accessible.
  2. To co-invest in responsible design and management of live music sound in Victorian venues to achieve best practice.
  3. To encourage and diversify the expansion of live music options in the community.

Eligibility and Priorities

Who can apply? 

Live music entertainment venue owners and operators who support best practice management of their live music venues as defined by Victorian Planning Scheme amendment VC120 – Clause 52.43 Live Music and Entertainment Noise HERE.

Priority will be given to venues that:

  • can show a pressing need (for example a series of complaints that can be rectified through design or works)
  • can provide evidence of a commitment to original live music
  • have not previously received support through the Good Music Neighbours program.

What types of sound control requests may be funded?

Grants must be used to pay for expenses for buildings or works for sound proofing / noise attenuation measures to minimise noise emissions from live music entertainment venues.

Sound proofing measures that may be supported by the Good Music Neighbours program include (but are not limited to):

  • installing acoustic insulation in walls, ceiling and floors
  • installing acoustic glazing
  • installing sound absorbing materials such as heavy drapes or carpet
  • installing acoustic or air-lock doors or sealing gaps in doors and windows
  • plans or architectural drawings for the venue for any proposed acoustic attenuation measures
  • obtaining sound proofing advice or engaging a professional acoustic expert or sound proofing service
  • obtaining a professional acoustic assessment and plan
  • capital investment in sound equipment (up to $10,000) where a sound attenuation need can be evidenced
  • capital investment in staging support / room design to reduce sound emission

Applicants will be asked to demonstrate how they support achieving better sound management, or contribute to, reach or maintain the requirements of State Environment Protection Policy (Control Of Music Noise From Public Premises) No. N-2 (SEPP N-2) or any other replacement live music sound emission standard.

Good Music Neighbours funding will not be available for:

  • buildings, works or consultation unrelated to acoustic attenuation or live music venue sound management
  • projects where the venue is not making a cash contribution of at least 50% of the total project budget
  • owners or operators who have already received funding under the Good Music Neighbours program up to $25,000
  • projects where there is insufficient evidence of total costs

If you have any questions please contact the Industry Liaison to discuss.  Contact details can be found below.

Please Note:

  • Creative Victoria will only accept one application per applicant (including under auspice) each funding round.
  • Auspicing bodies may apply on behalf of multiple applicants.
  • State-owned cultural agencies and organisations receiving funding through Creative Victoria's Organisations Investment Program are not eligible (except where acting as an auspice body).

Funding available:

Good Music Neighbours grants offer:

Matched funding for live music entertainment venues for one grant a year up to a total of $25,000 per venue to manage noise within their venues.  Work must commence within twelve months of notification of a successful application.

Levels of support:

  1. up to $5000
  2. $5001 - $15,000
  3. $15,001 - $25,000

Payment will be staggered to the following timelines as per below: 

  1. Up to $5,000 - 100% within 28 days of presentation of invoice
  2. $5,001- $15,000 - 75% at beginning (within 28 days of presentation of invoice) and 25% on completion of works
  3. $15,001 - $25,000 - 50% at beginning (within 28 days of presentation of invoice) and 50% on completion of works 

Note: Demand for Creative Victoria project funding is high and this is an extremely competitive program to enter.  Applicants should not assume they will be successful, or enter into commitments based on that assumption, before receiving formal notification of the outcome of their application.  Nor should applicants assume that if they are successful once they will be successful again in future funding rounds.

All applicants are encouraged to plan for contingencies and consider other funding sources and options should their application be unsuccessful.

Closing date

Applications for funding through the July 2016 round of Music Works Good Music Neighbours are now closed.

How to Apply

Applications are accepted online using the online Creative Victoria Grants Portal.

Applications for funding through the July 2016 round of Music Works Good Music Neighbours grants are now closed.

Making an application

Each application will be competitively assessed against the program aims (see Overview) and the four assessment criteria (see Assessment).

Good Music Neighbours Grants offer funding of up to $25,000 per venue in matched funding.

