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Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Catch a star

Flaming Lips Alley

Music is a big part of our region’s history, identity and culture. Stretching all the way back to Woody Guthrie singing about the depression, Oklahoma has a strong tradition of producing influential musicians across a variety of musical styles.

Specifically, here in OKC the talent is just as diverse. From Grammy-winning rockers to country superstars and early jazz pioneers, check out a list of some of the famous musicians who have or still call Oklahoma City home: Oklahoma City Blue Devils, Color Me Badd, Mason Williams, Hinder, Garth Brooks and Neal Schon. Also check out these bios for a little reminder of why Wanda Jackson Way, Charlie Christian Boulevard, Vince Gill Avenue and Flaming Lips Alley are named as such.

history, music, Oklahoma City history
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Live music for February


If you are a member of the Kiss Army break out your face paint because the Hall of Famers will be in OKC next month as part of their End of the Road Tour. After 45 years, the band announced this would be their final tour and OKC is one of the first stops. As always be sure to hit us up on Twitter, Facebook or the comments below to tell us your favorite show of January.

  • Blake Shelton- Feb. 14 at the Chesapeake Energy Arena. Shelton, an Oklahoma native, is a seven-time Grammy nominee.
  • Blackberry Smoke- Feb. 19 at the Diamond Ballroom. Blackberry Smoke is a southern rock band who is known for their live performances. 
  • BJ Barham- Feb. 23 at the Blue Door. Barham is the lead singer and songwriter of American Aquarium whose latest album Things Change made many 2018 best of lists.
  • Kiss- Feb. 26 at the Chesapeake Energy Arena. These rock legends have sold more than 100 million records and are members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
concerts, live music, music
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

The thrill of live music

ACM@UCO live music

The live music scene in Oklahoma City has never been healthier due to the opening of several venues over the past two years. From arena shows, to outdoor amphitheaters, intimate listening rooms and mid-sized venues for indie darlings, Oklahoma City now has a home for any act crisscrossing the country. Here is a rundown of places to see live music in OKC. However don’t take this as an exhaustive list. If you know of a great place to catch music in OKC that we didn’t mention give us a shout in the comments or on Twitter or Facebook.

Chesapeake Energy Arena – While it is most famous as the home to the Thunder, the ‘Peake is also where the biggest names in music make their stops in Oklahoma City. Garth Brooks, Taylor Swift, Paul McCartney, Kanye West, Billy Joel and Elton John are just a handful of artists who have played there over the years. James Taylor, Thomas Rhett and Justin Timberlake are just a few of the artists with concerts announced in the coming months.

The Criterion – Opening in 2016, The Criterion is located in east Bricktown. This 4,000-capacity venue is across the street from the Steelyard development in a suddenly hot quarter of OKC’s premiere entertainment district. My Morning Jacket, Explosions in the Sky, Jason Isbell, Sturgill Simpson, The xx and Lil Wayne have all played there. On April 25, music legend David Byrne will be making his lone Oklahoma stop at the venue.

The Tower Theater – a lot of excitement has surrounded the resurrection of one of the “grand old dames” of OKC’s early movie house scene. The main space has room for 700 standing on the main floor and an additional 264 (seated) in the balcony, and a smaller “studio” space handles 100 standing or 50 seated. One of the Tower’s strengths is the diverse acts the venue books. Acts from Bowling for Soup to Chief Keef and Shakey Graves have concerts there in the next month.

The Jones Assembly – opening last year with a concert by The Wallflowers and Better Than Ezra, The Jones Assembly is a renovated, 100-year-old, 20,000-square-foot space on Film Row (just south of the 21C Museum Hotel) featuring a 1,600-capacity performance venue as well as a true dining destination. Vince Staples, Willie Nelson, Old Crow Medicine Show and Lake Street Drive have all graced the stage at the Jones.

ACM@UCO Performance Lab – this performance space in Bricktown hosts plenty of touring acts in addition to ACM@UCO gigs (which is itself a pretty cool story, speaking of music), seating 200 and 500 standing. The Lab has hosted Dr. Dog, Sean Lennon, Okkervil River and Ben Taylor.

In addition to the new venues, stalwarts like the Zoo Ampitheater, the Diamond Ballroom and indie-focused venues Opolis and 89th Street Collective are still booking great shows and adding diversity to OKC’s live music scene.

live music, music
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Catch a star

Wayne Coyne Flaming Lips Alley

Music is a big part of our region’s history, identity and culture. Stretching all the way back to Woody Guthrie singing about the depression, Oklahoma has a strong tradition of producing influential musicians across a variety of musical styles.

