Tuesday 29 Jul

TJ Mayes - "When Love Comes Down"

’50s era rock ’n’ roll had been long overdue for a rebirth. Thankfully, the stockpile of capable luminaries has not been in short supply over the past few years. 

07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Boare - "playdatshit"

The world is in the midst of an electronic music renaissance, and you find most of this boon of producers laying claim to the club-friendly, bass-dropping variety, holing up in the the free-flowing world of hip-hop beatmaking or pitching their tent on the out-there, boundary-pushing EDM camp.
07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Broncho - "Class Historian"

Broncho has never been hurting in the hook department. The success of the trio’s 2011 debut, Can’t Get Past the Lips, was predicated mostly on its ability to marry melodies with kinetic guitar riffs and anarchic energy. Yet we’ve heard nothing to the degree of pure pop catchiness on display in “Class Historian,” the new single from Broncho’s upcoming sophomore album, Just Enough Hip to Be Woman.
07/23/2014 | Comments 0

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
Home · Articles · Music · Music · Oklahoma stampede

Oklahoma stampede

OKC Fest brings some of the most popular acts in the world together for a premier music showcase, and we ain’t seen nothin’ like it ’round these parts.

Jennifer Chancellor June 25th, 2014

OKC Fest Festival Stage
5 p.m. Friday and Saturday 
Myriad Botanical Gardens 
301 W. Reno Ave. 

4:30 p.m. Friday, noon Saturday and 11:30 a.m. Sunday
Myriad Botanical Gardens
301 W. Reno Ave.

Merle Haggard

It’s happening — and a full year sooner than anticipated.

Saying OKC Fest is ambitious would draw a knowing chuckle from longtime Oklahoma resident Fred Hall, who helped plan this year’s inaugural gala. For starters, he projected a launch date of 2015.

“Things took on a momentum that surprised everyone,” Hall said.

Mayor Mick Cornett, Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, Downtown OKC Inc. and others came together to kick it off a year sooner. Hall formed his own company, Rokfest, LLC, to help make it happen.

He said if it wasn’t for a massive tragedy, he wouldn’t have believed it was possible to create, in just a handful of months, a festival that expects at least 10,000 people a day.

However, after he saw the community response to the 2013 tornado damage throughout Oklahoma, he knew it could be done. He just had to find the right partner to make things click — and do it quickly.

“All these Oklahoma artists came home and came together after the storms,” he said.

Sold-out events at Chesapeake were planned with mere weeks’ notice, but they also had major help. Meanwhile, Hall realized something else.

“What struck me is that we should build a music community where our biggest talent doesn’t have to leave Oklahoma in order to become successful,” he said.


So Hall joined with Victor Sansone, former chairman of the Country Music Association, to conceptualize an event that celebrated his city.

“I’ve produced country fairs since the ’80s,” Hall said. “But I’ve never done anything like this before.”

That’s where Sansone used his roster of contacts. Soon, headliners including Merle Haggard, Dierks Bentley, Lady Antebellum and Scotty McCreery were onboard, too.

What was developed was a weekend-long festival that’s free during the day and paid at night with a chart-topping roster of country music acts.

Nighttime festival tickets start at $35 for the Friday and Saturday night headliners.

“You couldn’t see one of these headliners for $35 anywhere,” Sansone said. “But thanks to the support from the city, ticket prices have been kept really low.”

During the day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, free, family friendly events will fill downtown and the Myriad Botanical Gardens. There also will be food vendors, face painting, youth activities and several stages of music with dozens of local bands, including everything from gospel to jazz; Spanish-language acts; and even The First Lady of Rockabilly, Wanda Jackson, at 7 p.m. Saturday. Nighttime concerts are ticketed and will take place at an outdoor stage on the corner of Harvey and Reno avenues.

All proceeds from this event will benefit local youth music scholarships, school music programs, instruments and other music-related needs.

“Everything that happens here, that’s spent here, stays here,” Hall said. “That’s not a small statement. This is all about the betterment of our city.”

Get Randy at OKC Fest

Randy Rogers says he writes songs about real-life, blue-collar people. He spent years earning a buck by working at McDonald’s, refereeing intramural sports and cleaning pools.

“But this is the craziest job I’ve ever had,” he said. “It’s still the biggest rush in the world.”

His band is often labeled as Texas Country. (It was formed in Cleburne, Texas, after all.) But he fully embraces Oklahoma’s Red Dirt scene — a combination of Southern rock, country rock, blues, bluegrass, honkytonk and Western swing music that originated in Stillwater’s rich music scene in the late 20th century.

“I came up under the wings of Jason Boland & the Stragglers, Stoney LaRue and Mike McClure and those guys, so I thank them a lot,” he said. “All musicians sound different, but it’s all Red Dirt and it’s all Texas music. The music is about a lifestyle, not a sound.”

The lifestyle often includes familystyle jams with members from any other group at any time during any show, long road tours together and a unity with fans and audiences that is often unique. The lifestyle comes with a “flag-waving” pride of the music, state, region and community — and of each other.

“There are no limits,” he said. “We’re all family, and we live, work and play hard together.”

But Rogers credits the music — and the lifestyle — to true outlaw country.

“None of this is our fault,” he said. “It goes back to people like Waylon (Jennings) and Willie (Nelson) and Merle (Haggard) and those guys who made their own rules ... and wrote their own music.”

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