Dfest: The best of the fests?

Young professionals on the state of the city. 



It’s sometimes difficult to see the forest for the trees and realize just how fortunate we are here in Tulsa. Dfest is a phenomenon that continues to evolve at an almost exponential rate. In the last five years, the attendance has grown by more than 10 times. In 2004, 6,500 attended, whereas this year’s expected attendance was 70,000. Five years ago, if you wanted access to dozens of bands in one day, your closest destination was Austin for the Austin City Limits Music Festival. Lollapalooza didn’t even happen that year.

Today, Dfest has outgrown both of those festivals in terms of the number of bands playing, costs about a quarter of the price for two days and offers something that neither of those festivals do — the ability to get out of the sun and sip a beverage of your choice at one of downtown Tulsa’s many air-conditioned establishments. That’s pretty hard to beat.

When promoting the festival to friends, I would always mention the fact that one day at Coachella costs about twice the admission of both days at Dfest. The response was typically something to the effect of, “Well, we don’t have the same lineup.” True, but any music lover knows that simply because you may not have heard of a band doesn’t mean it isn’t amazing, and the fact still remains that Dfest is bringing more well-established bands every year while still promoting artists on their way to becoming household names, which brings me to my next point.

Dfest is also a music conference and, beginning with this year, a yoga conference as well.  I had the privilege of serving as a panelist last year on the recording panel with Jon Shroeder and Ryan Williamson (both engineers for Hanson) and local drumming legend and studio owner David Teegarden Sr. Before moving back to Tulsa last year, I spent my previous years in Hollywood working on albums such as Robert Plant and Alison Krauss’ “Raising Sand” and the “Walk the Line” soundtrack — both of which won Grammy Awards. Dfest brings industry professionals from all scopes of the music business to Tulsa so artists and musicians can meet with them and discuss what will take them to the next level. It’s an amazing opportunity of which every local artist or musician should take full advantage.

I’ve now had the opportunity to sit in on three “Demo Derbies” at the conference, held at the downtown Crowne Plaza Hotel. Here’s what happens: An artist/band submits a song to be played and a panel of professionals — the same people who sign major acts — listens to the song through the first chorus and then offers constructive criticism. In some cases, it can be pretty brutal — like having Simon Cowell on “American Idol” tell you what he “really thinks.” In some cases, the panelists are so impressed, they make plans to come see the artist/band play live later that night. What ambitious musician in his/her right mind would let this opportunity slip by?

I continue to preach the good word of Dfest throughout the year to my music friends. While the focus by these artists is usually on CMJ (College Music Journal) or South by Southwest (SXSW), my point is that at those conferences, there are 10 times the amount of bands vying for the attention of these same industry folk.

I want to make one more point: The 2008 SXSW, in Austin, brought in an estimated $110 million-plus in revenue for the city. In addition to being an artistic and cultural event, Dfest is a real economic engine for Tulsa. Dfest is truly a gem amongst music festivals/conferences and I hope that you tell everyone you know about it as we watch it continue to grow with our fine city.

Jonathan Bolzle is a Platinum album-earning audio engineer, commercial real estate broker and developer for KMO Development Group Inc. in downtown Tulsa. He is also an active member of TYPros.

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August 2018

The work of renowned artist Christopher Curtis will be featured at Tulsa Botanic Garden’s first sculpture exhibit March 17 through August 26. Curtis works primarily in stone and he often...

Cost: FREE for Garden members; $8 ages 13+, $4 ages 3-12. Kids 2 and under free

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
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Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Lori Hutson
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Cost: $12

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
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Telephone: 405-236-3100
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Opening to the public on Thursday, Nov. 16, the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
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FlyingTee is fun for the whole family and on Sundays, kids eat free! *Limit one free meal from the kids’ menu with each purchase of an adult entrée. Not valid on brunches or holidays.