Specifically, here in OKC the talent is just as diverse. From Grammy-winning rockers to country superstars and early jazz pioneers, check out a list of some of the famous musicians who have or still call Oklahoma City home: Oklahoma City Blue Devils, Color Me Badd, Mason Williams, Hinder, Garth Brooks and Neal Schon. Also check out these bios for a little reminder of why Wanda Jackson Way, Charlie Christian Boulevard, Vince Gill Avenue and Flaming Lips Alley are named as such.

music, Oklahoma City history
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Best of 2017

Riversport Rapids

Each year, we like to take a look back at some of our favorite posts of the past year. 2017 was a big year for our city and the groundwork was laid for several projects and initiatives that could shape our metro for decades to come.

  • Tinker Turns 75- Tinker Air Force Base is a major driver of the OKC economy and this year it turned the big 7-5.
  • Innovation District- Entrepreneurship has been in our city’s DNA since its founding in a single day. This year an effort in placemaking, centered around a proposed innovation district, took huge strides towards reality.
  • Craft Beer Explosion- The craft beer scene in Oklahoma City has been on the rise for a while with some local breweries who have won big honors. However, recent efforts to modernize our state’s liquor laws have set the stage for local breweries to reach a whole new level.
  • Various Venues- With the opening of several new venues, live music had a big year in OKC.
  • Infrastructure Investment- This fall OKC residents voted yes on a landmark infrastructure package that will invest more than $1 billion in our roads, bridges and public safety.
  • A River’s Rise- Check out our new storytelling feature on the rise of the Oklahoma River.
beer, community, Innovation District, live music, music, Oklahoma River, Tinker
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, November 7, 2017

November in OKC

November is a busy month in OKC, but don’t worry because our friends at the Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau have you covered with their November in OKC video. This month they even brought along a very special guest, Thunder defensive wizard Andre Roberson. Get fired up with six Thunder home games this month, Downtown in December festivities kicking off, Chris Stapleton at the Chesapeake Energy arena and so much more.

attractions, concerts, downtown, holiday, live sporting events, music, Thunder
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Sunday Twilight Concert Series is back

Concert at Myriad Gardens

One of the TBL staff’s favorite things to attend during the summer is the OKC Arts Council’s Sunday Twilight Concerts. These weekly shows at The Great Lawn at Myriad Botanical Gardens are a great chance to relax on your blanket or camp chair, chill out with some picnic staples and listen to some terrific tunes with your fellow Oklahoma Citians. Bring your ears, your own drinks and great attitudes whilst you enjoy the evening (but leave your stinky cigarettes, stinkier pets and even stinkier glass bottles at home). We’ll see you there!

concerts, family-friendly, free, live music, music, Myriad Botanical Gardens, parks
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Music Men (and Women)

Flaming Lips Alley

You may know from reading The Better Life in the past that OKC has a pretty cool and unique history when it comes to jazz. And you might know that OKC is the home of the fabulous freaks, the Flaming Lips (who even have an alley in Bricktown named after them). But you may not know that OKC’s also “ground zero” of sorts for folks like Color Me Badd (formed in OKC, the four met while attending Northwest Classen High School), Garth Brooks (country megastar from Yukon), Mason Williams (graduated from Northwest Classen as well), Neal Schon (Journey founding member and lead guitarist, born on Tinker Air Force Base), and Hinder (formed in OKC in 2004), to name a few. And, in addition to Flaming Lips Alley, OKC also boasts streets named Wanda Jackson Way, Charlie Christian Boulevard, and Vince Gill Avenue to honor those hometown heroes. We’re certainly proud of our musical heritage!

live music, music, Oklahoma City history
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, April 11, 2017



Adjacent to downtown Oklahoma City is one of the most well-known entertainment districts in the Southwest – Bricktown. With its large concentration of high-energy night clubs, casual lounges and list of restaurants covering a multitude of culinary cultures, Bricktown has something for every taste. And, when you factor in its picturesque setting, which embraces a mile-long canal lined with eateries, clubs, a movie theater, a bowling lounge, the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark and beautifully landscaped gardens and public art, you'll discover something the whole family can enjoy! Vibrant melodies can be heard coming from the American Banjo Museum and the Academy of Contemporary Music. Take a Bricktown Water Taxi cruise along the canal and discover the history of this energetic district. And while the weather is warm, be sure to hail a pedicab or one of several horse-drawn carriages that can be seen ferrying customers all over Bricktown. It's the perfect place for you to choose your own adventure.

arts and culture, baseball, Bricktown, family-friendly, museums, music, nightlife, restaurants
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Opening Night


Each new year is a time of reflection and resolutions. But first, you have to ring in the year in style. Are you still looking for that perfect place to welcome 2017? Well, we’ve got you covered. OKC is hopping with so many exciting events on NYE that it may be hard to choose just one.

