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Austin arts supporters Black Fret to host 'Keep Live Music Alive' festival for members

As the pandemic shut down venues across the city and around the world cutting off the primary source of income for most Austin musicians last year, local arts patronage nonprofit Black Fret went to work. Supplementing their annual grant program with a series of streaming events including their happy hour concert program, the organization ended up providing $750,000 in direct financial assistance to Austin artists in 2020. 

As part of this year's membership drive, Black Fret is hosting the inaugural The Keep Live Music Alive festival, a three-day members only event on the Long Center Terrace from May 14-16.

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With the audience in socially distanced, seated pods, the festival will feature performances from 25 artists including Sam Houston, Nané, Eimaral Sol, Pat Byrne and recent Austin360 Artists of the Month, Geto Gala. Ley Line, Lisa Morales, Miggy Milla, Darkbird and Zach Person are also among the artists who will perform. 

Brownout, along with Nané, perform a limited capacity intimate show benefiting Black Fret at ACL Live on October 16, 2020 in Austin, Texas.  [Suzanne Cordeiro for American-Statesman]

The final day of the event will feature a tribute to Bob Dylan on the iconic singer-songwriter's 80th birthday. 

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In an effort to broaden the Black Fret membership base, the nonprofit has dropped annual dues to $750. That fee gives patrons access to a series of intimate concerts at venues and private homes throughout the year. Members are also given a say in the selection process that determines which artists receive grants each year.

In 2020, Black Fret awarded $8,000 grants to 20 artists

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Black Fret will announce the 2021 class of artists who are eligible for grants with a kick off event at ACL Live on June 11. 

For more information or to join Black Fret visit blackfret.org