In 2018, the festival raised $30,044 for Oklahoma musicians in need through the Red Dirt Relief Fund. We are beyond grateful for our Oklahoma music community, sponsors, venues, volunteers and fans!
The 2018 Restless Spirit Award was presented to Wilma Jenkins in honor of her son, the late Brandon Jenkins, at the festival. A Tulsa native, Jenkins attended OSU and launched what would become a decades-long career in Red Dirt music. He produced 16 albums throughout his career, and wrote songs that became hits for fellow musician including Stoney LaRue (Feet Don’t Touch the Ground) and Bleu Edmondson (Finger on the Trigger). Jenkins underwent surgery for a latent congenital heart defect in late February of this year, and died from complications of that surgery on March 2, 2018. He was a loyal friend and supporter of the Red Dirt Relief Fund and played the Gypsy Cafe festival every year. Brandon Jenkins was a thoughtful and soul-bearing songwriter who humbly shared his craft with fellow musicians and audiences. Watch his full Restless Spirit Award biography video here.
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 2018, the festival raised more than $30,000 for Oklahoma musicians in need. Since the Red Dirt Relief Fund was founded in 2012, it’s provided over $100,000 to musicians in need.