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Blue Door planning tornado benefit shows Friday and Saturday

by Brandy McDonnell Modified: May 22, 2013 at 6:11 pm •  Published: May 20, 2013
Kevin Welch
Kevin Welch

Kevin Welch Oklahoma City, OK

Two concerts already scheduled for this weekend at Oklahoma City’s Blue Door listening room have been transformed into tornado benefit shows, just hours after deadly and devastating tornadoes ripped through Moore and south Oklahoma City this afternoon.

“I just could not continue my Blue Door anniversary in light of what happened. This is not when … we need to be celebrating. So we’re turning what was going to be a continuation of our Blue Door anniversary into this,” Blue Door proprietor Greg Johnson said by phone tonight.

“We just figure it’s the least we could do. While we’ve got shows going on, we might as well do what we can to help.”

In celebration of his venue’s 20th anniversary this month, Johnson has been hosting a series of shows featuring some of the musicians who have been playing the Blue Door since the beginning.

Singer-songwriter Kevin Welch, who graduated from Midwest City High School, was scheduled to play Friday night. Austin, Texas, singer-songwriter Michael Fracasso was to headline Saturday night, with Oklahoma City duo Miss Brown to You sharing the bill.

Now, the lineup for Friday’s benefit show includes Welch, Fracasso, Miss Brown to You and Grammy-nominated Bearden singer-songwriter John Fullbright. Tickets are $40.

Previously purchased tickets to Friday’s show will be honored, too, Johnson said.

Fracasso and Miss Brown to you are still on the lineup for Saturday’s show, and $20 ticket price will remain the same. But it now will be a tornado benefit concert.

Proceeds from both shows, with the exception of minor expenses like gas money for the musicians, will go to helping victims of today’s tornado. Johnson said he is researching the best local route to funnel the funds to tornado victims, particularly those directly affected by the destruction of Briarwood and Plaza Towers elementary schools in Moore.

“We’re going to be as supportive as we can be and let the power of music kind of wash over everybody and help steel everybody,” he said. “It’s something that I think the community needs to come together, and this is just a start.”

He said Fullbright, whose Sunday Summer Breeze concert in Norman was postponed to June 9 because of Sunday’s tornadoes, texted him soon after the latest round tornadoes roared through. The Grammy nominee said he wanted to do something to help. Johnson, who is also Fullbright’s manager, contacted the other artists, and they immediately agreed to turn their shows into benefit events.

“We’ve done so many benefits. And people have done benefits for me to get the wall built when the north wall was falling down,” Johnson said.  “Hopefully, we’ll help and then I’m sure other people are gonna be helping. But it’ll be a long road back, like it always is.”

Johnson said he expects indoor seating for both benefit shows to sell out quickly. But he plans to open up the Blue Door patio and sell patio tickets at the door to accommodate as many music fans as possible.

“If it’s sold out, don’t worry. We’ll pack the patio,” he said. “It’s gonna be a way for all of us to get together and support those people.”

For tickets and information, go to or


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by Brandy McDonnell
Entertainment Reporter
Brandy McDonnell, also known by her initials BAM, writes stories and reviews on movies, music, the arts and other aspects of entertainment. She is NewsOK’s top blogger: Her 4-year-old entertainment news blog, BAM’s Blog, has notched more than 1...
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