2018 Bob Childers’ Gypsy Café grew in its seventh year with new audiences, partners, expanded programming and new voices. Here are some highlights:
- Wilma Jenkins accepted the Restless Spirit Award on behalf of her son, Brandon Jenkins. Later in the evening, a hand-painted guitar with his likeness sold for $6,000 in a live auction from the stage at Eskimo Joe’s. Watch the introduction video here.
- $30,044 was raised for Oklahoma musicians in crisis through the Red Dirt Relief Fund.
- Ken Pomeroy, a 15-year-old songwriter from Moore, Okla. was named the inaugural winner of the Jimmy LaFave Songwriting Contest at the Gypsy Café pre-party, and played a main stage festival set with Stoney LaRue and Bo Phillips.
- A $5,000 matching grant from Grand Casino was met through ticket and merchandise sales at the festival.
- MusiCares was once again on site fitting pairs of free custom earplugs for musicians playing the fest and those in the Stillwater area.
- Despite the rain that moved outdoor stages inside at Eskimo Joe’s and Stonewall, walk-up student ticket sales beat previous years, and the rain passed in time for musicians to gather around the fire at the Farm.
- More than 60 Oklahoma musicians played 18 sets across 3 venues in one night.
- Festival partners provided sponsorship funding, silent auction items and even stage flowers to make this Okie festival a success.
Thanks to all the fans, volunteers, musicians and venues for making this a truly memorable night. What do you say we do it again next year?
View more festival photos here.