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Apocalypse Meow continues its fundraising mission for local musicians

Singer/songwriter Joe Pug performs Saturday.
Singer/songwriter Joe Pug performs Saturday.

No news is good news when it comes to the seventh annual Apocalypse Meow benefit: This year’s event will be much like recent years, a sign of the fundraiser’s success.

Launched in 2008, Apocalypse Meow collects money for the Midwest Music Foundation’s health care fund, which assists local musicians. It was renamed Abby’s Fund last year in memory of Abigail Henderson. A founder of MMF, she died in 2013, five years after a breast cancer diagnosis.

Over the course of seven years, Apocalypse Meow has evolved into two nights of music, including a free all-ages pre-party that has moved to Westport.

“Since the Midwestern Musical Company closed, we are having our free pre-party at Mills Record Company,” said Rhonda Lyne, director of development for MMF. “Then we head to RecordBar for Katy Guillen & the Girls and Chris Meck and the Guilty Birds.

“The main event Saturday at Knuckleheads will be similar to last year, except we are using all three stages, depending on the weather.”

And thanks to one of its sponsors, the Kansas Speedway, organizers were able to bring in an out-of-state performer for the first time: singer/songwriter Joe Pug, a native Chicagoan now living in Austin, Texas.

Through the Abby Fund, the MMF has distributed $45,000 in grants to 26 musicians.

“Everyone who has applied has been given some kind of financial assistance or help in finding other resources,” Lyne said.

MMF has delivered more than just financial assistance, including low-cost annual checkups and an open house with the KC Care Clinic, which has provided blood pressure screenings, advice on applying for the Affordable Care Act and information on registering with the clinic.

“We have been working to help educate musicians on their options when suffering a medical emergency and guide them to other resources,” Lyne said. “We also have offered more educational programming. We have our annual legal boot camp for musicians during Crossroads Music Fest with the Kansas City Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts. Also, we have done educational events with InterUrban Art House.”

MMF also has two events in December: the annual Murder Ballad Ball and the Midwestern Audio CD release, a two-disc music compilation featuring local bands and performers.


Mills Record Co.,

314 Westport Road

Admission: Free;

all-ages pre-party

7 p.m.: Various Blonde

8 p.m.: The Philistines


1020 Westport Road

Admission: $7,

18 and older

10 p.m.: Katy Guillen & the Girls

11 p.m.: Chris Meck and the Guilty Birds


Knuckleheads Saloon,

2715 Rochester Ave.

Admission: $10,

21 and older

Outdoor stage

7:30 p.m.: Bad Wheels

8:30 p.m.: Pedaljets

10 p.m.: Outsides

Indoor stage

7 p.m.: Culprits

8 p.m.: The Thunderclaps

9 p.m.: Anna Cole and the Other Lovers

10 p.m: Joe Pug

Gospel Lounge

7:30 p.m.: Sara Swenson

9:30 p.m.: The Blackbird Revue

10:30 p.m.: Wells the Traveler

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