Do you love music, dancing, theater or fireworks? If so, you certainly won’t want to miss Opening Night, one of OKC’s premier New Year’s Eve parties. Put on by the Arts Council of Oklahoma City, Opening Night offers fun for the entire family with performances throughout downtown OKC featuring acts such as Jabee, L.T.Z., Moetowne Alex and the Nightview Band, OKC Improv, Ali Harter, Michael King, Yung Tray, Susan Herndon, Sativa Prophets, Kinsey Charles, and more. Trust us, there is absolutely zero chance of a less than stellar New Year’s Eve. Did we mention there’s fun for the whole family? The youngsters are sure to enjoy face painting, an interactive art project, and lively music performances. And the fireworks finale is a show-stopping spectacle that you won't soon forget.

Wristbands are just $8 in advance and you can pick them up at 7-Eleven Stores of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City Museum of Art and MidFirst Bank locations. You can also get wristbands for $10 at the event.

And don’t worry about grabbing grub before heading downtown – seriously, they’ve thought of everything – the city’s best food trucks will be on-hand to serve up a variety of exciting food. Get your dinner on Finale Alley any time before midnight!

family-friendly, festivals, live music, music
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Industry changers

From Grammy-winning rockers to country superstars and early jazz pioneers, Oklahoma Citians have left their mark on nearly every genre of music and have changed the industry in remarkable ways. OKC is or has been home to a long list of musicians including Color Me Badd, Leona Mitchell, Hinder, Garth Brooks, Neal Schon, Nathan Followill and Kristen Chenoweth.  But since the city’s infancy, OKC residents have been changing the face of music. Take a stroll through Bricktown and you might discover Wanda Jackson Way, Charlie Christian Boulevard, Vince Gill Avenue and Flaming Lips Alley. The impact of these musical icons can be felt in not only Oklahoma City, but the entire world.

music, Oklahoma City history
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Rock on OKC!

OKC is home to some of the coolest music venues around. But don’t take our word for it. Take a quick trip around the city on any night and you’re sure to find awesome live music at more than one venue.

From the Criterion– one of the city’s newest music and entertainment venues – to Chesapeake Energy Arena ssome of the biggest names in music bring their fun and lively shows to our great city throughout the year. But there are also plenty of more intimate venues who host cool shows all over town. Don’t forget about spots like XIIIX Lounge (formerly Kamps 1310 Lounge), 89th Street Collective, The Blue Note, Opolis, Blue Door, the Diamond Ballroom, the Chevy Bricktown Events Center, the ACM@UCO Performance Lab and more.

Prefer concerts of the outdoor variety? Check out the Sunday Twilight Concert Seriesat the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. From classic rock and pop to jazz, salsa and big band – they’ve got it all covered. Several of the city’s districts also feature live music as part of their monthly event. Check out LIVE on the Plaza, First Friday Gallery Walk in the Paseo Arts District, or Shop Hop in Automobile Alley. The city’s food truck parks also feature a variety of live music.

festivals, live music, music
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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A piece of OKC history

For 80 years, OKC’s  Zoo Amphitheater has been a local favorite for musicians and music lovers, but the venue has a storied history. It was constructed from native red sandstone in the mid-1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps, an organization formed under President Franklin Roosevelt’s Works Projects Administration, to carry out public works projects during the Great Depression.

Between 1933 and 1936, approximately 400 men lived in tents and wooden barracks in the area while they laid the groundwork for Lincoln Park, the Oklahoma City Zoo and the Zoo Amphitheatre. “The Circus of 21 Death-Defying Acts” was the first performance to be held at the amphitheater. During its early years, the Zoo Amphitheatre hosted circus extravaganzas, pageants, theatrical performances, concerts and public meetings.

The 1960s saw the site fall into disrepair due to non-use. But in the 1970s, the site was resurrected and the Amphitheater has been hosting some of the greatest acts in the entertainment business ever since. Some of the performers who have graced the stage here include the Grateful Dead, Sting, Dire Straits, Santana, Judas Priest, Willie Nelson, Marvin Gaye, Joni Mitchell, Heart, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Oklahoma’s own The Flaming Lips.

