With over $1 million in grants and over $250,000 in performance payments given to Austin’s musicians since its inception in 2013, the fifth annual Black Fret Ball will feature live music from 2018 nominees and another unforgettable celebration for patrons of local music
(AUSTIN, TEXAS – Nov. 1, 2018, source: Juice Consulting) – Austin nonprofit Black Fret has announced the date for the fifth annual Black Fret Ball, taking place Friday, Dec. 7, 2018 at ACL Live at The Moody Theatre. Doors for the event are at 6 p.m. and the show will begin at 7 p.m. Media are invited to attend red carpet beginning at 5 p.m. sharp. This crowning event of the year, where all 20 nominees will be awarded a Black Fret grant, will include performances by many of the 2018 Black Fret Nominees. This year’s nominees include A Giant Dog, Billy King and the Bad Bad Bad, Dave Scher, Donovan Keith, Greyhounds, Israel Nash, Jaimee Harris, Jane Ellen Bryant, Jeff Plankenhorn, Kalu and the Electric Joint, Los Coast, Megafauna, Otis the Destroyer, Palo Duro, Rebecca Loebe, Shy Beast, The Texas KGB, Tomar and the FCs, Trouble in The Streets and Wood & Wire. Anyone wishing to attend the Black Fret Ball may become a member of Black Fret by signing up at All Black Fret memberships provide entry for the member and a guest to all upcoming Black Fret events as well. For more info on Black Fret, please go to
“It is a huge milestone for Black Fret to award over a million dollars in grants to Austin musicians in just five years of giving,” said Black Fret Founder Colin Kendrick. “It’s a testament to the passion Austinites feel for their music.”
2018 Black Fret Nominee Tomar and the FCs
Black Fret is a public charity headquartered in Austin whose mission is to empower musicians to create and perform great new music. The organization is an innovative evolution of the age-old symphony patronage model that is focused on supporting popular local music. To date, Black Fret has awarded $830,000 in grant dollars to local Austin artists and will award another $250,000 the night of the 2018 Black Fret Ball. Black Fret grant recipients unlock their grant dollars by writing, recording and performing new music and by providing community services to other area nonprofits. To date, Black Fret grants have resulted in 646 U.S. tour dates, 328 songs written, 329 songs recorded, 151 charitable performances, 137 songs and videos releasedand 88 international tour dates.
This year’s Black Fret Ball will be sponsored by Deloitte, Dell and NY Life,with additional sponsors to be announced. Individual and corporate sponsor packages are still available for the event. Please contact matt@blackfret.orgfor information.
“To stand on stage at ACL Live at the Moody Theater and award a quarter million dollars in grants to our amazing class of nominees is a true honor,” said Black Fret Co-founder Matt Ott. “Sharing that stage as emcee not only with the artists but also with the Black Fret members, Advisory Board members, partners, sponsors and volunteers who will help award these grants is proof that our great city is building a true community to support our local music.”
2018 Black Fret Nominee Shy Beast
In addition to their grants, all Black Fret Nominees have continued access to one-on-one mentoring from Black Fret’s Advisory Board, which consists of some of Austin’s top music industry leaders. Advisors include Mark Addison, Heather Alden, Codey Allen, Roggie Baer, Evan Blanc, Pat Cassidy, Reenie Collins, Mike Crowley, Jen Dalton, Wofford Denius, CJ Eiriksson, Jim Eno, Nigel Finley, Danny Gillespie, Tom Gimble, Will Hoffman, Jennifer Houlihan, Terrany Johnson, Layne Lauritzen, Ted Lowe, Davis McLarty, Marsha Milam, Matt Noveskey, Tim Palmer, Michael Ramos, Peter Schwarz, Chris “Frenchie” Smith, Carlos Sosa, Joe Stallone, Stuart Sullivan, Heather Wagner Reed, Dick Reeves, Graham Williams, Kevin Wommack and Rusty Zagst. Prior to his passing this year, George Reiff also served as a valued advisor. For more information, please see
Last year’s 2017 Black Fret Ball awarded in $230,000 in grants. Major grant recipients who each received $18,000 included The Bright Light Social Hour, Carolyn Wonderland, Eric Tessmer, Jackie Venson, Leopold and his Fiction, Mobley, Sarah Sharp, The Deer, Warren Hood and the Whiskey Shivers. Minor grant recipients who each received $5,555 included Akina Adderley, Cowboy Diplomacy, Croy and the Boys, Daniel Eyes, David Ramirez, Greyhounds, Jane Ellen Bryant, Kinky Machine and Los Coast. Black Pistol Fire, who was also nominated for a grant, chose to remove themselves from consideration and asked that Black Fret allocate funds they would have received to the minor grant recipients.
