Coronavirus response

Billy Bob's stages virtual concert to benefit Fort Worth musicians and artists

Billy Bob's stages virtual concert to benefit musicians and artists

Josh Weathers
Fort Worth favorite Josh Weathers will perform. Photo courtesy of Performing Arts Fort Worth

Billy Bob’s Texas will celebrate its 39th birthday a little differently this year — with a live-streamed concert benefiting the Creative Industry Relief Fund of Fort Worth.

The concert, taking place at 7 pm April 1, will feature Fort Worth favorites including Josh Weathers, Bonnie Bishop, Grady Spencer, Abraham Alexander, Austin Allsup, Chad Prather, Brad Thompson, Jack Barksdale, Jerrod Flusche, Johnny Cooper, Kris Luv, Matthew McNeal, Michael Lee, Rob Redwine, Smooth Vega, Summer Dean, and more.

Viewers can join the watch party on the Billy Bob's Facebook page.

Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price announced the concert to viewers on her March 31 Facebook Live coronavirus update — and reminded people how to dance while social distancing.

"Mark your calendars and don't forget if you want to boot-scoot, do it with your partner at home. And if you live alone, then dance as if nobody's watching," she said.

Funds raised from the watch party will go to the Creative Industry Relief Fund, which was developed to help support musicians, visual artists, and filmmakers who have lost work due to COVID-19. It's supported by United Way of Tarrant County, Hear Fort Worth, and Film Fort Worth and is an extension of Fort Worth musician Rachel Gollay’s Artist & Service Worker Relief Fund.

“Though we are moving through unprecedented times in the entertainment industry and the world with the COVID-19 pandemic, we still wanted to find a way to honor this milestone,” says Keitha Spears, Billy Bob's Texas' director of marketing, in a release. “Parties at Billy Bob’s Texas typically take place on our dancefloor and in the showroom with several thousand of our closest friends, but that just isn’t an option this year. "This watch party is a way for us to celebrate 39 incredible years in the Historic Fort Worth Stockyards while staying safe and doing our part to flatten the curve."

The goal is to reach a total of $20,000, they say. But the fund will stay open as long as donations continue to be received. Gifts to the fund will be tax-deductible, with tax acknowledgements provided by United Way of Tarrant County for any individual donations of $250 or more, they say.

Visit Fort Worth, parent organization of Hear Fort Worth and Film Fort Worth, will manage the application process, and United Way of Tarrant County will spearhead collection of donations and fund distribution, the release says.

“Members of the creative community have been ambassadors for our city and we need to support them in this crisis,” says Mitch Whitten, executive vice president of marketing and strategy at Visit Fort Worth, in the release. “We want to support musicians, artists, and filmmakers who have lost so much work and income. We’re grateful to Rachel Gollay for starting this initiative and to the United Way for helping us expand it.”

The fund is open to Tarrant County visual artists, musicians, and filmmakers. Qualified applicants will be eligible for a one-time grant of $300. For more information or to donate, visit the website.