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Looking for ways to keep your team, customers, and partners engaged & energized during your virtual meetings?

Would you feel good about helping to provide work for a group that has been hit particularly hard by the pandemic?

What if you could do both at once? Hold a virtual happy hour concert! They are easy to set up and not expensive. And 100% of the funds raised goes directly to participating professional musicians. 

Who We Are
A group of business leaders who are looking for ways to keep our team members, customers and partners engaged and energized while we are all working remotely.

A group of passionate music fans who volunteer for an Austin, TX based non-profit, Black Fret, that focuses on helping musicians to grow their careers

Our Mission
We are all aware of how many people are hurting due to this pandemic. One group that has been hit particularly hard is musicians. With the shelter in place orders and the closure of all live music venues, musicians have completely lost their livelihood. At the same time, as business leaders, we are all looking for ways to keep our cultures alive and to stay connected with our team members, customers and partners when we can’t see each other in person. A few months ago, we came up with a way to address both challenges and tried it out by building a virtual event for one of our own businesses. Because it was so successful, a group of us now volunteer to help other leaders keep their teams engaged and provide musicians with much needed work. Through our volunteer work at Black Fret, we are connected to some of the best musicians in the industry who are all hungry to perform.

Event Details
The events typically last about an hour and 15 min. Each concert includes three bands or solo acts and will represent a range of musical genres so there should be something for everyone in your group. Each band will play three songs and participate in discussions between songs. Each concert will also include an emcee who will introduce the artists, guide the flow of the event and ask questions of the artists in between songs. The emcee will also insure that people are muted while the musicians are playing a song. They will keep it interactive with your audience.

We need about a week to organize one of these events, but we recommend you give yourself two weeks to allow you time to prepare for and promote the event to maximize attendance. We can do these events on any weekday. Most people do them late afternoon (Happy Hour) but we can accommodate almost any time of the day in most time zones.

Meeting Set-up
We will set up the zoom link and send it over to you so you can include it in your invitation. Our zoom account can accommodate up to 500 people attending. If you think you will have more, we have options to support that too. Just let us know.

We will also send you bios and photos of the band members so you can make a poster for the concert and add it to the calendar invite. We can send you some examples of posters that other companies have made. It is a fun way to build excitement for your team.

The goal of this program is to provide meaningful work and reasonable compensation to musicians. We do that by asking you to pay a base rate of $500. The rest of cost is covered by matching funds from the Austin Community Foundation’s Stand With Austin grant and from tips your team can contribute to a virtual tip jar. We do expect the artists to receive at least $500 in tips (we have averaged $700 per show so far) so in the unlikely event your audience does not tip at least $500, we ask that you consider covering the difference.

Raise $$$ for Non-profits
Many companies have asked us to help them turn their concert into a fundraising event for one or more non-profits. We now have an option to do this by helping you set up a tip-matching pool that will provide donations to a non-profit you select. HAAM and Sims Foundation have been popular lately since they provide healthcare and mental healthcare to the Austin musician community, but you can pick any non-profit that resonates with your audience. You simply select the non-profit and decide how much to donate ($500 or more). We will include that in your invoice for the event. And then we will announce in the concert that you have sponsored a tip matching pool - every dollar they tip to the artists will be matched with a donation to the selected non-profit.

This kills many birds with one stone. First it tends to encourage people to tip more generously, so there is very little likelihood that the tips come in below the minimum ($500). Secondly, if we don't hit the tip minimum, we can use the remaining funds from the tip match pool after making the non-profit donation to make an additional tip to the artists to meet the tip minimum. Third, it allows your audience to drive donations to a good cause. And finally, since Black Fret is also a qualified non-profit, the whole invoice you pay to Black Fret (base fee plus tip matching donation) can all be treated as a tax deductible donation by your company.

Happy Hour Testimonials
We have been amazed and humbled by the responses we have seen from the audience and the musicians at these events. Everyone who attends has a great time and is anxious to spread the word to their friends. Here are some of the comments from recent events:

“This made my week!”

“Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU”

“I’m getting emotional, I didn’t know it, but this was exactly what I needed!”

“I feel like I am really at a live show again”

“I forgot what it was like to hear clapping again, thanks, I really needed this” - musician

If you want to learn more and see some examples of past events, check out our facebook page:

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