Cost: Free with purchase

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FlyingTee
600 Riverwalk Terrace
Jenks, OK  74037
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Telephone: 918-528-7717
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Cost: $10

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Cain's Ballroom
423 N. Main St.
Tulsa, OK
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Sponsor: LIFE Senior Services
Telephone: (918) 664-9000
Contact Name: Emily Fox

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Cost: Free

Where:
108 Contemporary
108 E M.B. Brady St.
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Telephone: 191-889-56302

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Cost: $7-$15

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7777 S Lewis Ave
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Telephone: 918-495-6000
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Cost: $20

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Tulsa Performing Arts Center
110 E 2nd St
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Telephone: 918-596-7111
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415 Couch Dr.
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Oklahoma City Museum of Art
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Cost: FREE for Garden members; $8 ages 13+, $4 ages 3-12. Kids 2 and under free

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Lori Hutson
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As the world’s largest Mexican casual dining brand, On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina is ready to celebrate National Fajita Day with a week-long fiesta starting on Mon., Aug. 13...

Cost: $19.99

Where:
On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina
8702 E. 71st Street South
Tulsa, OK  74133
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Contact Name: Jessica Chacoff

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Amanda McCavour’s ethereal environments explore themes of strength and vulnerability. Through the use of embroidery, McCavour’s delicate creations will highlight the process of building...

Cost: Free

Where:
108 Contemporary
108 E M.B. Brady St.
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Telephone: 191-889-56302

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The work of renowned artist Christopher Curtis will be featured at Tulsa Botanic Garden’s first sculpture exhibit March 17 through August 26. Curtis works primarily in stone and he often...

Cost: FREE for Garden members; $8 ages 13+, $4 ages 3-12. Kids 2 and under free

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Lori Hutson
Website »

More information

Opening to the public on Thursday, Nov. 16, the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

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Isabelle de Borchgrave: Fashioning Art from Paper features the life-size, trompe l’œil paper costumes of Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave (born 1946). Following a...

Cost: $12

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405-236-3100
Website »

More information

As the world’s largest Mexican casual dining brand, On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina is ready to celebrate National Fajita Day with a week-long fiesta starting on Mon., Aug. 13...

Cost: $19.99

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On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina
8702 E. 71st Street South
Tulsa, OK  74133
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Contact Name: Jessica Chacoff

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Amanda McCavour’s ethereal environments explore themes of strength and vulnerability. Through the use of embroidery, McCavour’s delicate creations will highlight the process of building...

Cost: Free

Where:
108 Contemporary
108 E M.B. Brady St.
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Telephone: 191-889-56302

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Cost: $75.00

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The Pearl District Building
1209 E 3rd St
Ste 181
Tulsa, OK  74120
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Cost: Lesson: $12 Social Dance: FREE

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Willows Family Ales
418 S. Peoria Ave
Tulsa, OK  74120
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Sponsor: Barrelhouse Swing

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Isabelle de Borchgrave: Fashioning Art from Paper features the life-size, trompe l’œil paper costumes of Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave (born 1946). Following a...

Cost: $12

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405-236-3100
Website »

More information

Opening to the public on Thursday, Nov. 16, the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

More information

The work of renowned artist Christopher Curtis will be featured at Tulsa Botanic Garden’s first sculpture exhibit March 17 through August 26. Curtis works primarily in stone and he often...

Cost: FREE for Garden members; $8 ages 13+, $4 ages 3-12. Kids 2 and under free

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Lori Hutson
Website »

More information

As the world’s largest Mexican casual dining brand, On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina is ready to celebrate National Fajita Day with a week-long fiesta starting on Mon., Aug. 13...

Cost: $19.99

Where:
On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina
8702 E. 71st Street South
Tulsa, OK  74133
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Contact Name: Jessica Chacoff

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Amanda McCavour’s ethereal environments explore themes of strength and vulnerability. Through the use of embroidery, McCavour’s delicate creations will highlight the process of building...

Cost: Free

Where:
108 Contemporary
108 E M.B. Brady St.
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Telephone: 191-889-56302

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10918 E 41st St
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Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

More information

Isabelle de Borchgrave: Fashioning Art from Paper features the life-size, trompe l’œil paper costumes of Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave (born 1946). Following a...

Cost: $12

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405-236-3100
Website »

More information

The work of renowned artist Christopher Curtis will be featured at Tulsa Botanic Garden’s first sculpture exhibit March 17 through August 26. Curtis works primarily in stone and he often...

