Oklahoma's Red Dirt Relief Fund taking Skinnerfest virtual due to coronavirus pandemic
TULSA - The Red Dirt Relief Fund is taking its Tulsa Tom Skinner Skyline Music Fest, affectionately known as Skinnerfest, virtual due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Now in its fourth year, Skinnerfest will air as a streaming event through Tulsa's Mercury Lounge Live at 8 p.m. Friday.
All proceeds benefit Red Dirt Relief Fund, a nonprofit organization that provides a safety net of critical assistance for Oklahomans in the music business in times of need.
As previously reported, the Red Dirt Relief Fund has been diligently working since March to help Oklahomans affected by the COVID-19 pandemic: It took the organization's executive director and all-volunteer board just 10 days to launch a $50,000 emergency grant program to help Oklahomans whose livelihoods were affected by the outbreak - and just 10 days more to distribute $105,000 in one-time $250 grants to 420 people.
The Red Dirt Relief Fund now has provided $145,000 to 580 out-of-work Oklahoma music people since March, according to a news release.
The virtual Skinnerfest will feature two sets recorded live at Tulsa venues Cain’s Ballroom and Mercury Lounge. The show celebrates the late, legendary Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame songwriter Tom Skinner in a tribute set featuring guests backed by his band, The Science Project. The second set is a glimpse into the creativity of Tulsa music today; a kind of homage to the band “experiment” Skinner inspired, according to the news release.
In previous years, the festival featured more than 45 Oklahoma musicians performing live across three venues at 18th and Boston in Tulsa. Due to COVID-19 venue capacity limits, Red Dirt Relief Fund opted to record a virtual event for patron, musician and crew safety.
“As an organization dedicated to the well-being of Oklahoma music people, safety was of course our top concern,” said Katie Dale, executive director of the Red Dirt Relief Fund, in a statement. “We were fortunate on this project to work with top notch musicians, production and venue professionals who were also dedicated to keeping everyone safe while recording full bands with multiple guests.”
Support from sponsors including the Oklahoma Film + Music Office, Tulsa Dental Center, The Collaborative, White Claw/LDF and Broken Arrow Brewing Company allowed the Red Dirt Relief Fund to employ 30 Oklahoma musicians, 10 production professionals and two venues at a time when paying gigs are few and far between, according to the news release.
“It is an honor to partner with the innovators of Red Dirt Relief Fund to present Skinnerfest this year, who share similar values to preserve and celebrate our rich musical heritage and overall music as an ecosystem,” said Oklahoma Film + Music Office Director Tava Maloy Sofsky. “It’s more important now than ever before for Oklahomans to band together as we celebrate the gift of music and our culture.”
A Skinnerfest pay-per-view ticket is $15, with merchandise bundles available. The ticket link to watch the show will be emailed to patrons and be available to watch for five days after the premiere.
Musicians who will be performing on this year's Skinnerfest lineup include John Fullbright, the Red Dirt Rangers, Mike McClure, Cassie Latshaw, Dylan Stewart, Bob Wiles, Dustin Pittsley, Briana Wright, Jared Tyler and more.
For more information and to purchase tickets, visit reddirtrelieffund.org/
Donations to support the mission of Red Dirt Relief Fund to provide a safety net of critical assistance to Oklahoma music people can be made at reddirtrelieffund.org/