The Member Experience

When you join Black Fret you become a Patron of Local Music. It means you love your local music and your community and that you want to be an active part of helping it thrive. As an organization, Black Fret strives to make sure your time with us is not only fulfilling through giving back, but also through connecting you with the great music at entertaining and intimate events. Here is what you can expect in a season of Black Fret.

Consideration Season
Our season begins with a series of events that present you with a great variety of music from your city. All genres are fair game and you’ll experience events both large and small, online and in-person. During this time we endeavor to make sure you not only tell us about your favorite bands, but that you discover new music that will move you. Over and over, we hear from our members that they have discovered their new favorites through Black Fret. We have had almost 50 different bands play the 2021 Season in our Austin chapter.

We will also ask you to bring your friends on board to help us grow and support our music scenes. Running several months, the Consideration Season helps make sure we nominate a dynamic, diverse and incredible group of nominees while we grow as an incredible group of local music lovers. Expect events in venues and other cool locations as we grow and discover new music.

As we wrap our Consideration Season, we will ask you to nominate your favorite bands. You’ll have the opportunity to nominate any band you want from your chapter’s area, not just those who have played our Consideration Season. You’ll even be able to advocate for them in our online members-only forum. You’ll be joined in nominations by prior-year grant recipients and our local chapter advisory board. After a week or so of nominating, we will tabulate your votes and announce your choices at the start of our Listening Season.

Listening Season
The Listening Season takes our events to the next level. With our season’s Black Fret Artists selected, we embark on a journey of intimate, largely member-only events where we connect with the musicians at intimate events. From 50 seat “dinner and drink” events to events in private homes and venues and clubs we take over for the evening, you can expect us to create events that combine incredible musical environments with great conversation and good times. We encourage a culture at our events that when the music starts, the talking stops, helping ensure that the music is truly respected and celebrated. Our Listening Season ends and leads us to our season-ending event, the Black Fret Ball.

Awards Season
Every Black Fret Artist you select receives a grant at the end of the year at the Black Fret Ball held in your chapter. Our signature event traditionally has traditionally featured performances from over a dozen bands. With each band playing two songs each in just over three hours at our Austin Black Fret Ball, some members have described the event as “the worlds coolest live playlist”. Punctuated by our awarding hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants, this celebration of our community’s culture, music and vibrant music scene sends a message to all that local music matters and that we, as Black Fret Members, are going to keep live music alive.