Over the years, more than 1 million fans have visited the Zoo Amphitheatre, many with blankets and lawn chairs in tow to place on the venue’s native rock terracing. Check out the lineup of upcoming shows here.



zoo, Adventure District, live music, music, Oklahoma City history
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Paseo Arts Festival turns 40

Paseo Arts District

The Paseo Arts Festival is a great excuse to discover (or hopefully rediscover) the fantastic Paseo Arts District. For 40 years the annual festival has brought food, fun, music and yes art to the district’s streets, drawing more than 60,000 visitors.

This year’s festival will take place May 28 through May 30 and feature more than 80 visual artists. Stroll through the booths and check out the art on your way to two different stages showcasing Oklahoma entertainers and musicians. And bring the kids for some hands-on fun in the children’s area (at no cost).

arts and culture, family-friendly, festivals, food, music, Paseo District
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The sweet sound of music

Live Music

If learning about Oklahoma history teaches us anything, it’s that we are certainly an adventurous group. So it’s probably no surprise that numerous Oklahomans have tried their hand in a variety of fields including expanding their musical prowess. In fact, some of today’s chart-topping songs were written by Oklahomans.

Check out some amazing talents of local and national songwriters and get your creative juices flowing during the Oklahoma Songwriters Festival in downtown OKC April 28-30.

Hob nob with accomplished songwriters from Nashville, Los Angeles and Oklahoma (as well and music executives and industry leaders) during free daytime workshops. Hear from the pros on topics such as Music Biz 101 and how to write a hit song. Sign up here.

Don’t miss the songwriter showcases held in the evenings during the festival. Thursday’s showcase will feature local favorites including Kierston White, Michael Fracasso and Beau Jennings. Saturday’s session will give attendees an opportunity to witness some of today’s hottest songwriters in "writer in the round" style performances. Seriously, these guys have worked with everyone from Ozzy Osbourne and Aerosmith to Carrie Underwood and Toby Keith and every genre in between. Regardless of your musical preference, we guarantee that you have jammed along to their magnificent work. Purchase tickets for the evening events here.

festivals, live music, music
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

OKCís Rite of Spring

Festival of the Arts

From discovering new artists to experiencing global flavors, Arts Council of Oklahoma City’s Festival of the Arts has been Oklahoma City’s rite of spring for 50 years. And the 50th annual Festival of the Arts, April 19-24, promises to continue this rich tradition in its new location at Bicentennial Park located in front of Civic Center Music Hall.

The event runs from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Every year Festival of the Arts attracts up to 750,000 people over six days. Free admission, amazing art, fantastic food, exciting entertainment and fun activities are all in store for visitors to enjoy at this year’s Festival.

Visual Arts
The Festival features 200 artists from 41 states, including several artists representing the rich culture and talent of Oklahoma.

Culinary Arts
Take a break from the visual and performing arts to enjoy all the fine food that Festival of the Arts has to offer. International Food Row features old favorites like Indian Tacos, Strawberries Newport, Craig & Carter’s Famous Fish Tacos and C’est Si Bon. New additions to this year’s International Food Row include Meat Market Refectory, The Saucee Sicilian, Crepe Brewers and I Don’t Know & I Don’t Care. Each food vendor is partnered with a local arts-related nonprofit agency, so each bite goes to support the arts in central Oklahoma.

Performing Arts
Festival of the Arts has three stages of non-stop performing arts entertainment ranging in scope from the youngest elementary school performers to professional musicians.

Art for Children
Festival of the Arts will include many great activities for children and families. Shop from Festival’s youngest artists at the Youth Art Sale where youth ages 8 to 18 present their own artwork for sale. Young at Art Mart is a special no-adults-allowed section where children can purchase art created by their favorite Festival artists for $5 or less. Children can create their own unique work of art in the Children's Art Field. Face painting for $1 will be available.

All proceeds from the Festival support Arts Council Oklahoma City’s year-round, free and low-cost programming. Another unique way to support this effort is by attending the Angels and Friends Party. It boasts entertainment, fare from OKC’s best restaurants, an open bar and a chance to celebrate the arts and the coming of spring with OKC’s most devout arts supporters.

arts and culture, family-friendly, festivals, food, live music, music
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Where the art is

Throwing pottery

Oklahoma City has artistic opportunities for every interest and discipline. From taking art classes to supporting community theater, you are sure to find the perfect place to embrace your hidden artistic talents while supporting the arts in Oklahoma City.

Whether you want to brush up on your basket-weaving or discover your inner Picasso, the Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center offers workshops and classes in a variety of mediums. The Oklahoma City Museum of Art also offers a roster of classes geared for both families and adults of all skill levels, including a studio sampler class for those who want to take an art class but aren’t sure where to begin. The artist-in-residence program at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel also offers drop-in opportunities to explore interesting art forms – current artist-in-residence Gayle Curry paints with encaustics (wax), and her live studio space is open to the public. Be sure and check out area art galleries for other options.