Cost: FREE for Garden members; $8 ages 13+, $4 ages 3-12. Kids 2 and under free

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Lori Hutson
Website »

More information

As the world’s largest Mexican casual dining brand, On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina is ready to celebrate National Fajita Day with a week-long fiesta starting on Mon., Aug. 13...

Cost: $19.99

Where:
On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina
8702 E. 71st Street South
Tulsa, OK  74133
View map »


Contact Name: Jessica Chacoff

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Cost: Free

Where:
108 Contemporary
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Telephone: 191-889-56302

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Cost: $15 Bistro Seating / $10 G/A

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Dennis R Neill Equality Center
621 East 4th
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Sponsor: Oklahomans for Equality
Telephone: 918-637-2866
Contact Name: Pat Hobbs

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The work of renowned artist Christopher Curtis will be featured at Tulsa Botanic Garden’s first sculpture exhibit March 17 through August 26. Curtis works primarily in stone and he often...

Cost: FREE for Garden members; $8 ages 13+, $4 ages 3-12. Kids 2 and under free

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Lori Hutson
Website »

More information

Isabelle de Borchgrave: Fashioning Art from Paper features the life-size, trompe l’œil paper costumes of Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave (born 1946). Following a...

Cost: $12

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405-236-3100
Website »

More information

Opening to the public on Thursday, Nov. 16, the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

More information

As the world’s largest Mexican casual dining brand, On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina is ready to celebrate National Fajita Day with a week-long fiesta starting on Mon., Aug. 13...

Cost: $19.99

Where:
On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina
8702 E. 71st Street South
Tulsa, OK  74133
View map »


Contact Name: Jessica Chacoff

More information

Amanda McCavour’s ethereal environments explore themes of strength and vulnerability. Through the use of embroidery, McCavour’s delicate creations will highlight the process of building...

Cost: Free

Where:
108 Contemporary
108 E M.B. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK  74103
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Telephone: 191-889-56302

More information

Eclectic Disposition aka "DJECOG" hosts A monthly all styles dance event at the Boxyard. ​This 18+ event caters to many of the social dance scenes in Tulsa. if you are...

Cost: free

Where:
the boxyard
502 East 3rd Street
Tulsa, OK  74120
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Sponsor: eclectic disposition
Telephone: (918)640-1119
Contact Name: Matthew Adams
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Cost: $4-$7

Where:
Muskogee War Memorial Park
3500 Batfish Road
Muskogee, OK
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Sponsor: Muskogee War Memorial Park
Telephone: 918-682-6294
Contact Name: Brent Trout
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The work of renowned artist Christopher Curtis will be featured at Tulsa Botanic Garden’s first sculpture exhibit March 17 through August 26. Curtis works primarily in stone and he often...

Cost: FREE for Garden members; $8 ages 13+, $4 ages 3-12. Kids 2 and under free

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Lori Hutson
Website »

More information

Isabelle de Borchgrave: Fashioning Art from Paper features the life-size, trompe l’œil paper costumes of Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave (born 1946). Following a...

Cost: $12

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405-236-3100
Website »

More information

Opening to the public on Thursday, Nov. 16, the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

More information

As the world’s largest Mexican casual dining brand, On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina is ready to celebrate National Fajita Day with a week-long fiesta starting on Mon., Aug. 13...

Cost: $19.99

Where:
On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina
8702 E. 71st Street South
Tulsa, OK  74133
View map »


Contact Name: Jessica Chacoff

More information

Amanda McCavour’s ethereal environments explore themes of strength and vulnerability. Through the use of embroidery, McCavour’s delicate creations will highlight the process of building...

Cost: Free

Where:
108 Contemporary
108 E M.B. Brady St.
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Telephone: 191-889-56302

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Oklahoma Aquarium
300 Aquarium Drive
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Sponsor: Oklahoma Aquarium
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Cost: $7

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Sponsor: Roughneck Roller Derby
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Cost: Admission is $8.00 ($4.00 for children under 12)

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Sponsor: Laughing Matter Improv
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Eclectic Disposition aka "DJECOG" hosts A monthly all styles dance event at the Boxyard. ​This 18+ event caters to many of the social dance scenes in Tulsa. if you are...

Cost: free

Where:
the boxyard
502 East 3rd Street
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »


Sponsor: eclectic disposition
Telephone: (918)640-1119
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