At the council meeting today, Reykjavík Culture, Sports and Leisure Council approved a proposal to the effect that twelve music venues and cultural houses hosting live music events receive funding from the Reykjavík Music Venue Improvement Fund.
The highest grant goes to the well-established music venue Gaukurinn to set up an external wheelchair lift on the venue’s premises. Tónlistarþróunarmiðstöðin (TÞM) at Grandi receives almost ISK 1.5 million to renovate the music venue Hellurinn which focuses on concerts by bands rehearsing at TÞM and younger bands. Gamla Bíó receive ISK 1.3 million to buy a central sound control system and Mengi ISK 1 million to invest in a sound system. R6013, which is situated in the basement of a private premise on Ingólfsstræti and known as a home to the grassroots scene in Reykjavík, receives ISK 500.000 kr to buy light equipment, a smoke machine, etc. to enhance the visual side of concert events. Stelpur rokka! who run a non-alcoholic venue with an emphasis on concerts for young people receive ISK 420.000 to set up a wheelchair ramp at the entrance of the place and onto the stage. Húrra, which will reopen as a music venue this summer, receive ISK 400.000 for a sound system. Prikið receive ISK 260.000 to renovate and expand their indoor stage.
It is worth noting that four new venues also receive grants from the Improvement Fund. Skuggabaldur is a new jazz venue due to open this summer which receives ISK 635.000 to invest in a sound system. The experimental venue Space Odyssey which opened in March this year receive ISK 350.000 to invest in sound, recording, and streaming devices. Post-húsið at Skeljanes, a music venue run by the artist collective Póst-dreifing, receive ISK 250.000 to buy technical equiment, and finally, Stereo, due to open in July and with a focus on the electronic music scene, receive ISK 220.000 for sound isolation.
The deadline ran out on May 31st and a total of 14 applications were received from 13 music venues and culture houses. The total amount applied for amounted to almost ISK 18 million. An expert group consisting of one representative appointed by the Culture, Sports, and Recreation Council and two representatives appointed by STEF and FÍH reviewed the applications and submitted the proposals for allocation to the Culture, Sports, and Recreation Council, where they were approved.
The Reykjavík Music Venue Improvement Fund was established in 2019 as a two-year initiative. The fund has now been allocated twice, but no formal decision has been made on the future of the project. The grants that are currently being awarded will be used this year and it is expected that the grant holders will make a counter-contribution equal to a quarter of the total cost, but at the same time, the venues may count their own work contribution as a cost. At the end of the year, all grant holders are required to submit a report on the disposition of the grant. Reykjavík Music City congratulates the grantees and wishes them well in the coming months now that it is lightening up again after the pandemic and music is starting to be heard again in the places where it most belongs.
The Music Venue Improvement Fund is managed by Reykjavík Music City. The City of Reykjavík contributes ISK 8 million to the fund, which comes from the amount that is earmarked for cultural grants each year. The copyright association STEF contributes ISK 500,000 to the fund and the Association of Icelandic Musicians, FÍH, contributes ISK 300,000 to the fund. The role of the fund is to support the existence of small and medium-sized music venues in Reykjavík by providing grants for improvements to the venues in terms of facilities, capabilities, and accessibility. This promotes continued facilities for live music performances in the city, which at the same time supports the entire music scene and strengthens cultural life in the city.