POSTED ON SEPTEMBER 28, 2011:
Tulsa State Fair brings a storm's worth of music
Every fall when the Tulsa State Fair arrives, there is plenty to get excited about. Carnival rides, the energy of the crowd and enough food to make yourself ill for nights on end. For the more suburban and musically minded, however, the State Fair also brings a landslide of music, almost all of which is free with your Fair admission
Itís easy to get excited about the headliners on the Oklahoma Stage, with a roster that covers pop, rock, country, hip hop, classic rock and Christian music this year. The fair also offers up two additional stages of local music in the beer tents, however, as well as a pair of ticketed headline concerts to accompany the rodeo. If you havenít perused the Tulsa State Fair calendar or website yet, weíve got a summary to get you through the eleven night run, encapsulating everyone from the big acts to the local artists with the most promise.
Oklahoma Main Stage
Every year, the major concert action takes place on the Oklahoma Stage, just east of the Expo Pavilion and this year is no different. What has changed is that this year kicks off with one of Tulsaís biggest pop acts sitting on the verge of turning into something huge, Stars Go Dim.
Stars Go Dim has built a large and loyal following since its inception nearly three years ago. The bandís release of its full length debut, Love Gone Mad, was followed by heavy touring and appearances with national artists like Daughtry and Sara Barielles. Even amidst a busy schedule, however, the band continued to write and develop its sound which is finally manifested in the band's sophomore disc, Between Here and Now, which will be released on Tuesday, Oct. 4 via iTunes.
When Stars Go Dim opens the State Fair by appearing on the Oklahoma Stage on Thursday night, Sept. 29, it will essentially be one huge release party, as it's the local show closest to the new disc's release date.
Friday night, Sept. 30, follows with pop-country act Steel Magnolia (who will also be opening for Reba McEntire at BOK Center on Nov. 4) as the fair really catches its pace. Modern rock act Candlebox, who has a new album due in early 2012, headlines on Saturday, Oct. 1, followed by pop stars All Star Weekend and Camryn on Sunday, Oct. 2 and Christian hip hop and pop icon Toby Mac on Monday, Oct. 3.
Oct. 4 just may see the biggest band and crowd of the week as Eli Young Band returns to the Tulsa State Fairs again this year.
Eli Young Band has seen rapid growth, due in part to solid songwriting and song selection. The "Crazy Girl" single has already reached gold certification and is headed toward platinum status as the band continues to tour heavily.
The rest of the week's lineup includes rising pop and hip hop star Mike Posner on Wednesday, Oct. 5; classic rockers America on Thursday, Oct. 6; rapper MC Hammer on Friday, Oct. 7 and modern rockers Pretty Reckless and Red on Saturday Oct. 8. The fair wraps up on Sunday, Oct. 9 with Tulsa's own Mid Life Crisis bringing a timeless blend of classic cover tunes to the main stage to bring the week to a close. All shows on the Oklahoma Stage begin at 8pm, except Mid Life Crisis Band, which performs at 2pm and 5pm on the final day of the fair.
Budweiser Beer Garden
If you're looking for local music, the Budweiser Beer Garden can quench your thirst for brews and tunes. The schedule for Sept. 29 through Oct. 9 includes Tornado Allie, Picture Perfect, Paul Bogart and many more.
Of the week's lineup, you'll want to make a special effort to see Kinsey and Company on Oct. 2. Not only was the band nominated in the best country category of this year's ABoT Music awards, but lead singer Kinsey Seidler has been in Nashville working on songs for a recently signed contract with an independent record label.
All artists perform at 7pm and 9pm in the Budweiser Beer Garden with Paul Bogart and Chloe Johns Band also performing at 5pm on Oct. 1 and Oct. 8, respectively, and Three Hour Tour wrapping up the week on Sunday, Oct. 9 at 3pm, 5pm and 7pm.
International Beer Garden
Even more great local music can be found at the International Beer Garden with a killer lineup that starts on Thursday, Sept. 29 with 2 Steps Back and follows with Fiawna Forte, Dylan Whitney, The Sellouts, Jamabalaya Jass Band, Admiral Twin, Jenny Labow, The Outside, Wanda Watson, Something Steel, 2nd Street Band and The Blazer Band.
This is the stage that mixes things up with everything from country to rock and jazz giving the State Fair a truly diverse feel and sound. This is also the stage that features the most ABoT Music Awards nominees, including 2 Steps Back (Red Dirt, Country) on Sept. 29; Fiawna Forte (female vocal, indie rock) on Sept. 30; The Sellouts (Party Cover Band) on Oct. 1 and Wanda Watson (Blues, female vocal) on Oct. 6.
Artists perform at 7pm and 9pm each night on the International Beer Garden Stage, with Dylan Whitney performing at 2pm on Oct. 1, followed by The Sellouts at 5pm, 7pm and 9pm that evening and 5pm performances added for 2nd Street Band and The Blazer Band over the final weekend of the fair.
Get Your Country On
If all of those free shows aren't enough to keep you busy, you can also check out the headliners in the Expo Pavilion following the PRCA Rodeo on Oct. 7 and 8. Traditionally, these have been the biggest concerts of the week and featured either established or rising country stars. Last year the pairing of Eli Young Band and the rodeo lead to a sold out event and this year organizers are hoping for similar results with a pair of rising artists.
Friday night's rodeo is capped by a concert with Easton Corbin, while Saturday night features Chris Young. Tickets are only $25 and include both the rodeo and the concert.
If you plan on heading out to the Tulsa Sate Fair this year, make sure to check the schedule at tulsastatefair.com in advance and plan accordingly.
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