Thursday, April 10, 2014
The refrain “GET YOUR KICKS ON ROUTE 66” will take on new life at the first annual OKCFEST 2014 — a new summer music festival that is the brainchild of Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett and prominent business and civic leader Fred Hall. Supported by a growing alliance of business, community and entertainment industry leaders, the OKCFEST 2014 mid-summer musical party and festival will attract an estimated 30,000 fans, and underscores the ever-growing vibrancy and vitality of Oklahoma City — both present and future.
From Thursday June 26 through Sunday June 29, the harmonious sounds of contemporary and traditional country, rock, bluegrass, jazz, unplugged singer-songwriter showcases - including an exclusive appearance by four of Nashville’s current top hit song writers - “rock en Espagnol” and gospel music will reverberate throughout Downtown Oklahoma City. Production stages will be concentrated in the Myriad Gardens vicinity across from the City’s iconic Devon Energy Tower and the Chesapeake Energy Arena, home of the Oklahoma City Thunder NBA basketball team, and blocks from the city’s popular Bricktown entertainment district, Oklahoma River Boathouse District, Film Row and the Oklahoma City Museum of Art and other prominent cultural and recreational destinations. Within walking distance of the festival staging area are dozens of hotels, restaurants and bistros offering a variety of cuisine, unique shopping and ample public parking options.
Reflecting the genre’s historic Oklahoma popularity, country was selected as the focus of the Festival’s first year scheduling. Headline performers will include popular recording stars Lady Antebellum, Dierks Bentley, Merle Haggard, Randy Rogers, Kix Brooks, Josh Abbott, Casey Donahew and Scotty McCreery on the OKCFEST’s Main Stage Friday and Saturday nights. Celebrated producer, composer and renowned jazz vocalist Steve Tyrell and his 8-piece band will kick-off the weekend with an exclusive and independently ticketed Thursday night show for festival underwriters, sponsors and their special guests. The high-profile first year line-up resulted from a collaborative effort between Fred Hall and Victor Sansone, the respected past chairman of the Country Music Association and former ABC radio executive, who is serving as an entertainment and production consultant to OKCFEST.
One-day and two-day passes for the main stage event area, which will feature food, beverage and unique shopping throughout OKCFEST, go on sale April 11 through the OKCFEST Festival Website (online at OKCFEST.com, at ProTix.com, and in select Oklahoma ProTix retail locations), with main stage site admission available for purchase at $35 per day and $59 for two-day passes.
Additional music and other entertainment events on three nearby Myriad Garden stages will be free to the public Friday through Sunday afternoons and evenings, with preferred seating at each stage reserved for those holding OKCFEST passes.
According to Festival founder Fred Hall, “Something special is going on in Oklahoma City. OKCFEST will be a kick-off party to celebrate Oklahoma City’s planned Core to Shore downtown park and new convention center and will give festivalgoers an exciting glimpse of what is possible in the years ahead as this event and downtown evolve together. Our event site is literally at the epicenter of these future transformational attractions for our city.”
Sansone added, “I’ve organized and promoted festivals around this great country. Few, if any, boast a first year line-up of the caliber and variety assembled for OKCFEST 2014. On top of that, proximity to hotels, restaurants, Bricktown bars, shopping and the OKC Boathouse District, literally within walking distance from the festival site, instantly makes this one of the top events in the country and best values imaginable for fans. I can’t think of a better backdrop for this outstanding music festival than the downtown Oklahoma City skyline. Since this event will bring the entire OKC community together, downtown is the perfect place to stage it.”
“The OKCFEST 2014 is a reflection of the incredible aspirational vision of our business leadership in Oklahoma City,” commented Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett. “Fred Hall and the exceptional team of entertainment professionals he has assembled have created a truly world-class event with regional reach and opportunity. The variety of the entertainment offering at the first annual OKCFEST 2014 shows the growing diversity of our community. As evident by the big plans for OKCFEST 2014, our City’s national and international standing as a place where arts and culture can flourish continues to grow.”
OKCFEST is a production of Hall’s ROKCFEST, LLC, formed expressly for the production of the event. Physical production is being managed by DCF Concerts, an Oklahoma City based production company, which was the local promoter of last year’s “Gentlemen of the Road” weekend festival tour stop in Guthrie, Oklahoma, headlined by Grammy winners and tour organizers Mumford & Sons.
“As a homegrown and locally managed event, OKCFEST organizers will rely heavily on local contractors and vendors to keep festival proceeds in the community,” Hall said. “We want this event to not only bring positive recognition of our City and enjoyment for our citizens, but to actually deliver lasting economic and social benefits that will make our community an even better place.”
He continued, “Money made over our costs will go to support local music education initiatives including scholarships and free concerts throughout metropolitan Oklahoma City area as well as opportunities for local performers who are building the burgeoning music scene in Oklahoma City.”
Hall’s ROKCFEST entity leads the planning and production of OKCFEST with co-presenting sponsors the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Oklahoma City, Inc., the City of Oklahoma City Mayor’s Office, along with the support of major Oklahoma City corporate and private underwriting.
In recent years, Downtown Oklahoma City has emerged as an entertainment destination led by the arrival of Oklahoma City Thunder. Notable popular events and festivals, including New Year’s “Opening Night” Celebration, the Oklahoma City Regatta Festival, the Auto Alley “Ghouls Gone Wild” Halloween Parade, the nationally acclaimed Festival of the Arts and Red Earth Native American Festival, DeadCenter Film Festival and the city’s professional baseball and hockey franchises, draw hundreds of thousands of local residents and national and international visitors to Oklahoma City’s downtown business and cultural districts each year.