POSTED ON JUNE 24, 2009:
Rock in Technicolor
Founder combines passion for music and the environment in this weekend's OK Greenfest
Save Energy. The evening's headliners will be Austin's Electric Touch, which Rolling Stone magazine recently named a "next big thing" band and Nashville-based rock act The Pink Spiders.
Although it's been debated whether music and politics or social causes should go together, time has proven that music affects change.
And why shouldn't it? As a form of expression, it's only fitting that music should reflect what a musician cares deeply about. In turn, musicians who involve themselves with issues and causes they are passionate about is a natural fit.
This weekend, one of the year's biggest music events sees more than two dozen acts come together to raise local awareness of environmental issues. Stretched during two days, the OK Greenfest festival opens in downtown's Blue Dome District on Friday night before moving to River West Festival Park and Amphitheater for an even bigger show on Saturday. The weekend is complete with food vendors, a green market and local artist market.
Event founder and organizer Barry Durbin explained that the purpose of OK Greenfest is to create a large scale event that can be eco-friendly. With a degree in environmental engineering, a background as an environmental consultant and a love for music, Durbin merged his loves and passions for a perfect fit.
According to Durbin, OK Greenfest is designed to be the state's first carbon neutral music festival. "We try to leave zero carbon footprint at the end of the day," he said. "We start by trying to reduce as much of that as possible up front, then investing in carbon offset credits at the end."
Part of that front-end reduction requires food vendors to use recycled and biodegradable plates and cups. Other practices include no Styrofoam, recycling plastic bottles, and focusing on waste reduction.
For future events, Durbin would like to eventually eliminate the use of plastic bottles. He also wants to use alternative energy sources, including biodiesel generators for the event. At the early stages of a growing event, however, OK Greenfest is starting with manageable expectations and working toward being even more environmentally friendly.
After the event, OK Greenfest will calculate its remaining carbon footprint by taking into account attendance figures, the number of cars at the event and the amount of electricity used. Then, the festival will reinvest in carbon offset credits to produce clean energy.
Following last year's event, which was held at Cain's Ballroom, OK Greenfest purchased credits from carbonfund.org to offset 43 tons of carbon waste, with the money invested in Horse Hollow Wind Farms in Wingate, Texas. He was unsuccessful in his attempts to invest the money back in Oklahoma.
Following that experience, Durbin now works on establishing a non-profit organization to help invest money back into our state. Ideally, the funds will aid clean energy projects in Oklahoma such as wind farms, methane gas capture projects and solar energy projects for public schools.
While part of the purpose of Greenfest is to raise awareness and support environmentally-friendly energy sources, it's also about music and entertainment. This year's festival has grown from five bands in one night to 28 acts over two days. With band submissions from 22 states and eight foreign countries, OK Greenfest was able to tap a cross-section of music and book a few touring acts while also supporting Oklahoma's music movement as well.
The festival will begin this Friday night in the blue dome district with stages at Blue Dome Diner, Joe Momma's and the Dilly Deli patio. The Joe Momma's stage opens first with Andy Juhl at 6:45pm, followed by Tash, Klondike 5, Milo's Fare, The Paul Benjaman Band, Philip Zoellner Band and Mama Sweet. Music then starts on the Blue Dome Diner stage at 7pm with The Sleepess Continuum, Kevin Watson, Project Huckleberry, Tastebuds, Proprietors of Earth, Automorrow and All Destroyed Momentarily. Finally, Dilly Deli hosts Vago, Swon Brothers, The Nightlife, Diamond center, Bait and Awaken Form Falling, with music starting at 7:15pm.
Friday night's bands will each play 30 minute sets with 20 minutes between acts, allowing you to rotate between venues to catch a little bit of everything. On Saturday, the event moves to the River west Festival Grounds and floating amphitheater for the main event, which features Mike Blackwell at 2pm, followed by Cody Clinton and the Bishops (2:50pm), Kiernan McMullan (3:40pm), Red Dirt Rangers (4:30pm), My Solstice (5:35pm) and RadioRadio (6:40pm). The evening's headliners will be Austin's Electric Touch, which Rolling Stone magazine recently named a "next big thing" band and Nashville-based rock act The Pink Spiders.
