Tuesday 22 Jul

Manmade Objects - Monuments

No one wants to be forgotten; everyone wants some sort of legacy, a mark they leave behind as they exit this life for whatever lies beyond.

And for as long as there has been death, there have been monuments — whether austere or understated, abstract or concrete, prominent or tucked away in private — erected by the ones they loved to assure that remembrance, at least for a time.
07/15/2014 | Comments 0

Admirals - Amidst the Blue

Sometimes it helps to not be very good.

Some of the best albums and artists were born out of happy accidents owed to varying degrees of early suckage — the perfect note or chord for a song found by missing the one you are aiming for, failed mimicry of an idol bearing something entirely new and great instead.

07/09/2014 | Comments 0

Kierston White - Don't Write Love Songs

The Tequila Songbirds have become just as beloved as about any group around these parts. And how could they not?

Featuring a revolving cast of the Sooner State’s most badass female performers, it’s a power hour of some of the best songwriting coming out of central Oklahoma. Sure, they might not technically be family, but they are clearly a band of sisters all the same, bonded by the same brand of whiskey running through their veins.

07/01/2014 | Comments 0

Depth & Current - Dysrhythmia

"Overproduced" is a term thrown around all too indiscreetly nowadays, usually applied when the thing that sticks out about a song or album is how it sounds rather than how it is constructed. Yet some of the most compelling albums ever crafted embodied a certain aesthetic that was just as skillfully and meticulously put together as any Bob Dylan or Miles Davis record — which is to say production is as crucial to our enjoyment of music as much as anything else; it's also the most overlooked.
06/24/2014 | Comments 0

Weak Knees - “IceBevo”

Indie rock has been in a good place as of late. Not caring about being cool is the new cool, and a couple of dudes on guitar, bass and drums can make catchy, earworm songs without being armed to the gills with computer software and vintage synthesizers.
06/17/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · Tulsa time

Tulsa time

FreeTulsa! is making a name for itself during the hiatus of DFest.

Joshua Boydston July 27th, 2011

FreeTulsa! 2011 featuring Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, Fiawna Forte, The Pretty Black Chains and more
Friday and Saturday
Blue Dome District, Tulsa

When Marc Matheos — owner of Tulsa’s Crystal Pistol Saloon — started planning a humble DFest after-party with neighbors Soundpony Bar last year, he didn’t ever anticipate it becoming the main event.

“The day we announced FreeTulsa! — this little production that was just going to happen in front of our place — was the same day DFest announced they were going on hiatus. It threw everyone for a loop,” Matheos said. “We had over 100

bands that had been planning to play DFest contact us in about 48 hours, asking to come play at our festival. We couldn’t bring ourselves to say no.”

FreeTulsa! went from eight or so bands playing in front of their establishments on a small stage with a simple PA to a multistage event with professional sound setups with personnel requirements.

“We had to get these pretty big stages, then get sound, lights and security detail involved. Our little free festival turned into something a lot bigger than that pretty quickly,” Matheos said. “Subsequently, it went from costing around $200 to produce to around $30,000. All of a sudden, FreeTulsa! wasn’t very free.”

The organizers scrambled to find sponsors to accommodate the then-massive production costs to little avail. They were producing an event with more than 100 bands all on their own.

“We conceptualized that festival and executed the whole thing within 60 days,” Matheos said, laughing. “Not much time to find sponsors.”

The festival resorted to charging $15 for two-day passes to help recover some of the costs, but the ironic price tag didn’t keep music fans away. Although a far cry from the average, 40,000-plus DFest drew each night, 3,000 people showed up, all armed with jokes about paying to attend FreeTulsa!, which showcased mostly Oklahoma acts like Johnny Polygon, Broncho, Native Lights and more.

“We got a lot of grief for that, we knew we would,” Matheos said, continuing. “But this year it is free. We knew if we knew we were going to use that name, we were going to have to find a way to make it free for everyone.”

The free festival has expanded, too, showcasing more than 175 bands on 15 stages.

For all the changes, the event is sticking with it’s local band motif; this year showcases Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey playing its latest project “The Race Riot Suite” a few blocks from where the Tulsa race riots took place, as well as indie rock acts Fiawna Forte (pictured above), The Electric Primadonnas and more.

FreeTulsa! may never fill the shoes that DFest left behind, but it’s definitely making its very own impression.

To signup for a free wristband, visit freetulsa2011.com.

Photo by Matt Carney

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