For a taste of local thespian talent, the Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, Jewel Box Theatre, and the Carpenter Square Theatre all produce a full roster of live performances, ranging from classic musicals to locally-scripted dramas. And if you want to combine dinner and a show into one extravaganza, Greater Oklahoma City is home to the state’s only full-time professional dinner theater. The Yellow Rose Dinner Theater showcases Oklahoma talent in original productions, all while the audience gets to enjoy a delicious meal. These community-based theaters offer audition opportunities, so if theater footlights are calling your name, be sure to check their websites for audition notices.

If making beautiful music is more your style, you can also join one of OKC’s many community choirs or orchestra organizations. Canterbury Voices offers choruses for both adults and children, and its 125-member adult chorus is the largest of its kind in the state. OK City Chorus is an all-women chorus with a goal to preserve the American art form of four-part a cappella barbershop music. For the former band geeks among us (no judgement), the Oklahoma Community Orchestra offers performance opportunities with its 75-member organization.  

arts and culture, education, family-friendly, music, theater
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The Criterion

From Grammy-winning psychedelic rockers to country music superstars and Jazz pioneers, Oklahoma City has a diverse and impressive music history (read more about that here). The OKC music scene got even better this month as The Criterion opened up for its first show. Oklahoma native Ben Rector had the honors of being the first concert in the new ballroom.

Located in East Bricktown, The Criterion can hold up to 4,000 concert goers and has formed a partnership with world-renowned entertainment company Live Nation to help book shows.

That partnership is paying off as a diverse group of well-known acts are already scheduled to play the ballroom in its opening months. Rock band My Morning Jacket, singer-song writer Sturgill Simpson, Grammy-nominated duo Disclosure and comedian Brian Regan are just a sample of the already announced concerts. Check out the full list here and grab your tickets. They are going fast.

Bricktown, concerts, live music, music
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Downtown in December

Downtown in December Sandridge Santa Run

We know, we know … Winter doesn’t technically start for another month. The trees still have leaves but we can’t help but look ahead to one of our favorite times of the year in Oklahoma City. Nothing wrong with planning ahead right?

There’s no place like home for the holidays… isn’t that how the song goes?! At any rate, there’s no truer statement in Oklahoma City. Just because the temperatures are cooling off, doesn’t mean that the fun is slowing down.

Downtown in December kicks off in a few weeks and it will be chock-full of fun, family activities that we’re sure you and your little angels will want to be a part of. Just watch out for Santa as he makes his way through downtown on his Segway. He’ll be handing out treats for boys and girls of all ages.

Fun family activities include:

  • Free Holiday Water Taxi Rides: All aboard for a fun-filled cruise on a Bricktown Water Taxi! On designated evenings in November and December, everyone can enjoy a fun-filled float down the beautifully-adorned Bricktown canal.
  • Saturday with Santa: Bring the kiddos downtown on to the Devon Energy Center each Saturday in December, to visit meet Santa himself, make crafts, and participate in holiday-themed activities.
  • Prance, dance, jog or run through downtown as part of the SandRidge Santa Run. The ultimate goal is just to have fun! Events include a 5K race, a one-mile fun run or a free Santa Claus kids' dash. Did we mention this is also a fabulous chance to Rumble the Bison and the Thunder Girls?
  • We triple dog dare you to take part in Little Willie’s Triple Dog Dare. The stair climbing challenge will test your endurance and speed as you climb 138 flights of stairs or recruit a couple of friends to take part in the relay challenge.
  • Hit the slopes for a little snow tubing at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. Choose either the bunny slopes regular slope for the true adventure seeker.
  • Get in the holiday spirit while you learn about Oklahoma’s diverse Native American culture at the Red Earth Treefest. Trees will be decorated with ornaments honoring tribes including the Cheyenne & Arapaho Tribes, Chickasaw Nation, Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Comanche Nation, Osage Nation.

There are plenty of indoor activities to get you in the holiday spirit as well. Check out the following family-friendly performances throughout the season.

music, outdoor recreation, running, theater, ballet, Bricktown, downtown, family-friendly, holiday, kids, movies
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

What could be more American than spending the Fourth watching baseball and eating a Dodger Dog? The answer is simply nothing (unless you go to the game in an Uncle Sam outfit). After the Oklahoma City Dodgers play, and hopefully beat, the Storm Chasers of Omaha you will be treated to a spectacular fireworks show, an annual tradition in OKC.

