It’s Oklahoma City’s turn to make some noise in the music festival scene.
Thursday morning marked the announcement of OKCFest, a new summer music festival set to take place throughout downtown Oklahoma City from June 26 to June 29. The country-flavored event will boast main stage headliners such as Lady Antebellum, Dierks Bentley, Merle Haggard and Randy Rogers. Also, three Myriad Garden stages will offer free music entertainment.
In an exclusive interview, Oklahoma-born festival organizer Fred Hall and Mayor Mick Cornett sat down with The Oklahoman to discuss the development of OKCFest and why all of downtown was chosen to act as the festival’s venue.
“People are looking to come to downtown Oklahoma City regardless of what’s going on,” Cornett said. “You put this event in downtown Oklahoma City, and it really complements what our city has to offer.”
Tornado relief concerts in the summer of 2013 sparked the idea for OKCFest. The high-profile efforts of headliners including Garth Brooks, Toby Keith, Kings of Leon and the Flaming Lips to raise money for those affected by the storm were enough to fan the mayor’s desire to get more events like that to happen in Oklahoma. Hall’s Nashville music connections came into play and his business savvy led event organization to come together quickly.
“It just worked,” Hall said. “We did it in three months.”
Very few ideas come together this quickly and with this magnitude, Cornett said.
“This is a transformational event in Oklahoma City,” Cornett said. “In that it will not just be a weekend — it will, I believe, kick-start a new identity for the music scene in Oklahoma City and also be the beginning of an industry for both film and video.”