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Lady Antebellum, Merle Haggard, Dierks Bentley to perform in inaugural Oklahoma City music festival

By Heide Brandes

This summer, Oklahoma City gets rowdy with a new summer music festival that will bring in some of country music’s biggest stars in the first city music festival.

OKCFEST 2014, the brainchild of Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett and civic leader Fred Hall, is expected to attract 30,000 fans per day or more, proving to the nation that Oklahoma City continues to grow as a destination city.

From Thursday, June 26 to Sunday, June 29, the sounds of contemporary and traditional country, rock, bluegrass, jazz, unplugged singer-songwriter showcases – including exclusive appearances by four of Nashville’s current top hit song writers – “rock en Español” and gospel music will reverberate throughout downtown Oklahoma City.

Ironically, the idea of a major music festival was born from a major tragedy.
“Last summer, we saw destructive tornadoes, and from that, a major relief concert,” said Hall, local businessman and coordinator of OKCFEST 2014. “Mayor Cornett mentioned to me that he thought it would be neat to be able to do a concert like that every year.”

Last year, Blake Shelton hosted a benefit concert at the Chesapeake Energy Arena following the deadly storms that plagued central Oklahoma in 2013. Hall visited Nashville following his conversation with the mayor and put the plans into place. Not only was he able to create a major music festival for Oklahoma City, he was able to do it in less than a year.

“This city is very supportive of the vision. This is another way to put our city on the map for another big thing,” Hall said.

On the heels of the success of the OKC Thunder, the creation of Oklahoma City’s Bricktown and Boathouse districts, a music festival was the next step for the city.

“A music festival is what Oklahoma City was missing. We didn’t have a music festival that matched Oklahoma City’s size,” Cornett said.


OKCFEST will be the official kick-off for Oklahoma City’s Core to Shore downtown park and new convention center. The musical event features such country stars as Dierks Bentley, Lady Antebellum, Merle Haggard, Scotty McCreery, Josh Abbott Band, Randy Rogers Band, Casey Donahew Band and Kix Brooks

“This event will evolve,” said Cornett. “As this event grows, it will also reflect the city’s growth.”
OKC Fest will start at 5 p.m. on June 27 at Oklahoma City’s Downtown Festival Stage. The main stage, which features nationally-renowned acts, requires tickets for entry. Ticket prices are $35 per day in advance ($40 day of show, if not sold out) and $60 for two-day advance passes. Additionally, many free events will be held throughout the weekend in downtown Oklahoma City during the festival.

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