Not much of a baseball fan even in celebration of America? No problem. The great thing about fireworks is that you can see them from almost anywhere. Grab a bite to eat at your favorite Bricktown establishment, take a cruise down the Bricktown Canal or even check out Live on the Green in Lower Bricktown for some free, live music while enjoying the dazzling display of pyrotechnics. 

baseball, Dodgers, family-friendly, free, music
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Fired Up for OKCFEST

Performer at OKC Fest

OKCFEST is back! Make a calendar note now for June 26-27 (Friday and Saturday), because you won’t want to miss the second iteration of downtown OKC’s music festival and party. Last year, more than 20,000 people took in the inaugural edition. This year, along with expanded musical offerings, there are a number of ticket options of which to take advantage, depending on your taste. Here’s what you need to know:

  • The festival will take place downtown (centered around SW 2nd and Harvey) just west of the Chesapeake Energy Arena. (Good news: the street will be closed so you don’t have to worry about dodging mopeds or getting hit by an inattentive texting motorist whilst enjoying the festival.)
  • There’s a “rock night” (Friday) and a “country night” (Saturday).
  • Friday night artists include: Grace Potter, Better Than Ezra, Graham Colton, Drive-By Truckers, and… Sammy Hagar and The Circle!
  • Saturday night artists include: Rascal Flatts; Hank Williams, Jr.; Clare Dunn; Lucas Hoge and Corey Kent White.
  • You can buy one-night tickets ($55) or two-night passes ($95).
  • Doors open at 4:30 p.m. each day with bands taking the stage at 5:00 p.m.
  • Rock headliner Sammy Hagar and The Circle features Hagar, former Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony, former Bus Boys guitarist Vic Johnson and Jason Bonham, son of Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham.
  • Like last year, all profits will go to charity.
  • You might consider watching the @okcfest Twitter for deals.
  • Get more info at

Crowd at OKC Fest

festivals, live music, music
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (1)

The City is Alive With The Sound of Music

Crowd at Twilight Concert

We’ve covered places where you can check out some live music in town before, but the great thing about summer in OKC is that there are also plenty of chances to take in some totally free music outdoors with programs like Art Moves, Noon Tunes, OKC’s Friday district extravaganzas and other regularly recurring events. And what’s better than free? Not much, except maybe if they’re paying you… unfortunately, that’s not usually how it works. Wah-wah. Who do you think you are, The Bruce Dickinson? Sorry, you’re not. But still! Get those eardrums in earshot of the events below—and let us know what we’re missing.

  • First Friday of every month – Paseo First Friday Art Walk – 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. – Art / Gallery Receptions and live music in the Paseo District
  • Second Friday of every month – LIVE on the Plaza – 7 p.m. – 11 p.m. – Plaza District merchants open late with live music and special events
  • Third Friday of every month – Premiere on Film Row – 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. – Art exhibitions, food trucks, film screenings and live music
  • Last Friday of every month – H&8th Night Market – 7 p.m. – 11 p.m. – “Family- and pet- friendly street festival built around a lineup of the city’s top gourmet food trucks and live music…”
  • Every Sunday – Sunday Twilight Concert Series at the Myriad Botanical Gardens (one of our TBL staff’s favorites) – 7 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. – bring a lawn chair or blanket, some foodstuffs and beverages and stuff yourself with edible and aural goodness.
  • Every Thursday – Noon Tunes at the Norick Downtown Library – 12:00 p.m. (naturally) – 1:00 p.m. – “musical performances from local musicians” in the cool comfort of the atrium of the downtown library
  • First Thursday of every month – Western Avenue on the Lawn Summer Series at 62nd and Western Ave. – 5:00 p.m. – 8 p.m. – “free live music for the whole family” along with food trucks and COOP beer
  • Third Thursday of every month – Auto Alley Shop Hop in Automobile Alley – 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. – giveaways, extended shopping hours, activities for kids and live music
  • Every work day (that’s right!) – Art Moves at various locations downtown – 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m., generally – music and occasional other live acts while you munch and mingle
  • Every Thursday night – concerts “in the park” in Midwest City (Joe B. Barnes Regional Park), Edmond (Hafer Park), and Yukon (Chisholm Trail Park)
  • Every other Sunday – Norman’s Summer Breeze Concert Series – 7:30 p.m. – Lions Park at the corner of Flood and Symmes
  • Select Fridays during the summer -- FAA Credit Union Summer Movie Series at the Boathouse District – head on down to the Oklahoma River with a blanket or lawn chair for live music, food trucks and a beer garden along with free family-friendly movies projected on the side of the Chesapeake Finish Line Tower. Music and festivities begin at 6 p.m., with films rolling at 8:30 p.m.
Automobile Alley, family-friendly, festivals, Film Row, live music, music, Norman, Paseo District, Western Avenue
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Music in our DNA

Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips

Music is a big part of our region’s history, identity and culture. Stretching all the way back to Woody Guthrie singing about the depression, Oklahoma has a strong tradition of producing influential musicians across a variety of musical styles.

