Festivals NT Funding Guidelines

Festivals and events not only deliver a strong cultural identify for a region, but have the potential to deliver broader economic and social benefits for the community and the Territory.  

Northern Territory Major Events Company (NTMEC) was initially established in 1998 to deliver the inaugural V8 Supercars event at Hidden Valley.

Since that time, NTMEC recognised the opportunity to harness broader national and international visitation growth opportunities through the creation of new sustainable events and the development of existing events, maximising marketing opportunities and undertaking better communications and engagement.

FestivalsNT (FNT) is an integral part of NTMEC and underpins NTMEC’s strategy through a focus on local event development and growth to:

  • create new and develop existing events
  • improve commercialisation
  • improve communication and engagement
  • improve event research and reporting

Through FNT’s funding program, industry development and facilitating a consolidated calendar of events we have the opportunity to strengthen and increase the quality and capability of festivals and events in the Territory.  In doing so, we positively impact the community and economy through attracting local and interstate visitation.

Event Portfolio and Calendar

A calendar of events will not only let us know what’s happening and when, but also identify the opportunities.   Through working with event organisers we’re looking to build an event portfolio and calendar that delivers community, regional, hallmark and major events relative to the size of the population and geography of the Territory.

Funding Program

The objective of FestivalsNT’s funding program is to:

  • create new and develop existing events to better engage the local community, attract visitors and showcase the Northern Territory.

FestivalsNT’s objective is underpinned by the Government’s strategy in relation to NT economic development and our role as the gateway between Australia and Asia.

Ideally, we’re looking to establish 2-3 year funding agreements, though anticipate a scaled funding approach.  It should also be noted that the level of funding available through the grants program will vary, dependent on the agreements in place.

In building the events program, the expectation is that the festivals/events will become increasingly self-funding, or less reliant on government funding, ensuring their long term sustainability.

Tiers of Funding

Tier 1

New Events 

Funding dependent on application

Tier 2

Existing Events

$20,000 - $150,000

Tier 3

Existing Community Event

$2,000 - $20,000

Funding Details

Applying for Funding
Conditions of Funding
More Information
Applying for Funding

Commencing in Financial Year 2017-2018, two funding rounds will be held:

Round 1:
Open - Tuesday, 23 May 2017 to Friday, 23 June 2017
Notification - Friday, 4 August 2017

Round 2:
Open - Tuesday, 12 November 2017 to Tuesday, 12 December 2017
Notification - Friday, 9 February 2017

Applications for the FestivalsNT funding program must be made via the online application process.  For more information, and to access the online application process https://festivalsnt.smartygrants.com.au/festivalsnt
FestivalsNT reserves the right to request more information as, and when it is required.  Organisations are welcome to submit more than one application providing the projects are not the same.  You will also need to specify which application is your priority.

Assessment Criteria

Applications will be assessed by the Major Events Working Group and depending on the funding level requested, the Major Events Standing Committee.  A recommendation is then provided to the Minister.  Assessment weightings are relative to the type and scale of event and includes:

  • Financial and operational sustainability
  • Economic impact
  • Strategic and marketing impact
  • Community and regional impact
  • Event calendar/portfolio impact
  • Event performance and potential

Who can apply?

  • local governments
  • event companies and organisations
  • sporting, cultural and creative agencies
  • not for profit organisations
  • companies that reside outside the Territory can submit an application, but it must be in partnership with a company/group that are Territory based.

Groups must be an incorporated organisation or have an incorporated Auspice organisation, which will administer grants on their behalf.

Funded events will need to demonstrate:

  • alignment with FestivalsNT objective
  • innovative program development and implementation to increase visitation
  • project management and marketing approach
  • identifiable and measurable outcomes
  • skills and capability to deliver the event/festival
  • opportunities to upskill communities where the events/festivals will be located
  • implementation within 12 months of securing the grant funding

Those that won’t be applying:

  • groups/organisations that plan to hold events outside of the NT
  • organisations that are not based in the Territory, or not associated with organisation operating in the NT
  • political organisations

What won’t be funded:

  • funding shortfalls
  • events that scheduled to be held within three months of receipt of funding application
  • events that have failed to acquit previous funding, or acquit within the required timeframe
  • events where funding is being secured from other government departments and/or local government for the same outcome
  • ordinary running costs (electricity, rent, telephone, salaries, insurance, etc)
  • general office equipment
  • general maintenance and building works
  • retrospective or deficit funding requests
  • non Northern Territory based events/festivals/initiatives
  • capital purchases
  • other items that is assessed as not meeting the objective of the grants

Please note that many applications for grants may be received and the process of selection is competitive. Therefore funding is not automatic and should not be anticipated.


Following submission, applications will be reviewed to ensure eligibility criteria have been met. 


Applications will be required to include the following information:

  • Details of the event, including description, date and location. Uniqueness of event – what makes this event different and why will people want to attend? For existing events – what changes are being made to the program to improve visitation and showcase the Territory.
  • Event audience – projected attendances, where possible break down between local and interstate visitation. If an existing event - previous attendances over the past three years, origin of audiences and any changes to the program during that time to improve attendances.
  • Potential economic, regional and community impact of the event
  • Event marketing plans
  • Detailed revenue and expenditure budget, including financial support in addition to FNT grant funding
  • Operational plan – level of infrastructure required, permanent or temporary etc, resources etc.
  • Demonstrate management capacity, project planning and plans to achieve long-term financial sustainability
Conditions of Funding

Successful grant applicants will be required to sign a Funding Agreement detailing the terms, use of funds and reporting requirements.  Successful applicants will also be required to provide a copy of their Certificate of Currency (proof of Public Liability) prior to the event.


To qualify participation, visitation and engagement with funded events, FNT will provide event organisers with a research questionnaire template and/or link.  It will be a requirement that this research be undertaken during, or immediately post the event.  Event organisers will need to provide a report outlining the results from the research, as well as make available to FNT the raw data.

This research not only helps establish the success of the event, but ensure a consistent approach across all activities.


All successful applicants must provide a financial and event acquittal 60 days post event completion.  Please note:  applicants that do not provide acquittals, or not within the nominated timeframe, will not be considered for future funding.

Support recognition

Successful applicants will be required to acknowledge the support provided through the provision of the grant.  Dependent on the level of funding, this will include recognition through logo placement on event collateral, website, media releases, speeches and signage.

More Information

For more information:

Toni Cutler
Director, FestivalsNT
Ph: 08 8999 5330
Email:  FestivalsNT@nt.gov.au