2016 Festival Hosts Announced & Open Call for Musicians Begins
January 19, 2016—Stillwater, OK— On April 27th, 2016, 50 musicians from varying Oklahoma genres and geographies will gather in Stillwater to play an intimate festival celebrating the songwriting tradition started by the so-called Godfather of Red Dirt music, Bob Childers. Benefitting the Red Dirt Relief Fund and hosted by Mike Hosty and the Damn Quails’ Bryon White and Gabe Marshall, the festival seeks to find some of its talent through an Open Call in partnership with the Oklahoma Film + Music Office (OF+MO).
Along with the hosts, musicians returning to the 2016 Bob Childers’ Gypsy Café (BCGC) lineup include Mike McClure, Brandon Jackson, Bo Phillips, Kaitlin Butts and Red Dirt Rangers’ John Cooper, Brad Piccolo and Ben Han. Additional musicians will be invited through an open call for musicians presented by BCGC and OF+MO. To apply, musicians must be registered with the Oklahoma Music Guide, OF+MO’s online database of Oklahoma musicians and music businesses. Entries will be accepted through OF+MO January 19 – February 2, 2016 and may be submitted here.
Now in its fifth year, Gypsy Café continues to grow as fans flock to hear Oklahoma’s best talent, both emerging and renowned, swap songs and explore new sounds. Small songwriter groupings will play 45-minute sets across three venues: Eskimo Joe’s, George’s Stables and Stonewall Tavern. The evening will culminate with an all-musician finale on the main stage.
According to John Cooper, Red Dirt Relief Fund Board President and a member of the Red Dirt Rangers, “The thing that makes this festival unique and special is it’s the only one of it’s kind in the state of Oklahoma—a songwriter festival. And we’re honoring one of our own, Bob Childers, one of the greatest songwriters ever to come out of Oklahoma.” Last year’s finale featured Mike McClure leading more than 30 musicians in a rendition of Tom Skinner’s “Blind Man” in honor of Skinner who was not well enough to perform at the fest.
Red Dirt Relief Fund, a non-profit organization that provides a safety net of critical assistance to Oklahoma musicians, took over management of the festival in the fall of 2013 after Red Bull hosted the event in spring of 2011 and 2012. In 2015, the festival raised $14,000 for Oklahoma musicians in need, funding a substantial portion of the organization’s $17,830 in grants given last year.
Tickets that allow access to all venues start at $19 and will go on sale March 1.
Visit reddirtrelieffund.org, friend Red Dirt Relief Fund on Facebook or follow @reddirtrelief for festival updates.