While at River West, concert goers will check out a number of local art vendors and find more information of environmental causes at the "Green Market" with a variety of local consulting firms and non-profit organizations like Sustainable Living Tulsa, Up With Trees and more.
Tickets for OK Greenfest are $15 for a two day pass and will be available on site, with a ticketing tent next to Joe Momma's on Friday night or at the gates on Saturday. Tickets can also be purchased in advance at www.gettix.net, local area Reasor's and Starship Records. Further information and complete band schedules can be found online at www.okgreenfest.com.
Rocking the Art World
If you're looking for a different take on music, art or both, you may want to stop in at Promenade Mall this weekend for the Tulsa Rock Art Show, presented by The Sound (94.1FM) and Z104.5, The Edge. The exhibit will be open during mall hours from Friday, June 26 through Sunday, June 28 and will feature a collection or art and collectibles from five decades.
Ron Campbell, director of the Beatles Cartoon series and animator for the Beatles' Yellow Submarine movie, will be making personal appearances throughout the weekend with a number of his own paintings and giving live demonstrations as well.
Beyond the Beatles ties, the Tulsa Rock Art Show will feature original art from Jerry Garcia, John Entwistle, John Mellencamp, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Pearl Jam and more. The exhibit will include lithographs, album art, handwritten lyrics, concert posters, gold records and more. In addition, all works will be for sale, with a portion of the proceeds going to Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma.
The show is free and open to the public, so stop by over the weekend and check it out on the second level of Promenade Mall while shopping and cooling off.
As if OK Greenfest isn't enough, the rest of the weekend is packed with a variety of killer shows. It's a weekend to celebrate birthdays, mourn the passing of a dear friend and hang at our favorite local clubs. When you're looking for highlights, you know we've got them for you, so read on...
Thursday evenings always kick the weekend off in strong fashion, and this week is no exception. Anyone looking for a good time will be headed to 18th and Boston, where Mercury Lounge hosts Two Tons of Steel, and Dr SquealsGood will revive hair-metal for the night at Rehab.
The most interesting show of the weekend, however, might just be "Time Changes Everything" at Liddy Doenges Theater. John Cooper and Brad Piccolo from Red Dirt Rangers play out what might have happened had Bob Wills and Woody Guthrie ever met, followed by a set with the Rangers. Scripted by John Wooley, this one should be a can't-miss for hardcore Oklahoma music aficionados.
Friday, June 26, highlights included Alex and the Anders at Mercury, Cairde na Gael at Arnie's and Lunar City with La Panther Happens at Soundpony.
Friday is also the beginning of a four-night run to mark the end of The Monolith as OnlyTheBugman, Ptiaradactyl and Jor-Dan take the stage to bid our final DIY venue adieu. Guardant follows up on Saturday evening with Kamikaze Slut, Cosmotologeist and Tip Top Secrets (the best of the four shows) and Sunday brings in Vorvadoss, Emobilization and Stull for a final dose of metal. Finally, Monolith closes its doors with Waxeater, The Great Collapse and Violent Crime. Although it's a sad day when we lose an indie haven like Monolith, it's just a matter of time until the next one pops up. I just hope the wait isn't too long.
June 27 marks the third birthday for Under the Mooch. Tulsa's best local, independent record store is celebrating with an all-day cookout. The grill gets fired up at noon, so bring your favorite meat to fire up and share while our local indie-scene provides the live music. The Barrelhouse Revelers kick things off at 1pm, followed by Tip Top Secrets, Ptiaradactyl, Godseye, La Panther Happens, Slowheen, The Way It Was, Chris Brecker & the Souvenirs and The Dulldrums beginning hourly for 30 minute sets. The party wraps up with a full set by our latest underground superstars, Native Lights, at 8pm.
The rest of Saturday's schedule includes shows by Mountain Sprout at Flytrap Music Hall, Souvenirs and Joe Mack at Soundpony and the return of The Derailers to Mercury Lounge with The Fiddlebacks opening the show.
After a full weekend, you can chill out with Sweeney, Campbell and Glazer at the Jazz Depot on Sunday evening and rest up for the July 4th weekend.
Have fun, pick wisely, and don't forget to vote for all your favorite local musicians in the Absolute Best of Tulsa Music Awards online at www.abotmusicawards.com.
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