Red Dirt Relief Fund

Musicians gathered in 2014 to record a song to benefit the Red Dirt Relief Fund, which, in 2020, is providing emergency grants to “music people” in need. MATT BARNARD/Tulsa World

The nonprofit Red Dirt Relief Fund announced Monday it will provide up to $50,000 to Oklahoma music people in the form of one-time emergency grants of $250 on a first-come, first-served basis.

To be eligible for a grant, a person must have sustained a financial loss of at least $1,000 due to canceled/postponed gigs directly related to COVID-19, have worked in the music business for the past five years and be a current Oklahoma resident. People who meet the criteria should apply online at forms.gle/j4PcHdx9omAQuWfJ7

Said Executive Director Katie Dale: “While we cannot know how COVID-19 will spread or how long this crisis will last, we do know that this virus has universally devastated our working music community.

“In the past week, a majority of gigs and festivals for the coming weeks and months have been canceled or postponed. While some Oklahomans are fortunate to have paid leave, remote-work options and other safety nets, working musicians without gigs are left without income to pay their bills. As an organization that provides a safety net of emergency assistance to Oklahoma music people, we cannot imagine a more critical time to come to their aid.”

If you would like to contribute to help extend aid to others, make a donation online at reddirtrelieffund.org/donate. Businesses, venues or anyone with ideas on how to raise money for this effort are invited to contact Dale at reddirtrelieffund@gmail.com.

Over the weekend, Oklahoma-based rock band BC & the Big Rig posted the Red Dirt Relief Fund donate link as the band went live on Facebook during a performance at Katt’s Cove in Oklahoma City.

“They wanted to give their tips to a band whose gig was canceled — they raised $130 for the cause,” Dale said. “Acts of generosity like this from within the music community inspire us to do all we can to support this relief effort. It’s why we started Red Dirt Relief Fund in the first place.”

Scene Writer

Jimmie is a pop culture and feature writer at the Tulsa World. A former Oklahoma sports writer of the year, he has written books about former Oklahoma football coach Barry Switzer and former Oklahoma State football coach Pat Jones. Phone: 918-581-8389