You will be required to answer each of the following questions in plain English in less than 2000 characters each (including spaces - approximately 250-300 words):

  1. Describe the venue.
  2. How many days/nights does the venue host original live music (e.g. per week/year)?
  3. How many days/nights does the venue host cover music?
  4. What are the primary genres of live music hosted at the venue (choose from list)?
  5. Has the venue been impacted by the proximity of residents or other key stakeholders (or does the venue have any limits on its licence)?
  6. Has the venue had any noise complaints in the last 5 years (Yes/No)?
  7. If yes, approximately how many complaints has the venue received per annum (average)?
  8. What are the nature of the complaints (if applicable)?
  9. How were the complaints responded to (if applicable)?
  10. Has the venue had any noise management work in the last 5 years?
  11. If yes, describe the work.
  12. Does the venue currently have a noise management plan? (see Best Practice Guidelines for Live Music Venues 2016) (Yes/No)? 
  13. If yes, please provide this as supporting material.
  14. Are there any other ways that the venue works with neighbours to manage noise?
  15. Detail how the funds from Good Music Neighbours will be used.
  16. How and why will this help noise management for the venue?  

Application process

Applications for funding must be submitted through the Creative Victoria Grants Portal.

Only applications submitted by the due date each year via the Creative Victoria Grants Portal will be assessed.

All eligible applications will be assessed against the Assessment Framework via a peer review process and recommendations made to the Minister for Creative Industries.

Notification of results will be announced 6-8 weeks after the application submission deadline. First payments of approved grants are made within 28 days upon acceptance of an invoice and when any special conditions of funding are met, if applicable.  All funded works or activities will need to commence within 12 months of notification of acceptance of funding.

Step 1: Check your eligibility

Check the eligibility criteria in these guidelines.  You can find other important information about this grant program and the application process on the Music Victoria website.

Step 2: Assemble any required information 

Gather any relevant information required for your application.

Step 3: Prepare the funding application

Using the Creative Victoria Grants Portal for the Good Music Neighbours program, applicants must prepare a grant application that meets the assessment criteria and supply any required evidence.


Attachments to support your application must be submitted electronically via the Creative Victoria Grants Portal.  This requires applicants to have the documents saved on a computer or storage device.

Step 4: Submit the application

Applications must be submitted through the Creative Victoria Grants Portal by the specified close date.

  • Hand-written applications will not be accepted.
  • Your application will be acknowledged by email.

Application documents and supporting material

Please upload the following support material (document titles should include the name of your venue):

  • Evidence that the venue is a live music entertainment venue, as defined in clause 52.43-2 of the Victoria Planning Provisions.
  • Statement or evidence that the applicant is an owner, authorised representative or operator of a live music entertainment venue.
  • Timeline indicating activities and milestones (where applicable).
  • Quote(s) as per application.
  • The venue’s noise management plan (if available).
  • Extended budget or budget notes (if relevant).
  • The following file types are accepted:
    • Documents – Word (.doc .docx); Excel (.xls .xlsx); PowerPoint (.ppt .pptx); Acrobat (.pdf)
    • Images – .jpg .png .tiff
    • Audio – .mp3 .wma
    • Video –  .mp4 .wma .avi .mov


Assessment Process

Advisory Panels, comprising relevant industry professionals and community representatives, assist with the assessment of applications. The Panels assess and rank each eligible application against the program aims and assessment criteria.

Creative Victoria staff and the Good Music Neighbours (GMN) – Industry Liaison as Chair will attend the Panel meetings. The GMN – Industry Liaison and Creative Victoria staff then bring together all the panel assessments and rankings to develop a final list of projects for recommendation to the Minister for Creative Industries who will make the final approval.

Each eligible application will be competitively assessed against the program aims (see Overview) and the following four weighted assessment criteria:

1. Capacity to complete project. The panel will consider:

  • Appropriateness of proposed activity/works to support sound management
  • Evidence of commitment to start work within 12 months
  • Reliable quote(s)
  • Evidence of project planning
  • Realistic and reasonable budget

2. Demonstrated need. In assessing this criterion, the assessment panel may consider:

  • High impact live music venue (supports and has supported live music)
  • Relevant geographic location as evidenced by high residential area or other evidence of potential noise complaints

3. Commitment to live music. In assessing this criterion, the assessment panel may consider:

  • Reputation as understood by peer assessors
  • Number of days per year of original live music
  • Other evidence of commitment to live music

4. Noise Management planning or evidence of working with your neighbours. In assessing this criterion, the assessment panel may consider:

  • A noise management plan
  • evidence of commitment to creating and implementing a noise management plan
  • Evidence of good neighbourhood management
  • Demonstrated compliance with Music Victoria Best Practice Guidelines for Live Music Venues 2016

Required documentation/eligibility


Please note


The venue must be a live music entertainment venue, as defined in clause 52.43-2 of the Victoria Planning Provisions.