Here in OKC specifically the talent is just as diverse. From Grammy-winning rockers to country superstars and early jazz pioneers, check out a list of just some of the famous musicians who have or still call Oklahoma City home: Oklahoma City Blue Devils, Color Me Badd, Mason Williams, Hinder, Garth Brooks and Neal Schon. Also check out these bios for a little reminder of why Wanda Jackson Way, Charlie Christian Boulevard, Vince Gill Avenue and Flaming Lips Alley are named as such.

history, music, Oklahoma City history
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

SXSW: Meet Oklahoma in Austin

Music, film, interactive? What’s the deal with those and why do we care? Well, according to the Inter-American Development Bank, creative industries contribute more than 10 percent to the U.S. GDP, with a higher percentage of young folks in the workforce than elsewhere in the economy. It goes without saying that growing our creative industries and keeping and recruiting the minds that power them are important to Oklahoma’s future. We support these areas, integral to our cultural and economic scene, and work to help grow them. As part of that effort, for the past four years, the Greater OKC Chamber has been partnering with some of our friends to promote Oklahoma’s creative industries and opportunities to excel here to the world at the SXSW conference and trade show in Austin, Texas. This year, under the “Meet Oklahoma” banner,  the Chamber and our partners will occupy a 20x20-foot booth at the SXSW trade show to help get the good word out about all the opportunities available in our great state’s film, music and interactive / tech / startup areas. If you’re going to be in Austin, be sure to come by! Give us a shout on Twitter @meetoklahoma and get more info at

entrepreneur, film, music, tech
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

A piece of history

Did you know that OKC’s Film Row is the last remaining film exchange district in the U.S. and was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2007?

At the dawn of the film age, Hollywood studios including Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros., Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Fox Films had operations in the 42-block area between Classen Boulevard and Walker Avenue along Sheridan Avenue where theater owners came to view and lease films. Today, you can catch a flick at an old Paramount Pictures distribution warehouse, Paramount OKC, or grab a glass of wine and gourmet pizza in an old film exchange building at Joey's Pizzeria. Each month during Premiere on Film Row, the streets are packed with Oklahoma Citians excited to see the live music, films and more.

This month, enjoy the inaugural Ralph Ellison Festival. The event will feature a wine and jazz reception, festival book fair, readings from international touring poet Lauren Zuniga and live music from Gregory Jerome and others at several venues throughout Film Row.

festivals, film, Film Row, live music, music, restaurants
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, February 3, 2015


Here at the Better Life we know Oklahoma City is a lot more than the OKC city limits. In fact, we like to think of it as Greater Oklahoma City. There are many great communities just outside of our city that help add entertainment and housing options to our region. Every once in a while we like to take a look at some of these communities. Today we will look up north beginning in Edmond.

Edmond is our neighbor to the north and is actually the state’s sixth largest city with a population of just over 81,000. Edmond is hard to beat for a suburb. We aren’t just blowing smoke as CNBC ranked it No. 1 on its “10 Perfect Suburbs” list.

Arcadia Lake is a great place to catch some outdoor fun. The fishing at Arcadia is great as you can catch bluegill, catfish and bass year around. Wait … year around? “Who wants to fish in the frigid temperatures of January?” you might be asking. Well, the lake has a heated, covered dock for just that type of occasion. Arcadia is one of the youngest lakes in Oklahoma, as it opened in 1987. You can also swim, boat, water ski and play disc golf. The lake also has some quality trails for hiking, biking and horse riding.

Are you into the performing arts? You can catch a variety of great shows in Edmond starting with an event at the Armstrong Auditorium.  It is a luxury venue that hosts premier concerts and performing arts, ranging from the Russian National Ballet to classical, jazz or even bluegrass music, depending on the season.

Edmond is also home to University of Central Oklahoma’s Jazz Lab. Every week the lab features live entertainment with food and drink of course. 

This is just a small taste of things to see and do in Edmond. What are some other can’t miss events or attractions in Edmond? Let us know in the comments.

ballet, concerts, cycling, Edmond, fishing, live music, mountain biking, music, outdoor recreation, water sports
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Best of 2014

It is time to say goodbye to 2014 and what a year it has been for OKC. Oklahoma City celebrated its 125th birthday, the Thunder had another great season, pro soccer came to OKC, GE announced a huge project in our town and much, much more.   

