If you thought that last weekend capped off the summer's outdoor music festivities, you were wrong. Sure, CoUFest may have been the biggest outdoor concert event of the year, but it's far from the only one, and certainly not the marker for the end of the season. September alone will have festival events every weekend of the month if you're willing to step outside of Tulsa, but this Saturday, we cap off July with a single day showcase of talent at RiverParks amphitheater that has been dubbed "Boomtown" Arts & Music Showcase.
Gerry Westby of Subkulture Presents shared that the event was originally planned to be downtown as a street party, but when plans for that location fell through, he got the opportunity to move the event to RiverParks and make things a bit bigger. Even though it has grown in size, Westby is careful not to characterize the event as a festival.
"This is definitely not a festival in the normal perception of that," Westby shared. "When I think 'festival,' I think camping and 100,000 people. We're trying to do something smaller, to showcase a bunch of music for one day and do something fun outdoors. To us, this is an opportunity to have some fun along the river for the day."
Although the event has already grown to fill the day and occupy River Parks West, including the amphitheater stage, Westby faces further expansion with trepidation.
"I don't know how much bigger we'd ever want to go with something like this anyway," he said. "After it gets so large, it gets unmanageable and just becomes a big pain."
As it is, throwing a single day event allows Westby and his crew to keep the proceedings manageable while still creating an event with a large feel.
This isn't your average local music showcase, however. Anyone familiar with the "Subkulture Presents" brand knows that it deals mostly with the DJ and Dubstep scenes. And while Boomtown will definitely shed some light on the electronic dance music movement, it will also mix things up with a variety of live acts as well.
"I love EDM, but Tulsa is still new to the scene," Westby explained, "so we're mixing things up. We've got some of the new guys on the scene coming in and we've got some funky stuff, like The Floozies. And then we're also balancing it out with local bands like Sam & the Stylees, SocietySociety and The Move Trio, that all kind of make sense and will blend together.
"Basically, we got a bunch of guys that don't pigeon-hole themselves or their sound. They just do their thing and don't worry about it," he said.
The electronic lineup itself is impressive, especially considering how quickly the event developed and transitioned. Candyland is the biggest name in the lineup, hailing from Santa Barbara and releasing a debut album, Bring the Rain in January of 2013, the duo landed at No. 1 on the Dubstep, Electro House, Drum & Bass and Glitch Hop charts. Los Angeles based gLAdiator also brings a west coast feel to the Tulsa event while Codes comes from Broooklyn, bringing a different feel with his tracks and Two Fresh brings the experience of having played multiple major festivals already, including SXSW, Wakarusa, Starscape and North Coast. Of course, The Floozies is the ace up Westby's sleeve, having already toured nationally in clubs, arenas and festivals to build a reputation for turning each show into a huge dance party.
An array of local and regional DJs and EDM artists fills the bill as well, bringing Domewrekka, Roj Mahal, Daven Treague, JDAM, Kudos, Deep, Jesse Strange, Dr. Plasticine, Rufus and KrewX out of the clubs and onto the big stage in front of a new and larger crowd.
When asked about his motivation in doing a showcase this large with a focus on electronic music, Westby shared that, "We're really trying to educate people on this kind of music and show that it's not all just dark, industrial type stuff. As an industry veteran (both as a promoter and DJ), people ask me all the time 'My kid is interested in this, but how does he get started?' Well, bring your kids out to Boomtown so you can both find out what it's really all about. Those kids are the future and hopefully, those kids that come out will be the ones that pick it up and move it forward from here.
"We're also really focused on the synergy and unity of the music scene," Westby continued. "Not to sound clichéd, but we really try to keep an open door policy with every artist and every part of the music scene. We look at it as 'Let's work together and help each other out.' Music doesn't have an area code -- there's no reason we can't all feed off of each other to help the music scene as a whole."
Looking at Boomtown as a whole, Westby is presenting the day's event as an "arts and music showcase" with two stages for the music, arts vendors spread throughout the River Parks grounds, a variety of food trucks on hand for different eating options, and a full blown light show, including dual 12watt lasers on the main stage to keep the party vibe going all night long.
Overall, Westby said that "I really feel like Oklahoma right now has so much talent and so many people are supportive of all kinds of music. It's like a big ball of creativity and we could share something really cool. There's not a set mentality of what Tulsa's music scene has to be right now, so everyone has an open door to do what they want."
As such, Westby, along with his partner, Josh Lynch, and the rest of his Subkulture crew are stepping up to present one more side of Tulsa's growing music scene with Boomtown Arts & Music Showcase at RiverParks Amphitheater this Saturday, July 27. Gates open at 3pm, and the music will go until 11pm with a mix of live bands and electronic artists and DJs. Tickets are $15 in advance at Starship Records or online at eventbrite.com or $20 at the gate, and it's an all-ages event. In fact, Westby has made an effort to show this isn't just a club culture music movement and is encouraging families to come out and enjoy the music, even making admission for those 10 and under free with an accompanying adult.
If you've ever wondered just what the whole dubstep and EDM movement is about, this is your best opportunity to experience it first hand and do it outside of the clubs. And what better way can you think of to check out some new music -- or take in a full day of your favorite stuff, if you're already an EDM fan -- than soaking up the sun, then dancing the night away at River Parks?
Send all comments and feedback regarding SoundCheck to email@example.com.
With any luck, you've recovered from last weekend's festival and overflow of club shows, and you're ready to start again. That's good, because our clubs are always lively, and we've got the highlights to get you started, so check these out as you point yourself out the door for the weekend:
Thursday, July 25
No Justice returns to Tulsa for a show at Red Dirt Dance Hall to get you started with a mix of rock and country with a touch of attitude. Meanwhile, Vagabond Swing plays Mercury Lounge, and IDL Ballroom hosts Boomtown Burlesque with Olivia Duhon singing to set the stage for your favorite burlesque dancers.
Friday, July 26
If you're looking for country, you can swing with The Tulsa Playboys at Cain's Ballroom or go the Texas country route with Craig Campbell at Red Dirt Dance Hall. Otherwise, Brandon Clark Band plays Hunt Club, Dirty Creek Bandits are at the Colony, and Vanguard hosts Chasing Pictures with The Demigs. If you head over to 18th & Boston, The Shrine hosts a five-band showcase with Gumbo Poets, Fine As Paint, Sleepwalking Home, Dirty Crush and Redwood Rising to catch a little of everything in one stop. And you can never go wrong at Mercury Lounge where you'll find Tyrannosaurus Chicken and Ben Miller Band to jump start your weekend.
Saturday, July 27
Riot Bear plays Soundpony while Dachshund and The Grown Ups take over at Hunt Club and Mercury Lounge hosts Paula & Lance's Wedding with Brandon Clark Band and Somebody's Darling. Meanwhile, Montu is at The Shrine while Boomtown Arts Showcase takes over RiverParks with Candyland, gLAdiator, Codes, The Floozies, SocietySociety, Sam & the Stylees, Move Trio and more...
Sunday, July 28
The Jazz Hall of Fame presents "Two of a Kind" with Cindy Cain and Pam Van Dyke Crosby for the jazz crowd at 5pm, while the rock crowd can chill later at Hunt Club with The Move Trio, and The Dull Drums rock Soundpony for the indie crowd.
Looking out into next week, Cain's Ballroom is the place to be with 80's hero Adam Ant on Tuesday, July 30 and a metal show with Philip H Anselmo & the Illegals with Warbeast, Author & Punisher and Hymns on Wednesday, July 31.
Share this article: