Please note: Some of the content on this page was published prior to the launch of Creative Australia and references the Australia Council. Read more.

Playing Australia Project Investment

Supporting performing arts tours to reach regional and remote communities across Australia.

Alphabetical Sydney: All Aboard!. Image credit: Robert Catto.

About the program

Playing Australia Project Investment supports performing arts tours to reach regional and remote communities across Australia.

The program supports net touring costs and other designated costs associated with tours. There is no limit on the amount that can be requested.

You can find a list of the previous recipients here.

Changes to Playing Australia Project Investment

Please note there have been changes introduced which may alter your approach to applying for Playing Australia Project Investment.

These changes give you the opportunity to:

  • present a proposed tour with an unconfirmed itinerary
  • propose an alternative touring model such as a residency model with live performance outcomes
  • present a tour that includes significant and targeted community engagement
  • present an annual touring program for single or multiple works
  • propose a digital tour.

Please read our updated FAQs at the bottom of this page before commencing your application.

Please speak to a member of the Artists Services team before applying.

Who can apply

Individuals and organisations may apply.

Who can’t apply

You can’t apply for a grant if:

  • you have an overdue grant report
  • you are in receipt of Playing Australia Multi-Year Investment
  • you owe money to Creative Australia.

What you can apply for

You can apply for:

  • a reasonable portion of costs associated with remounting or rehearsing a work
  • inter-state touring costs including freight, transport, accommodation and travel allowances
  • a contribution towards tour coordination at $550 per venue
  • a reasonable portion of costs associated with reducing the environmental impact of your tour
  • a reasonable portion of costs associated with supporting the wellbeing of the touring company.

What you can’t apply for

You can’t apply for:

  • Any touring costs within the production’s home state including freight, transport, accommodation, and travel allowances
  • touring projects that do not include three or more interstate locations
  • tours for which the performers and artistic personnel are not paid at award rates
  • tours of an international production
  • tours that only include capital city or metropolitan presentations
  • tours that only include presentations in schools
  • tours that have already taken place
  • tours that show a budget surplus
  • activities engaging with First Nations content, artists and communities that do not adhere to the Creative Australia First Nations Cultural and Intellectual Property Protocols.

Your application must comply with the following protocols. We may contact you to request further information during the assessment process, or if successful, as a condition of your funding.

  • Protocols for using First Nations Cultural and Intellectual Property in the Arts. All applications involving First Nations artists, communities or subject matter must adhere to these Protocols, providing evidence of this in their application and support material. More information on the First Nations Protocols is available here.
  • Commonwealth Child Safe Framework. All successful applicants are required to comply with all Australian law relating to employing or engaging people who work or volunteer with children, including working with children checks and mandatory reporting. Successful organisations who provide services directly to children, or whose funded activities involve contact with children, will additionally be required to implement the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations.

Your application will be assessed by a panel of peers. The peers will be representative of a range of areas relevant to performing arts touring, including:

  • regional audience engagement and presentation
  • performing arts production
  • tour coordination and management.

Peers will primarily refer to the information supplied in applications and support material to make their assessment. They may also consider their own engagement with the work, relevant professional experience, and advice from Creative Australia staff.

Read more about how your application is assessed.

Peers will assess your application against the following four criteria:


Peers will assess the extent to which regional/remote audiences and communities and activities are supported. They may consider:

  • The regional and remote coverage or depth of engagement proposed by the itinerary considering any extenuating disruptions to the usual operating environment (e.g. effects of natural disasters or significant impacts due to inflation)
  • Where your itinerary is unconfirmed, you should provide evidence of your relationships and conversations with proposed presenting partners and communities to support the regional coverage of your proposed tour.


Peers will assess the quality of the artistic, cultural or service activities and practice; of an artistic vision and presentation activities.

  • The quality of the artists and the arts workers involved in the project.
  • The quality of proposed work.
  • The quality of proposed impact for local artists or communities where touring models, such as a residency model with live performance outcomes; or tours where significant and targeted community engagement are proposed.
  • The calibre of the individual or organisation, including demonstrated evidence of good planning, governance and management.


Peers will assess the expected engagement with and impact of the proposed activities for audiences and communities. They may consider:

  • Evidence of significant experiences offered to regional and remote communities, including audience attendance and participation, workshops, master classes and online/digital offerings.
  • Evidence of significant community engagement and relationships with presenters, where alternative touring model such as a residency model with live performance outcomes, or tours where significant and targeted community, are proposed.


