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Center of the Universe Festival returns to Tulsa

The Center of the Universe Festival in Tulsa is in its second year and is gaining momentum.
By Lacey Lett, For The Oklahoman Published: July 24, 2014
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Between First and Archer in Tulsa, an acoustic phenomena exists. Stand in the approximately eight-foot circle and say something. An echo effect bounces back, creating a distorted and unique sound.

It’s called the Center of the Universe. The famed landmark has become so big in T-town that there now is a music festival named after it.

The Center of the Universe Festival is in its second year and is gaining momentum quickly. Last year, 80,000 fans packed Tulsa’s Brady District to hear the sounds of Neon Trees, OK Go, One Republic and Mutemath, to name a few.

Festival organizer Chris Lieberman said he saw a void in the music festival he wanted to fill.

“Philip Kaiser and I have talked about producing a music festival in Tulsa for a number of years because we thought it would help Tulsa, and the state of Oklahoma, attract and keep young, energetic people and convince other vibrant people to move here, which we see as vital to the long-term growth and success of our state,” Lieberman said.

This isn’t Lieberman’s first time to organize a large event. He is the executive director of the Route 66 Marathon, an annual running event with thousands of participants from across the country. Although it’s a different species of event, he believes the festival is another way to attract visitors to the state.

Lieberman looked at what makes other cities successful, and music was a large component.

“We think that great communities have great music festivals, and we wanted to create this as a way to help the Oklahoma continue to grow and thrive,” he said.

This year’s lineup includes Awolnation, Fitz and the Tantrums, Young the Giant, Capital Cities, Cold War Kids and several Oklahoma acts.

Growing festival

Oklahoma City band Horse Thief is on the local lineup. For them, heading up the turnpike to Tulsa for this festival was an obvious choice. Frontman Cameron Neal said the festival is a great opportunity to interact with the Tulsa community and national artists.

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GOING ON

Center of the Universe Festival

When: Friday and Saturday.

Where: Tulsa’s Brady District.

Price: $50 for a two-day pass, $200 for a VIP two-day pass.

Information: www.centeroftheuniversefestival.com.

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