Festivals & Events Fund

King County is launching a one-time grant program to deliver $1.9 million in relief funds to support the re-opening of festivals and events held within King County.

The King County Festival and Grants Program aims to address the needs of event and festival producers seeking to reestablish community activities, events, festivals, and celebrations in a safe environment, while engaging residents and tourists throughout the County and employing event workers, working creatives, and culture bearers.

Since March 2020, at least 700 events in King County have been cancelled, including music festivals, cultural festivals, community events, parades, fireworks celebrations, heritage events, film, food and craft festivals, agricultural events, and more. These events and festivals contribute to the cultural fabric and vibrancy of the community and are a critical component of regional tourism and the local economy.

Event and festival producers employ thousands of event workers, artists, culture bearers, heritage professionals, and other professionals, including union crews. In addition to the impacts sustained by the event and festival producers and their workforce, countless vendors—many of whom are small business owners and employees—were also impacted by event and festival cancellations, including events vendors, managers, promoters, producers, designers, set-up crews, stage technicians, and events rental providers. 

Grant sizes will vary. The funding amount of each award will be determined based on the total number of applications received, the total amount requested by applicants, and the application score determined by a review panel. Grant awards will also be based on revenue losses due to COVID, demonstrated in gross revenue reported in 2019 and 2020 Form 990s or Form 1040s for each organization. 

This program consists of two categories of grants, to be awarded competitively:

  • Large festivals and events – Events characterized as having an annual operating budget of $250,000 and more. Applicants in this category can request award amounts of up to $50,000. A total of $950,000 will be awarded to events and festivals in this category, with an average award size of $25,000.
  • Small festivals and events – Events characterized as having an operating budget under $250,000. Applicants in this category can request award amounts up to $10,000. A total of $950,000 will be awarded to events and festivals in this category.

Application Instructions

  1. Apply online between October 8, 2021 and November 11, 2021 (all applications must be received by 11:59 PM PT)
  2. Complete the application via the links below
  3. A preview of the full application is available here.
  4. Send questions to info@wfea.org
  5. For in-language assistance or to request an interpreter please call (206) 263-1966. In-language applications are available here.

Allowable Usage of Funds: The following types of festival and event organizations will be considered eligible for an award under either grant category. Please note that festivals must be full-scale events of three hours or more. 

  • Organizers of a festival or event held/to be held within the boundaries of King County. (Only organizers/event-responsible parties are eligible to apply.)
  • Nonprofit and for-profit festival and events organizations, chambers of commerce, cities, tourism entities, tribal entities, or organizations that produce events with paid or volunteer-based staff.
  • Festivals and events that cancelled in-person events at least once during the past 16 months and will reopen in 2021 or 2022.
  • Festivals and events that take place between March 2021–September 1, 2022. 
  • Festivals and events that are open to the general public. 
  • Festivals and events that are live, in-person outdoor, outdoor/indoor, or indoor festivals and events. 
  • Lifestyle events (e.g., running events, bicycling events, and triathlons).

Types of events that do not qualify for this funding include events without face-to-face community contact, events already receiving or eligible for other federal ARPA funding for the same purpose or use (e.g., farmer markets, food drives, health fairs and other resourced events), religious events, and business meetings and conferences that include events.

Application Reference Materials: These documents are provided for illustrative purposes only and the County reserves the right to make changes prior to execution, depending on how the funds will be used and any changes in Treasury guidance.

1. Sample CLFR Agreement
2. Sample Grant Pre-Award Forms
3. Sample Grant Reporting Forms
4. Festivals & Events RFA