This time of the year is filled with “Best of Lists.” Best of music, best of movies, best of television … you get the idea. So why not us? So here are our favorite posts of the past year. Below is a good example of what this blog is all about so you can easily share with your friends and show them why this blog is such a good and entertaining resource. Consider it a “Here-are-five-important-things-a-newbie-to-OKC-needs-to-know” list:

  • Trails Without Tribulations- Oklahoma City has an extensive and impressive trail system for outdoor enthusiasts.
  • A Work of Art- From our world-class art museum to many festivals, art is an important part of life in OKC.
  • Live on the Music- OKC is melting pot of music. Everyone from the Flaming Lips to Garth Brooks and jazz pioneer Charlie Christian have called OKC home. Live music can be found all over the metro on any given night.
  • Par for the Course- With more than 3,000 hours of sunlight each year and more than 33 courses in metro OKC alone, golf is a hidden recreational gem in the Sooner State.
  • Show Off Oklahoma City to Visitors- Oklahoma City is home to some amazing attractions and museums.

Always remember our blog is a resource for you. Never hesitate to hit us up on Facebook or Twitter with questions or ideas. All our posts are also tagged by topic so you can easily find past blogs for information, everything from attractions to downtown and much more.

So with that we bid 2014 a fond farewell. Stay tuned because we have a sneaky suspicion that 2015 will be even better.

arts and culture, attractions, golf, museums, music, outdoor recreation
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A work of art

There are plenty of indoor activities to get you in the holiday spirit as well. Check out the following family-friendly performances throughout the season.

theater, ballet, holiday, music
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Visit Norman

Speaking of colleges, the home of the University of Oklahoma is less than 30 minutes south and makes for a quick escape to a leafy collegiate locale. You can even take the train there from downtown OKC if you want. Whether it’s nightlife you’re after, family fun, learning about weather at the National Weather Center or even hanging out with real-life gamblers, Norman knows when to hold ‘em and fold ‘em, and, as a bonus, never counts its money at the table. The other thing that Norman knows when to hold is its Main Street Christmas Parade, hitting the streets this year on Dec. 13 at 10 a.m. Also, don’t miss:

  • Dino-mite Museums – Norman has some of the coolest museums in the state, and the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History is a family favorite. Taking you through 4 billion years of history, the museum features the world’s largest Apatosauraus and Pentaceratops, among other dinosaurs. Learn about the people that lived in Oklahoma before us and other world cultures, and get your photo taken with the big mammoth.
  • One of the nation’s finest university art museums, the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art features works by Van Gogh, Renoir, Degas, Hopper, Gauguin, Ansel Adams, O’Keefe, Houser, and others, in addition to works and objects by Taos artists and Native American works. Current exhibits include Picasso’s Woman in the Studio (1956), on loan from the St. Louis Art Museum, displayed alongside some of the Fred’s own Picassos from its permanent collection. The best part? Taking in all this culture is easy on the pocketbook: admission is always free!
  • The Norman Music Festival, also free, happens every April in and around downtown Norman on Main Street. 21 stages offered more than 60,000 people music and merriment over three days in 2014. Featuring headliners like The Walkmen, Portugal. The Man, of Montreal, The Octopus Project, British Sea Power and more, it is also a great time to see all your favorite local bands in one spot and purchase all manner of foods and goods from local and national vendors.
  • For the oenophiles out there, Norman boasts three wineries you can tour and taste: Canadian River Winery, Native Spirits Winery, and Redbud Ridge Vineyard & Winery. All offer wines made from their own Oklahoma-grown grapes. Like Paul wrote to Timothy, “Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities.” Wine: it’s good for you.

For more info about visiting Norman, simply visit the appropriately-named

live music, museums, music, nightlife, wine, arts and culture, college, family-friendly
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

I Scream, You Scream, We all Scream for Ice Cream

Just outside of Oklahoma City to the Southwest is Tuttle, home to the Braum’s Dairy Farm. Why is that important? Because Braum’s means ice cream and who doesn’t love ice cream? The people of Tuttle sure do as every May they host the Ice Cream Festival.

You might be asking yourself, “What does the Ice Cream Festival entail?” Well if you guessed lots and lots of ice cream, then you are correct. That really is all you need to know. Mark it on your calendar.

Need more of a hard sell? The festival has something for everyone: a parade, live music, pageant, car show, ice cream eating contest (brain freeze from Hades) and a homemade ice cream contest. If Tuttle is not now on your list of places to visit, I’m not sure we can be friends.

festivals, music, Tuttle
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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