Frack Fest provides an underground arts experience

click to enlarge Patrick Stewart, Johnnie Payne and Layla Payne at a previous Frack Fest Event. (provided)
Patrick Stewart, Johnnie Payne and Layla Payne at a previous Frack Fest Event.

A documentary from New Zealand centered on dinner-plate-size spiders; a lesson about adult coloring books; a live action role-playing game.

These are some of the unique attractions on display at the latest Frack Fest, the growing multimedia fest that promises to bring something alternative to Oklahoma City.

In other words, the opposite of mainstream.

“When I say underground, it’s things like that, things that you wouldn’t maybe normally see,” said George Adams, an OKC filmmaker, director and restaurateur who co-founded Frack Fest in 2015. “The idea is just to have something that’s alternative, that’s unique, that’s different for Oklahoma City. This one is just a little different.”

Now in its third year, the three-day festival set for Thursday-Saturday at The Paramount OKC on Film Row, is a showcase for film, gaming, comic books, graphic novels and, for the first time this year, music.

Adams said Saturday is the most action-packed day for Frack Fest. Local punk and heavy metal bands Crobone, Sun Phaser, Your Mom and Lost Empires will perform Saturday night.

Starting at 10 a.m., festivalgoers can view more than 20 films ranging from a minute in length to more than two hours. The 2016 version of Frack Fest featured about 60 films, but organizers were more selective to fit them in one day.

“The films are across the board,” Adams said. “They are everything from documentary to animation to feature films. We’re showing local talent as well as films from New Zealand and music videos from Iran. We’ve got a host of countries that will be represented.”

click to enlarge The Paramount on Film Row will be the epicenter for the third annual Frack Fest. (Photo provided)
Photo provided
The Paramount on Film Row will be the epicenter for the third annual Frack Fest.

Live-action role-playing games, where participants physically act out actions based on a theme or genre, run 6 p.m. Friday through the weekend.

On Saturday, Frack Fest features an art panel with Melanie Gillman, a Tulsa artist who will teach a one-hour class on how to perfect the art of adult coloring books.

The festival begins Thursday with a meet and greet and screening of Traceroute, last year’s winner of Best of the Fest film. The Friday night headline features a screening of Suedehead from OKC’s own Mickey Reese.

Admission is $10, and a weekend pass is $25. Adams joked that Frack Fest has something for everyone, even for those who want to sit at the bar and have a drink with filmmakers.

He’s one of seven organizers who help put the event together. Frack Fest started as an idea to showcase the talent and vision of underground filmmakers, authors, artists and musicians.

Adams, who moved to OKC from Los Angeles 13 years ago, said he noticed a market for non-mainstream multimedia.

Downtown OKC, including Film Row, has drastically changed in the last decade with a revitalization of sorts, which made underground events like Frack Fest possible. Earlier this summer, The Jones Assembly, a hip new restaurant and music venue, opened down the street from The Paramount.

“Anytime a city grows, you get people with different ideas, different culture, different ways of thinking that come in and spice things up a little bit,” Adams said.

Frack Fest is just one of the many events that keeps artists engaged in OKC.

Frack Fest

8 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday, 9:50 a.m. Saturday

The Paramount OKC | 701 W. Sheridan Ave.


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