Austin-based music nonprofit pays Austin and Seattle bands $24,000 for performances the week of March 15 and accelerates the release of $250,000 in grants

(AUSTIN, TEXAS – April 28, 2020, source: Juice Consulting) – Black Fret is happy to announce that their Love and Lightstream Livestreamed Concert Series enabled both $18,000 in payments to Austin musicians and raised another $25,000 to assist the Health Alliance for Austin Music (HAAM) in its critical mission to provide direct, front-line response to Austin’s musicians during this pandemic. With the assistance of Cadence Wealth Management, Love and Lightstream brought together a host of Austin’s leading local music businesses to support Black Fret in rapidly responding to SXSW’s cancellation. Additionally, Black Fret honored its commitment to pay over $6,000 to the multiple bands they had originally booked to play their SXSW day party. During the event, Black Fret announced their intention to accelerate the release of all $250,000 in grants awarded to their 2019 Black Fret Artists, providing a direct injection of cash to 19 bands comprised of almost 100 musicians. This process has now been completed and the funds are with the artists.

“Black Fret has always stood for the recognition and support of artistic excellence and the creation and performance of live music,” said Black Fret Founder Colin Kendrick. “Over the past seven years, the community’s involvement with Black Fret has empowered the payment of over $1.7 million in grants and performance payments to amazing Austin musicians. We’re glad we had the ability to respond quickly in releasing our 2019 grant funds to our Black Fret artists while also supporting HAAM. HAAM has long been an organization that has supported our Austin musicians with gaining access to affordable health care. Our members and sponsors felt it important to lend our strength to HAAM to support their outstanding efforts to reinforce the social fabric of our community during this crisis.”

haam“HAAM is honored to receive this gift from Black Fret,” said Reenie Collins, Executive Director of HAAM. “To have the Black Fret community come to our assistance during this crisis underscores their organization’s deep commitment to Austin’s music community. This is a time of great challenge and uncertainty for all non-profits, but especially so for our music community, which makes this gift even more significant.”

From March 17 through March 21, Black Fret and historic Scholz Garten, the oldest music venue in Texas, teamed up with Goodwolf Productions, Werd Productions and Tourgigs to live stream the first Love and Lightstream. The event featured 31 bands over five days, most of which were either prior or current year Black Fret-recognized bands. The event received the generous support of Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Cadence Wealth Management, Allstate, T3, the City of Austin Cultural Arts Division, New York Life and many other generous individuals and online donors.

“Black Fret has never allowed a musician to play for free,” said Matt Ott, Co-founder of Black Fret. “And during SXSW week where so many Austin bands would have been playing to packed houses and hundreds of fans it was a real honor to get to pay 31 Austin bands to perform on the stage at Scholz Garten for our love Facebook Live streamed Love and Lightstream event. We have so many hours of great footage we are going to re-release to the public in the hopes it will bring them some joy while hopefully continuing to raise money for the Austin music scene.”

Austin Love and LightstreamViewers can see the first two examples of these amazing concerts online on Black Fret’s YouTube channel and Love and Lightstream 2020 playlist. 2019 Black Fret Artist Ley Line’s incredible six song set can be seen in its entirety. Viewers can also view the last song played at the Love and Lightstream event, “Scar Tissue,” by 2018 Black Fret Artist Trouble in the Streets.

“Having Scholz be the only live stage in Austin during the week where there should have been hundreds of performances a day was both strange and humbling,” said Daniel Northcutt, Operator of Scholz Garten. “We knew we had to keep the music going but had to do it in a safe and responsible way. All the teams came together to socially distance, cover up and keep the music going. We are really excited to get these bands back on stage with a live audience in attendance as soon as possible.”

In response to the crisis, Scholz Garten is also making online orders possible. Austinites can pick up a heat-and-eat meal, cold beer and critical grocery items curbside. Scholz will donate 20% of all Prepared and Hot Food Deliveries and Curbside Pick-up back to the community until all restaurants, bars and venues are back to the public. Orders can be placed by emailing here.

“Black Fret is committed to supporting our local music and we thank everyone: our Members, sponsors, Advisory Board, and the volunteers and public that support us every day,” said Ott. “Most of all, we thank the musicians who are still making incredible music every day despite this crisis. Know we are here for you now and will be there cheering you on in person as soon as we are able.”

Black Fret is also excited to announce the launch of their 2020 Listening Season, providing at least 20 online performances from the 2020 nominees to Black Fret members. These performances will be coupled with specials from local restaurants, feature signature drink suggestions and provide Black Fret members the opportunity to get to know the 2020 class of Nominees perhaps even more than they would have at traditional in-person events. These online events will be available to Black Fret members in both Austin and Seattle.