Peers will assess the viability of the proposed itinerary, activities and budget. They may consider:

  • Evidence the budget is realistic and well-planned and considers potential impact for inflation on touring costs.
  • Evidence of the home state of the proposed work.
  • Evidence that the itinerary is the most efficient and logical trajectory for the tour.
  • Evidence that the tour considers the overall health and well-being of the touring party.
  • Where relevant, evidence of an environmental impact plan which may include cost benefits.
  • Appropriate levels of support from other sources.
  • Capacity to deliver the tour.
  • Contingency planning and mitigation strategies (e.g. cancellations due to natural disaster; significant illness within touring company).


1. Playing Australia Budget

This must be submitted in Excel format only. Download a copy of the Budget Template. Submit the completed form as support material titled ‘Budget form’. Your application will be ineligible if you do not upload a completed budget form.


2. Production excerpt

You may submit a video or sound recording of up to five minutes of the work you plan to tour. For companies proposing to tour works yet to be produced, a video or sound recording of recent work is acceptable. If you are touring a music production, you can provide a sound recording. Files must be provided as a URL link.

3. Letters of support

Individuals, groups or organisations can write letters in support of your project. Presenters and venues may also wish to provide letters of support reflecting their commitment to the tour. A support letter should explain to the assessment panel how the project or activity will benefit the applicant, any communities involved, or the broader community.

If relevant to your activity, letters of support must provide evidence of appropriate permissions and support from First Nations organisations, communities, and Elders. Please refer to the First Nations Protocols for more information. You can include up to five letters of support, submitted as a single PDF, with each letter not exceeding one A4 page.

4. Reviews relating to the production (if applicable)

Maximum 3 pages submitted as one PDF.

5. Brief biographical information on principal personnel (if applicable)

Maximum 3 pages as one PDF.


Playing Australia FAQs

We welcome national touring applications from all forms of professionally produced live performance.

These can include, but are not limited to: theatre, dance, circus, music, musical theatre, and opera performance.

Please contact Artists Services for further information.

Creative Australia also offers the Contemporary Music Touring Program which funds tours to regional and metropolitan locations. Applicants may apply for $5000 – $50,000 of funding depending on the locations of their tour, based on the respective ARIA code rating. Tours funded through the Contemporary Music Touring Program may be limited to metropolitan locations, whereas Playing Australia tours must include regional or remote locations. Please contact Artists Services to discuss your application.

In this category a national tour is three or more locations outside of the home state of the proposed work. The itinerary must include regional or remote locations.

Creative Australia uses the Accessibility Remoteness Index of Australia (ARIA) to determine the regional and remote classification for each town. The ARIA considers a range of factors, including distance to services, to group all locations in Australia into 5 ARIA Code areas. To find out if your project meets the eligible criteria (i.e. inclusion of venues with an ARIA rating of 1-4) and search for the relevant ARIA codes, please download this form.

Yes, you can include metropolitan locations provided you meet the eligibility requirement of including regional and or remote locations in your itinerary. There is no quota or ratio required for regional and remote versus metropolitan locations. However,  the purpose of the program is to support regional and remote touring.

The ‘home state’ of the work is the state in which the work was originally created or produced, or where most of the artists involved are based. Some projects might have performers based in various states or engage a tour coordinator from a different state or territory. For the purposes of this fund the ‘home state’ of the proposed work should be nominated to calculate the interstate versus intrastate costs. Please discuss your proposal with an Artists Services Officer if you are unsure about the appropriate ‘home state’ for your application.

Creative Australia encourages applicants to propose alternative models of regional and remote touring (as a response to recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic).

Itineraries may reflect concepts including residency models with a live performance outcome, or tours that place community engagement and participation as a central part of the development and touring process.

Proposals may include activity where a work is developed or re-staged with local artists or community through a residency process with visiting artists; or hybrid models which enable artistic collaboration across regions. There must be a live performance outcome resulting from the residency or collaboration. You may require additional funding sources to make such a model viable.

Where relevant, tours may include a period of development working with identified local communities prior to the presentation of a touring work.

Community engagement strategies should reflect your process. Supply letters of support from key community members which support this process.

In touring digital presentations, applicants may seek funding for any eligible Playing Australia costs (for example, technicians’ travel and accommodation to bump in/bump out, or freight for equipment). A digital tour may be presented in conjunction with, or independent of, a live performance tour.