The applicant must be an owner, authorised representative or operator of a live music entertainment venue.

The buildings, works or activity must be for noise attenuation (sound proofing) purposes only.   

For funding requests up to $5,000 

Required: one quote from a suitably qualified service provider or manufacturer for buildings, works or activity intended to be carried out for the subject venue must be supplied.

For funding requests over $5,000 and up to $15,000

Required: two written quotations for buildings, works or activity intended to be carried out for the subject venue must be supplied.

For funding requests over $15,000

Required: written validation from a professional acoustic designer, engineer other acoustic professional or written support of the local council to support the works or costs of products to which the application applies.

All grants - matched funding 

Required: evidence that applicant will cover at least 50% of total costs.  This is a matched funding program and all applications must provide a budget and quote(s) that demonstrate a cash co-contribution equal to, or more than, the amount being requested (e.g. if requesting $15,000, the budget must show at least $15,000 cash coming from the applicant and a quote provided from a suitably qualified provider showing that the total cost of the activities is at least $30,000).

Noise management plan

Desirable: attach any evidence of current noise management plan for applicant’s live music venue. Upload via the portal as supporting evidence.

New businesses 

Businesses which currently have no live music may only apply for funding up to $5,000 for acoustic design or advice.

Permits for capital works 

All funding is contingent upon the venues obtaining all required planning and building permits.  Please seek professional advice regarding your requirements.

The Music Victoria Best Practice Guidelines for Live Music Venues 2016

A resource developed by the industry and government is available to venues to help them manage their venues. Applicants are strongly advised to review these guidelines available HERE


Acquittal Reports 

When your funded activity is completed, you must provide Creative Victoria with an acquittal report within 30 days.

Failure to satisfactorily acquit funding will make you ineligible for future Creative Victoria funding and may result in action to recover the grant.

The acquittal report includes a financial reconciliation.  For grants of $40,000 and over the acquittal report must include an opinion or certification by an independent auditor that verifies the financial reconciliation.

For further information go the Acquittals page of the Creative Victoria website.


Good Music Neighbours Liaison Officer
T: 03 9686 3411

Dean Linguey
Senior Arts Officer, Music
Creative Victoria
T: 03 8683 3133

Definitions & Glossary

For the purpose of these guidelines, the definitions set out in clause 52.43-2 of the Victoria Planning Provisions for ‘live music entertainment venue’ and ‘noise-sensitive residential use’ apply.  These definitions are below:

  • live music entertainment venue means:
    • a food and drink premises, nightclub, function centre or residential hotel that includes live music entertainment 
    • a rehearsal studio
    • any other venue specified in clause 2.0 of the schedule to clause 52.43-2, subject to any specified condition or limitation.
  • noise sensitive residential use means a boarding house, dependent person's unit, dwelling, nursing home, residential aged care facility, residential village or retirement village.

The Good Music Neighbours program defines encroaching noise sensitive residential use as:

A noise sensitive residential use that existed, commenced construction or was approved by way of a building permit or planning permit within 50 metres of a live music entertainment venue after 4 September 2010 and before 4 September 2014.

Refer to the relevant planning scheme for the schedule to clause 52.43 of the Victoria Planning Provisions (planning scheme can be accessed via

Matched funding

‘Matched funding’ requires an equal contribution from the funder and the entity requesting the funding.  The Good Music Neighbours program requires all approved funding to be matched by an equal cash investment.  Evidence of capacity to match funding includes quotes that have no more than 50% requested via grants. 

Sound proofing / noise attenuation

Sound proofing (noise attenuation) can reduce the transmission of unwanted direct sound waves from the source to an involuntary listener through the use of distance and intervening objects in the sound path and make (a room or building) resistant to the passage of sound.

Managing noise

The State Environment Protection Policy (Control Of Music Noise From Public Premises) No. N-2 (SEPP N-2) aims to protect residents from levels of music noise that may affect the beneficial uses of noise sensitive areas, while recognising the community demand for a wide range of musical entertainment.

For further information about SEPP N-2, please visit the EPA Victoria at

Where to go for help:

Music Victoria

Live Music Office

Creative Victoria

Department of Planning

Association of Australian Acoustical Consultants

Australian Acoustical Society

Your local council 

Other helpful links:

Information on The Agent of Change


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