Auckland City of Music implements various projects through the course of the year. These projects are designed to support and compliment the actions, goals and objectives of the Auckland Music Strategy, Create Auckland 2030 strategy, UNESCO Sustainable Development Goals, and the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

Music in Venues - Level Up (2024)

We’re pleased to announce that Music in Venues is returning as Music in Venues: Level Up. The project was first run in 2022 as an assistance response to grassroots venues that were shuttered due to the pandemic. 

Level Up consists of micro-grants of $2000 each that are intended to support grassroots music venues and promoters in the upskilling of our music workforce. Funds can be used for:

  • Venues and Promoters working together to mentor & train emerging / new entrant promoters for the purposes of staging an event;
  • Existing promoter communities to mentor & train emerging / new entrant promoters;
  • Venues to facilitate training to upskill staff on sourcing & staging events

2024 applications now closed.

Music in Venues supports UN Sustainable Development Goal #8: Decent Work & Economic Growth

EQ (Equaliser)

EQ is a gender equality programme which speaks to UN Sustainable development Goal #5 (‘Gender Equality’). It provides funding for music videos and ensuing network events. The pilot programme (2021/2022) was developed in association with Women In Film & Television (WIFT) and SAE Media Institute.

This project builds capacity and sustainability across the music and screen sectors, creates employment, opportunities and resilient networks of professionals who can then impart knowledge to similar cohorts of practitioners over the longer term.

What stood out during each presentation at the 2022 event was what an incredibly successful pairing our musicians and directors proved to be. Their genuine stories of collaboration throughout the production process, their acknowledgment of the unique creativity and strengths found in an all-women crew was inspirational.

This project also contributes towards a global gender equality programme. EQ was first mooted as a project at a UNESCO Creative Cities Network annual meeting in Italy by Auckland, Hannover, Adelaide and Norrköping. The concept is that this is an ‘open source’ project, allowing any city to use the EQ branding to initiate gender equality programmes of their own, as determined by their local market conditions. Ultimately, this will create a tapestry of EQ projects around the world which will be highlighted and showcased on a centralised online platform. For more infomation on the global project, go to

Completed EQ-funded videos:
Lost & Found - Lou'ana (Directed by Anna Duckworth)
Where My Asians At? - Reshma (Directed by Jolin Lee)
Wasn't Gonna Last Forever  - Gracie Moller (Directed by Faye McNeill)
True Love - AJA (Directed by Jessica Sanderson)
Little Sadness - Mel Parsons (Directed by Morgan Leary)

The next EQ Networking Hui will take place in 2024. Please check back for details.

Music in Venues (2022)

Music in Venues (2022) was a contestable fund for the provision of music events in and around the region’s grassroots music venues. This is in recognition of the vital role of venues in music eco-system and the pressure that they have been under due to extended restrictions as a resulyt of the Covid pandemic. The objective of the project was to kickstart the welcoming back of audiences and contribute to boosting audience attendance.

We received 86 applications requesting $430,000 in total. Applications were prioritised based on event quality and outcomes for Auckland communities. The panel awarded 24 grants for a total of $117000.

Venues that hosted events from these grants were:

  • All Goods
  • Audio Foundation
  • Big Fan
  • Cupid Bar
  • Four Shells Kava Lounge
  • Ink
  • Little Wilderness
  • Move Space
  • Nice Goblins HQ
  • Ponsonby Social Club
  • Q Loft
  • Stampede Bar & Grill
  • The Hollywood
  • The Tuning Fork
  • Whammy Bar
  • Wine Cellar


Songlines (2021) was a celebration of our musical whakapapa [genealogy]; a lyrical lineage stretching from 1981 to 2021; from Kiwi classics to the next generation of wordsmiths and musicians who carry forward the torch of our city’s rich music heritage.

The project originally conceived as song lyrics embedded or etched into pavements and other public spaces to create a walking trail of music. The pilot for this project was due to instituted in early 2020, before the pandemic put that on pause. However, the concept was kept active, and an opportunity arose in late 2021 to bring life to the project in a wider public spaces context.

Working in partnership with Auckland Council’s urban regeneration agency, Eke Panuku Development and design partners Fresh Concept, ACOM developed temporary activations for the major commercial & community North Shore hub of Takapuna. The town centre is undergoing intensive regeneration which resulted in a public space that required content. 

The resulting activation (4 December 2021 - 12 January 2022) riffs on the original Songlines concept by including decal song lyrics placed on pavements in the area. Each decal carries a QR code that takes audiences to the audio track on Spotify.  The lyrics are also referenced in displays in the town centre which provide the public with further information regarding the artist and song. 

Songlines gave us an opportunity to not only remunerate local writers for the reproduction of their lyrics, but to feature new and emerging talent from the city. Two decals were reserved for the winners of the Play It Strange secondary school songwriting competitions, which enabled ACOM to promote both the songwriters and the work of the charity.

Our relationship with the From the Pit music photography exhibition was also extended with the utilisation of a converted shipping container placed in the town centre that displayed large scale photographic reproductions of Auckland artists and venues.

Young Gig Makers

The Young Gig Makers grant (2021) was an Auckland regional funding scheme delivered by Auckland City of Music. It supported young and aspiring music event organisers and musicians with a micro-grant of cash plus in-kind technical support to present a all-ages music performances in the Auckland region. Each grant was for $500 cash plus in-kind technical support from Auckland Live, the city council’s events arm, valued at $2,500 per grant. The pilot programme was launched in April 2021 and 13 successful grants were awarded.

Auckland City of Music also supports our music ecosystem by way of financial or in-kind support for projects and organisations in the community. As with our proprietry projects, these projects support the aims of the Auckland Music Strategy.

Ecosystem support


  • Aotearoa Music Producer Series
  • Girls Rock! Camp Aotearoa
  • APRA SongHubs  - workshops
  • Aotearoa Sync-Posium
  • Play It Stranger - talk with Mick Fleetwood & Sir Bob Geldof
  • Going Global / Going Local - showcase performances
  • Young At Art - performances


  • From The Pit - music photography workshops & exhibition
  • Chris Cuffaro Greatest Hits - music photography workshops & exhibition
  • Volume South - exhibition


  • Aotearoa Music Photography Award
  • Taite Music Prize


  • Save Our Venues - organisation infrastructure
  • UNESCO UNITWIN Network Science for Sustainability in Oceania


  • MusicHelps Live - fundraising appeal