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Back to Live with Side Door Program Details

Last Updated September 27, 2021

BACK TO LIVE with Side Door is a new support program designed for U.S.-based hosts with upcoming Side Door shows. Hosts in any U.S. state can apply for financial support to subsidize eligible costs of their show! The show can be in-person or hybrid (streamed and in-person), and feature any kind of live performance; including but not limited to music, dance, theatre, comedy, spoken word, and lecture.

We understand that not every place is available to host in-person shows right now, so the program also includes the ability for Artists to apply for a promotional subsidy for their Side Door online show.

Funding tiers range between $100 and $500 USD depending on the size and type of show. All shows must be based in the U.S. (we prefer the show to be public but if you would like to unlist your show please let us know in the application) and with paid ticketed via Side Door, and take place on or before June 30, 2022. The application deadline is December 31, 2021.

Side Door is a booking and ticketing platform built to facilitate shows anytime, anywhere. The Back to Live program endeavors to assist with the promotion and execution of upcoming Side Door shows in the U.S. Side Door wants to help people put on successful shows and connect with live performance and community in meaningful ways.

The subsidy is not guaranteed. Applications will be reviewed on a first-come-first-serve basis. Expenses must be eligible. Please read the terms and conditions carefully.

Side Door asks that in-person shows are conducted safely by adhering to local public health guidelines.

Side Door strongly encourages applications from under-represented groups. Applications with diverse programming and shows that promote under-represented voices will be prioritized.



How to participate in the program

HOSTS: In-person & Hybrid (in-person and online) shows

  1. Create a Host account on Side Door and fully complete the profile

  2. Plan a public and ticketed in-person and online shows with an Artist on Side Door (if the Artist isn’t on Side Door yet, encourage them to sign up!)

  3. Review eligibility for the subsidy and submit an application form for a chance to cover some or all of your expenses (funding not guaranteed)

  4. List expenses you want covered and total show budget (please see eligible expenses)

  5. Outline of COVID precautions at your show (please update the show description accordingly)

  6. Applications will be reviewed weekly by an internal committee, and each application will be reviewed for eligibility according to the terms and conditions

  7. Side Door staff will get back to you within 5 business days 

  8. If approved, sign the agreement form, incur expenses and provide 1 itemized invoice following the event to receive reimbursement 

  9. Promote your show! Have fun!

U.S. BASED ARTISTS: Online shows

  1. Create an Artist account on Side Door and fully complete the profile

  2. Plan a public and ticketed self-promoted online show 

  3. Review eligibility and complete application for promotional subsidy (up to $100)

  4. Applications will be reviewed weekly by an internal committee, and each application will be reviewed for eligibility according to the terms and conditions

  5. Side Door staff will get back to you within 5 business days 

  6. If approved, sign the agreement form

  7. Side Door will send you a form to complete the required details to run your ad.

  8. Promote your show! Have fun!

Eligible applicants

Eligible Hosts (based in the U.S)

  • live music venues

  • hosts at alternative spaces (commercial spaces, private spaces, outdoor spaces, etc) 

  • concert or event promoters

  • presenters

  • commercial businesses

  • community spaces and centres

  • residential

More info about hosting with Side Door here

Artists (based in the U.S.)

  • online self-booked shows only

  • Please note we require a minimum of 4 weeks from the date of application to show in order to successfully run online ads for your show. The more time you can give us the better.

More info about online shows with Side Door here.

Eligible expenses 

In-person & Hybrid Shows (Application must be submitted by Host):

  • digital advertising 

  • performance fees (not eligible for artists self-booking online shows)

  • equipment rental

  • postering 

  • graphic design

  • fee for service providers such as sound engineer, photographer, livestream a/v technician, online show producer 

  • event insurance for the day of show

Online (application must be submitted by Artist)

  • $100 USD show promotion campaign (digital advertising managed by Side Door)

Ineligible Expenses for all Shows

  • capital expenditures (equipment purchases, etc)

  • permanent contract staff fees

  • salaries

Funding tiers

In-person shows

  • > 20 capacity - $200

  • > 50 capacity - $300

  • > 75 capacity - $350

  • > 100 capacity - $400

  • 100 + capacity - $500

Hybrid shows (in-person & online)

  • > 20 capacity - $350

  • > 50 capacity - $400

  • > 75 capacity - $450

  • 100 + capacity - $500

Online shows

  • U.S.-based Artists can apply, show currency must be USD

  • $100 digital ad campaign managed by Side Door

Recipient Terms & Conditions

  • All shows must be based in the U.S., public, and with paid tickets (in USD Currency) via Side Door and take place on or before June 30, 2022.

  • We strongly recommend that shows be booked at least 3 weeks out from application submission date in order to be approved for funding. For the artist online show stream, we require a minimum of 4 weeks between application and show date, the more lead time the better.

  • In-person and hybrid shows should have a minimum of 20 person capacity.

  • Hosts must incur costs and then Side Door can reimburse with 1 itemized invoice for each show for eligible/approved expenses up to a maximum of $500USD following the completed event (please keep track of payments and expenses in the event of an audit)

  • Hosts must follow local public health guidelines at the show and update their space description and show description accordingly.

  • In-person and hybrid show applications must be filled out by the Host. 

  • Hosts are encouraged and preferred to have event insurance for the day of show for in-person shows (either existing or acquired through a veritable provider) 

  • Side Door reserves the right to cancel the show and/or subsidy at any time. If the show is canceled the subsidy will not be issued. Side Door reserves the right to make changes to the program at any time.

  • Shows must sell a minimum of 25% of available tickets to receive subsidy.

  • Funds are first come first serve.

  • Agree that Side Door has permission to use your approved promo materials in order to promote the Back to Live Program and Side Door.

  • Agree that Side Door will receive the rights to use any subsidized video/audio/photographic content created and/or produced from the event in order to promote Side Door.

An internal Side Door committee will jury each application based on program eligibility, the potential for success. Applications will be reviewed weekly, on Monday, with a response following within 5 business days. Applicants must have fully completed profiles on Side Door. The program is first-come-first-serve and funding is not guaranteed. 

We expect all program participants to uphold our commitment to welcoming each user and supporting their needs and goals. This includes (but is not limited to) support for racialized, Indigenous, newcomer, trans, non-binary, as well as users with access needs related to physical and mental health.