In Memoriam

Davis Music Fest and its parent organization the Davis Live Music Collective are proud to announce the creation of the Matthew Blake Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship is funded by proceeds from the annual Davis Music Fest and will be awarded to graduating Davis high school students planning to pursue music or performing and visual arts after graduation, either through higher education or professional practice. The goal is to continue supporting the arts in our community by directly supporting young artists as they grow beyond our borders, carrying our shared values with them wherever they go.

Davis Music Fest formed in 2011 to bring the best live music to Davis, California and as a fundraiser for arts and music education in Davis public schools. As an all-volunteer organization we rely on the donated time and expertise of dozens of dedicated individuals who share a love of live music, the community of Davis, and a belief that the arts are an essential part of public education. No one exemplified this better than board president and BBQ grill master Matthew Blake.

Under Matt’s leadership and through his tireless support, Davis Music Fest grew to both reflect and celebrate the community we all love while spreading our mission beyond the city limits. Matt died unexpectedly after a short bout with illness in 2023, leaving behind his wife Sarah and their twin daughters, both students in Davis public schools. With Sarah’s blessing and ongoing support of the city, our sponsors, and you – the local fans of live music that keep us going – we hope that these scholarships will enrich the lives of more than just those receiving them through generational artistic contributions in and beyond Davis, California.

Matthew Blake

Matt died unexpectedly of a sudden illness in February 2023. It is difficult to summarize Matt’s contributions to our organization because he was an integral part of all of it. Setting meeting agendas (and actually sticking to them), listening to volunteer and fan feedback and implementing change, discovering bands and pitching our next show, then booking and running that show from permitting to cleanup… he was often the last to leave. One of his favorite aspects of event production was running hospitality for artists at Davis Music Fest, including slinging sausages for the last BBQ meal on Sunday afternoons. He did it all humbly and with pure enjoyment that was evident to anyone nearby. The guy loved what he did and everyone involved

More importantly, Matt was a loving and engaged father, husband, brother, mentor, and friend just as endearing and funny as he was smart – which is to say, extremely and effortlessly. Matt made things better wherever he went, and leaves a void in our lives the breadth and depth of which we will never really know.

Our thoughts are first and foremost with his wife and their two daughters to whom we pledge unending support. We encourage you to join us by contributing as you are able to their higher education GoFundMe campaign.

We miss you, Matt, and thank you always. Rest in Peace.