Applications reflecting alternative touring models must consider the four assessment criteria: Equity, Quality, Impact, and Viability and respond within the application as appropriate.

Yes, annual programs of touring are eligible. A proposal can identify blocks of touring across the year for the same work or for a suite of works. Your application should reflect a logical itinerary and viable budget, providing clear context for your planning.

Shorter touring blocks are a valid response when considering the mental health and wellbeing of artists engaged on extended tours.

Yes. Tours may engage dual casts or crew to support the overall health and wellbeing of the company undertaking an extended tour; for annual touring programs, and for companies who have specific support needs. Your application should reflect a viable budget to support this approach and provide clear context for your planning.

A professional production is one for which the performers and artistic personnel are paid at the appropriate recognised industry level.

To be eligible for this investment, the work/s needs to be produced by an Australian company or produced by an artist or collective of artists who are Australian citizens or have permanent resident status in Australia. The content of the work, the writer, composer or choreographer are not required to be Australian. An eligible work could also include a percentage of international performers as part of an Australian co-production.

Yes. Your itinerary can include activities that offer additional opportunities for the community to engage with the touring party or work, which reflect the engagement strategy provided in your application. As the focus of this fund is live performance, additional activities should be scheduled in an efficient way within the itinerary.

You can use the investment for any of the following:

  • A reasonable portion of costs associated with remounting a work. In your application and budget please ensure you clearly outline these costs. You should provide a viable budget and convincing rationale for the remount costs, including any impact on presenter fees.
  • Interstate net touring costs. Base these on current prices and add a reasonable contingency to each item.
  • Tour coordination fees, which are set at a fixed rate of $550 per venue.
  • Activities which reduce the environmental impact of the tour. Your application should reflect a viable budget to support this approach and provide clear context for your planning, which may include a cost benefit analysis.
  • Wellbeing programs (for example, employment assistance programs) or other activities which provide support for the touring party whilst on tour.

Yes, you may request costs to support accessibility needs for your tour. These may be for members of the touring party (e.g. costs associated with travel requirements) or for presenters (e.g. Auslan or Audio Description services), If requesting access costs, please provide explanatory notes in the application form as to what you are seeking costs for. Please speak to a member of the Artists Services team if you would like further advice.

  • accommodation, travel fares and transport costs for the touring party
  • relevant industrial award rates for travel allowances for the touring party
  • freight costs for the set and production elements.

The touring party is defined as the performers, crew and other personnel required to deliver the work. In the application outline the members of your touring party.

This fund provides support to cover travel allowances at the rate set by the appropriate industry award plus contingency for scheduled increases. Productions that pay above the award rate or have their own certified agreement will need to find alternative sources to cover the difference.

The tour coordination fees support the cost of managing the tour logistics and travel bookings, providing a contribution towards those costs at a set rate of $550 per venue. The rate is automatically provided in the budget form. Applicants are only eligible to receive the tour coordination fee for venues outside of the home state of the proposed work.

No. You may apply for a proposed tour with an unconfirmed itinerary. If you chose this option, your application will be more competitive if you are able to show an ongoing relationship or active conversation with your proposed presenters, community partners including their intentions to commit to the tour, pending financial support.

Once notified, you will be required to provide a finalised itinerary within 6 weeks, and prior to receiving payment. Itineraries will be reviewed and approved prior to payment. Tours which do not meet published criteria will not be supported.

You may wish to consider whether this approach is best suited to your tour. (If it does not suit, you can provide a confirmed itinerary.)

Against the criterion ‘Equity’, there is the opportunity to discuss the regionality of your proposed itinerary.  This may be evidenced by discussing your proposed presentation partners and your relationship or active conversation with them, within your application.

Proposed tours will still need to have already undergone a high degree of planning to enable you to accurately project budget expenses. No additional investment will be available after approval of your grant.

If your tour is interrupted, for example, due to natural disasters or touring costs being significantly impacted by inflation, please contact us to discuss your circumstances. We will work with clients on a case-by-case basis with regards to any potential support.

Yes, if relevant. If your project has an environmental impact, you should provide evidence of an environmental impact plan which may include cost-benefits. Arts On Tour’s Green Touring Toolkit and Green Music Australia’s Sound Country provide provides detailed information and resources for artists and arts organisations on how to mount a sustainable tour.