Feel the beat
Dino Lalli suggests upcoming Oklahoma music festivals.
One only has to see a list of just a few of the upcoming music festivals over the next several months to realize those festivals reflect the same diversity as Oklahoma’s music heritage. That heritageis not only diverse but eclectic. And there are many choices for all the music lovers to satisfy their musical cravings.
Coming up April 24 and running through April 29, you can enjoy not only art, but music at the Festival of the Arts in Oklahoma City. Of course, you will need to hit the famous International Food Row, but there also will befour stages of nonstop performing arts and entertainment.
Norman has two top music festivals and events coming up. The first is the Norman Music Festival on April 26-28. This is an annual event that features over 100 bands on different stages. This festival has everything from indie pop to classic folk rock. The Norman Music Festival is free and open to the public, and the location is on the 100, 200 and 300 blocks of historic downtown E Main Street, east of the railroad tracks in the Downtown Norman Arts District.
Then the always popular Jazz in June Festival will take place in Norman from June 14-16.
This has become a central Oklahoma tradition, and its locations are the Brookhaven Village and Andrews Park.
If you’re looking for a festival where you can rock out over a period of three days, then you will need to attend the very popular Rocklahoma in Pryor from May 25-27. Over 70 entertainment acts will be performing on three stages. There will be lots of music, as well as beer, at The Hop Jam on May 20 in the Tulsa Arts District.
Bluegrass with world flavor will fill the air at Oklahoma’s International Bluegrass Festival in Guthrie from Oct. 4-6. The Byron Berline Band and the Red Dirt Rangers are scheduled to appear, but bands from as far away as Australia, Canada and Japan also will play. A weeklong event known as The Arbuckle Mountain
Fall Bluegrass Jam will take place from Oct. 15-21 at Arbuckle Mountain Park in Davis. And Claremore’s Bluegrass & Chili Festival will be cooking up lots of family fun Sept. 6-8 at the Expo Center there.
Louis Armstrong is quoted as saying that “all music is folk music; I ain’t never heard no horse sing a song.”
When I read that quote, I was reminded that music also is said to be a universal language. And that brings me back to folk music and how it gets its due at several events across the state. The biggest of which is the Woody Guthrie Folk Festival, held July 11-15 in his hometown of Okemah. The festival brings performers from all over the world to celebrate the life and music of America’s troubadour.
Grove’s American Heritage Music Festival, June 7-9, will feature fiddle and clogging competitions on multiple stages. And the
Beavers Bend Folk Festival and Craft Show, Nov. 9-11, will highlight regional folkies on everything from banjos to washboards.
The Tallgrass Music Festival takes place June 1-2 in at the Skiatook Sports Complex Park. Also in June, you’ll have a great time at the OKM Music Festival from June 8-15. Held in Bartlesville, this prestigious annual music festival held features a full range of music by Oklahoma’s top musicians, as well as national artists. And the Totem Pole BBQ & Music Festival will be June 23 in Chelsea.
For those who like to plan their schedules out months in advance, here are some upcoming festivals around which you can plan your activities. Sept. 15, you will be able to enjoy the MisFEST: Music is She and She is Music event at the River West Festival Park in Tulsa. The
Stone River Music Festival will take place Sept. 14-16 in Chandler. On Sept. 29, you can combine the love of art and music, as well interactive art education for the community, by attending the Plaza District Festival in Oklahoma City.
The joy and energy of music can be found year-round in Oklahoma! You can discover all the events, festivals and more on the official website of the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department, www.TravelOK. com.
Dino Lalli is the producer, cohost and one of the reporters for the travel program DISCOVER OKLAHOMA.
Lee Rucker plays the trumpet with the Claire Piersol Band in 2017 during the 34th annual Jazz in June concert at the Brookhaven Village.
Three people sit on a wall listening to music in 2017 during the Festival of the Arts in downtown Oklahoma City.
Sweet Spirit performs live in 2017 at Norman Music Festival X.