If you follows this site with any regularity, you know we love Black Fret. A music organization with a heart towards sponsoring and supporting the local music community, Black Fret is a shining example of what people can do when they get together for a united cause. When their annual year-end extravaganza was cancelled in 2020, we were crestfallen. Today, we’re happy to report, it’s back! Whether you’re a long time member or someone who wants to give back to local musicians, the Black Ball is a great opportunity support and enjoy live Austin music.
Black Fret Black Ball Back at the Moody
Started by Matt Ott and Colin Kendrick in 2013, Black Fret’s primary mission is supporting the Austin music community through member supported grants. Black Fret members pay yearly dues and in exchange gain access to unique listening sessions throughout the year. All of the artists at these shows are 100% local and are fairly paid for the gig.
With that money, Black Fret provides grants to a set number of artists as voted by the members. Every year this number’s increased, along with the grant values. Not only do winning artists receive their funds (to be used and allocated for music related endeavors), they receive counseling and mentorship from industry pros.
This year, in spite of the pandemic and the financial turmoil caused by it, Black Fret will be awarding over $200,000 in grants to twenty artists. And they’ll all be present and performing during the Black Ball. In what’s been aptly labeled as “a real life mix tape”, each artist will perform two to three songs between the awards. Take it from someone’s who’s been to a few Black Ball’s – it’s an amazing showcase of our vibrant and diverse music community.
And the Winners Are…
This year’s list of grant awardees could be one of the best in recent memory. If you’ve never heard of these artists, check out my Black Ball 2021 Spotify playlist to get a feel for all of them:
- American Dreamer
- BLK Odyssy
- Clarence James
- Deezie Brown
- Eimaral Sol
- Guy Forsyth & Jeska
- Harry Edohoukwa
- Jake Lloyd
- James Robinson
- Jon Muq
- Jonathan Terrell
- Lisa Morales
- Pat Byrne
- PR Newman
- Primo the Alien
- The Reverent Few
- Zach Person
I’m Sold! How Do I Attend Black Fret Black Ball 2021?
The Black Ball is a private event for Black Fret members, guests, sponsors, and former recipients. But that doesn’t mean you’re out in the cold! The best way is becoming a member. Doing so is easy. With three tiers of access (single, duo, and party), you can get in on the fun for not only the Black Ball, but a year’s worth of exclusive music experiences. I’ve been attending Black Fret events for well over 6 years and some of my most cherished show memories come from those performances.
And if you want to attend without committing to a membership, single event tickets are available for $100 at blackfret.org/donate. Just add “Black Fret Ball 2021 Donation” to the comments and you’re in!
Whether you sign up for a membership or attend the event as a first timer, you’re doing an immeasurable service to the Austin music community. The past year’s been hard on our local talent. Anything we can do to support them not only through our listenership but financially proves Austin is still the Live Music Capital of the World.
And, in the end, the Black Ball is an absolute blast. I’ve always described it as an Austin music homecoming where past and current winners meet up under a cool December sky and celebrate this great community. More a hang than a show, the Black Ball is one of my musical highlights of the year. I highly encourage you to make it yours as well.
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