A lot of folks have asked what's happening with this year's Rancho Alegre Conjunto Music Festival and here's the update: we applied for funding through the City of Austin Cultural Arts department, as we always do, and our application was denied. We appealed their decision and that was denied too. We contacted our elected officials, and despite their efforts, there's nothing they could do to help us.
This funding was our biggest source of revenue for the festival and we've never been denied before. We are heartbroken, confused, and angry, because we are now Austin's only large Conjunto music event. Not only that, we are one of Austin's only purely Latino music festivals and we're fairly certain we're the only 3-day Latino festival.
So, our only remaining option is to do a fund drive, appealing to individuals and businesses asking for contributions. We have an aggressive goal of $35,000 we need to raise by March 2 or we will cancel our festival, which is scheduled for the weekend of April 28.
We set this deadline for a couple of reasons. 1, it coincides with our participation in AmplifyATX and the matching opportunities that go with it. 2, we want to give the venues (Central Machine Works, GiddyUps, and Stubbs) enough time to re-book those dates, because this affects them too. They have supported us tremendously and we want to do right by them.
While we desperately want to present our festival, we have our principles:
- We will not ask bands to play for free.
- We will not ask contractors to work for free.
- Charging admission and selling tickets is out of the question. Not only can we not do that at a couple of the venues, when we came back in 2017, we promised to keep our festival free admission so that anyone can attend and experience the greatness of live Conjunto music.
To complicate matters, in the past, we have used our personal funds to cover what we have lacked. But unfortunately, Frank was recently diagnosed with scoliosis, which has depleted what we usually personally contribute.
If you are able, please donate online on our website or through our AmplifyATX campaign. Or we can accept checks or even cash - just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know. We are a 100% legit 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, so all contributions are tax-deductible.
If we have to cancel our festival, your can get your money back.
Separately, you can also buy merch through our online store. We have a bunch of CDs, vinyl, and t-shirts for sale and we will be adding more designs this weekend.
Thank you for your love and support over the years - especially those of you who have been there since the very beginning.
Team Rancho Alegre