Bayou City

White Oak Music Hall Announces $50K Harvey Relief Plan

Sylvan Esso
Sylvan Esso Photo by Shervin Lainez
Today White Oak Music Hall announced it is partnering with the Friends of Little White Oak Bayou nonprofit organization, which aids community improvement on Houston's near Northside, to help raise $50,000 for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts through an ad hoc nonprofit organization. The arrangement allows the local music community to send tax-deductible contributions that will be distributed to victims of the catastrophic storm that has rocked the Houston area since last Friday.

“Houstonians are passionate about live music, and we thought we could tap into that passion by raising funds for people impacted by Hurricane Harvey,” says Jagi Katial, principal of WOMH partner Pegstar Concerts, in a statement. “We've had many artists we have worked with reach out to us and ask us how they could help, Diplo, Sylvan Esso, and Twin Shadow, to name a few, and we decided to pull together a fundraising campaign centered around people who support live music.”

Despite its proximity to its namesake bayou, the venue escaped significant damage outside of some water that came through one door, says managing partner Johnny So. White Oak has canceled all events through Thursday's Sylvan Esso show, but So says the Durham-based indie-pop duo plans to donate a portion of the gate and all merch sales to the fund at their makeup date. Additionally, Twin Shadow will donate several items to a fundraising auction and Diplo has agreed to make a donation.

“We are working with other artists to also contribute to the fund, and we hope these efforts will inspire you to participate in your own way, whether big or small,” the venue said earlier on Facebook.

The venue is also working with other Northside groups to serve as a dropoff point for relief supplies for those concerned about reaching the George R. Brown Convention Center safely, adds So.

Thursday’s show represents the first time (or one of the first) since the storm where people have to get out and have fun, not to mention think about something besides all this damn rain for a while. A donation page has been set up on the WOMH website at The fund is already above $10,000.

“Ninety-seven cents of every dollar raised will go straight to people in need, the only part we can’t dodge is the credit card processing fee,” says So. “Our goal is to raise $50,000, but we hope we can raise far more.”

Note: This article has been updated after original publication to change the status of the Sylvan Esso show.
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Chris Gray has been Music Editor for the Houston Press since 2008. He is the proud father of a Beatles-loving toddler named Oliver.
Contact: Chris Gray