In 2016, ten major grant recipients each received a grant of $17,000. These artists included Bee Caves, Carson McHone, Dan Dyer, Nakia, Ray Prim, Suzanna Choffel, Swimming With Bears, The Peterson Brothers, Walker Lukens and Wendy Colonna. Additionally, ten minor grant recipients each received a grant of $5,000. These artists included Brownout, Calliope Musicals, Dana Falconberry, Daniel Eyes & The Vibes, Golden Dawn Arkestra, Harvest Thieves, Leopold and His Fiction, Magna Carda, Sweet Spirit and The Name Sayers. Grant presentations were made throughout the evening by a number of Black Fret sponsors and members, as well as Austin Mayor Steve Adler, a passionate supporter of Austin music.
At the 2015 event, Black Fret gave out $150,000 in grants to local Austin musicians. Ten $12,000 major grants and ten $3,000 minor grants were distributed to 20 nominees over the evening, which included live performances from many nominees. Major grant winners included: Casey McPherson, Danny Malone, East Cameron Folkcore, Gina Chavez, Migrant Kids, Mother Falcon, Ruby Jane, Shakey Graves, Tameca Jones and The Digital Wild. Minor grant winners included: Aaron Behrens, Dan Dyer, Holiday Mountain, Jazz Mills, Max Frost, Nakia, Not In The Face, Riders Against The Storm, Shinyribs and The Nightowls. Shakey Graves donated his $12,000 grant back to the minor grant winners, boosting the minor grants to $4,200 each. Aaron Behrens donated his $4,200 grant to the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians (HAAM).
In its 2014 season, Black Fret awarded $130,000 in grants to local Austin musicians. Ten 2014 Black Fret Grant Winners each received $10,000 including Amy Cook, Elizabeth McQueen, Erin Ivey, Gina Chavez, Graham Wilkinson, Lincoln Durham, Mother Falcon, Quiet Company, The Rocketboys and Wild Child. Other nominees including Danny Malone, Dawn and Hawkes, East Cameron Folkcore, Elias Haslanger and Church on Monday, Emily Bell, Jitterbug Vipers, Jonny Gray, Little Radar, The Whiskey Sisters and Zeale received smaller grants after the event.
Black Fret receives ongoing support from generous sponsors such as the ALL ATX, Dell Inc., Deloitte Consulting, New York Life, Ben Milam Whiskey, SunPower Inc., GSD&M, Ben E. Keith Distributors, Whole Foods, Personify, Gibson Brands, The City of Austin Economic Development Department – Music & Entertainment Division, KUTX, The Austin Chronicle, DeMaris Entertainment, Juice Consulting, Nomad Sound, Miscellaneous Rentals, Enterprising People, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Social Flash Media and many more.
2018 Black Fret Nominee Israel Nash
About Black Fret:
Founded in 2013, Black Fret is a public charity headquartered in Austin whose mission is to empower musicians to create and perform new music. The organization is an innovative evolution of the age-old symphony patronage model that is focused on supporting popular local music. Together, Black Fret’s limited membership will build an endowed institution capable of sustaining more than $1 million dollars a year in grants to Austin’s artists. Annual Black Fret member dues are $1,500, breaking down to about $100 a month after taxes. Many members have access to a corporate charitable giving match program (such as offered by Dell, Apple and other major employers) that can reduce the monthly cost to less than $50 a month. In return for annual dues, members enjoy a broad range of private events including monthly shows in intimate venues and an incredible annual awards show named The Black Fret Ball. Grant recipients are selected annually through a yearlong process where members, advisors and prior grant recipients nominate, lobby for, see performances by and finally vote on their favorite artists. Those who wish to become a member of Black Fret can sign up at All memberships provide entry for the member and a guest to all upcoming 2017 Black Fret events, including the Black Fret Ball. For inquiries, please email and for more info see
To request interviews regarding the Black Fret Ball for pre-coverage, to attend red carpet or to request working media credentials for the Dec. 7 event, please contact:
Heather Wagner Reed
713 208 3891
Tyler Ostby
210 854 9119