How Black Fret Works

Black Fret is based on the simple premise that together, we can make a difference. Music lovers and those who love their community join Black Fret to become “Patrons of Local Music. Their annual member dues are used to fund our grants and events each season. Dues are only $750 per person for a year of membership from whatever date you join. Dues are able to be paid annually or month to month (with a 20% premium applied) as part of an annual commitment. 

Those membership dues, combined with our valued sponsors, civic grants and other funding sources have empowered Black Fret to award over $2.1M in direct payments and grants to artists and another $1.5M in payments to local area music businesses since 2013. In Austin, twenty bands have been selected each year for 8 seasons, from 2013-2021, for a total of 160 bands. Seattle launched in the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 yet still awarded $50,000 in grants to ten Seattle area bands. The lives hundreds of individual musicians have been positively impacted by Black Fret to date.

Every artist who is nominated by a Black Fret chapter will receive a grant. Once awarded, bands are able to use these funds to fuel their musical careers in the way they deem most necessary and impactful. We provide mentoring from local and national music industry professionals to help our artists make sure the grants they receive are making the most impact possible.

Black Fret grants are awarded based on artistic excellence. Every season, musicians and bands are nominated for consideration by Black Fret members, music industry advisory board, past grant recipients and selected media partners. 

Consideration for a grant from Black Fret is available only through receiving a nomination from Black Fret’s constituencies as outlined above. There is no unsolicited application process by which a band can seek a Black Fret grant. Rather, it is the Black Fret community that recognizes these artists and selects them in each chapter each season.

Each Black Fret chapter holds a full season of events for our members to enjoy, creating an immersive experience that makes all our members a part of their chapter’s music scene. Learn more about what its like to be a Black Fret member.

Cilantro Boombox
2019 and 2020 Black Fret Artist Cilantro Boombox performs at Empire Control Room in Austin, Texas