The Launch of G Fest

Muskogee, Okla.~ The full line up for the inaugural G Fest in Muskogee has now been released, as well as the entire schedule for the three day festival (see below). The full list of musicians playing the show is lengthy and offers a great variety. From names like Hosty Duo, Turnpike Troubadours, Travis Linville, Jason Boland and the Stragglers, John Fullbright and so many more. Jim Blair of the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame and his crew are busy getting everything lined up and ready for the big event.

“Now that we’ve got the acts in place we’ve really got a lot of focus on creating what we call the G Fest Experience. We’ve been developing the campground and the vendors and vendor area. So we’ve got Glamping for the campground which is the glamour camping. We have helicopter rides set up. There’s the water park which is nearby. We’re going to have some inflatables that are not bounce houses for kids, but inflatables that adults can play in kind of like the Wipe Out show. The Chamber’s trying to break a Guinness World Record for hanging by your arms in the hangar, it’s called Hanging in the Hangar, and that’s in conjunction to benefit the Gospel Rescue Mission. We’ve been lining up our non food vendors, which will be what we call The Landing strip. The Glamping area is called Ace Camp, everything kind of has an airport theme. Every day that’s all we do, day in and day out, putting a ton of moving pieces to make this festival come together,” explained Blair.


Blair also said they are working with the City of Muskogee building new roads into the Hatbox airfield, as well as building new electrical hook up, and electrical spots for the vendors, new lighting and many other improvements to the area to make the festival as comfortable and functional as possible.

“Basically we’re going to have a small city within Hatbox. We’ve spent time working with OHP, Sherriff’s department and Muskogee police working on how we’re going to flow traffic. You start trying to cram 12 or 15 to 20,000 people into a space like that you are going to have some traffic issues. It’s coming together though,” explained Blair.

Blair and his crew aren’t limiting all the fun just to Hatbox and the festival though either, they are coordinating other fun things in the downtown area with local businesses to make this an event for the entire city.

“We’re also promoting a lot of stuff downtown and having some official side stage stuff especially on Saturday. The Roxy Theater’s going to host a songwriter showcase 11am-1pm, and Max’s garage will have acts all day long on Saturday and the farmer’s market downtown Muskogee. There’s a lot of cool things going on downtown, a lot of entertainment. No rest for me and my crew until July. But it’s exciting, were excited to see this happen for Muskogee,” he said.

The festival is also going to need a lot of volunteer help to make sure the festival and all of its parts runs smoothly and efficiently, and this is where many people can jump in and take advantage of the volunteer opportunities available.

“We just launched the volunteer application on the website and we need probably a minimum of 350 volunteers a day. So we’ve got people signing up every day now but we’re just now starting to get out and push that. If you volunteer you get in free access, we’re excited about that.,” Blair explained. “The great thing about the volunteer program is if you want to come to G fest and maybe you can’t afford the price of the ticket, there’s your ticket. We’ll have different jobs available; anything from ticketing, they’ll be involved with hospitality, gate checks and more. We’re trying to use a lot of service clubs to kind of help man our beer tents and then we share the profits on that with those service clubs. Red Dirt Relief Fund is going to be holding a silent auction on the landing strip that features works of art from various red dirt music artists. That’s going to be a cool feature.”

Blair and those working to put together the festival aren’t the only ones excited about G Fest. I was able to catch up with several of our local musicians who will be featured at the festival and ask them what they were looking forward to about G Fest.

“I am playing at G Fest on June 18, and they are hosting some kind of songwriter swap in downtown Muskogee also. I think their idea was to people who maybe can’t afford the festival, or can’t make it to still get to be a part of it, it’ll be me and Jacob Tovar and Travis Linville and couple of other people, but it’s in the farmers market that Saturday from 11a-2pm,” said Carter Sampson. “The 18th which is when we are playing, that’s my birthday and so I was like ‘I get to play with Merle Haggard on my birthday’, and they gave us a great slot I think we get to play at 8:30. I’m super excited about it. I’m almost more excited about the local talent that’s going to be there. I just recently got to hang out with a bunch of Tulsans at Folk Alliance and there’s whole lot of amazing talent there, I really love Jacob Tovar, and what he brings to the table with this old country roots and western swing stuff that is very much Oklahoma.”

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Sampson isn’t the only one looking forward to seeing Haggard play that day.

“I always look forward to festivals for the fellowship that goes on with all of the musicians. Especially an Okie Festival loaded with so many of our friends. Probably a popular answer, but I look forward to seeing the Hag up close. He’s just one of those artists that carries that legend around. Seeing him perform is something I’ll keep with me for the rest of my life,” said Dylan Stewart.


Many of our great Oklahoma talent that get to be a part of the festival are looking forward to getting to catch up with one another as well as the musicians they have yet to see perform.

Robert Randolph and the Family band, I’m really excited about seeing them, that’s some serious steel guitar, always exciting to see John Fullbright. Uncle Lucius, it’s been a while since I’ve seen those guys but they are bad asses too,” listed Kyle Reid, of who he was excited to see there. “I love festivals, I love festival season. I think the biggest thing is that when you play music all the time, you don’t get to go to concerts as often, because you are always playing shows. So it will be great for that day and that weekend- it will be blocked off in my calendar and I get to go see all of those amazing artists. It’s just a fun time, I’m definitely looking forward to that.”

That was also a popular sentiment from other musicians, is just the fact that they get to see so many other great artists in one place which they don’t get to do all the time.

“I’m most looking forward to getting to play on stage with such a wide variety of Okie talent and other great artists. I’ve always been a fan of Robert Randolph and The Family Band, really looking forward to seeing them,” said James Purdy of BC and the Big Rig. “There’s so many artists playing there every day it’s hard to say who I want to see most, but I would have to say it’s Robert Randolph. His pedal steel style is outside the box of what we’re used to here in Oklahoma. Getting to play festivals is what I like most this time of year. We actually get to see a lot of the people we want to but can’t since we’re on the road as well. That is my favorite part of the festival scene.”


“I’m looking forward to seeing Robert Randolph probably the most. Will be cool to see the Avett Bros as well but RR is definitely more my speed,” agreed Brandon Clark, also of BC and the Big Rig. “We play on a day that I haven’t seen a lot of the bands. I know who they are so I’m looking forward to meeting a lot of people that I only know through their music. Other’s I’m going to try to catch are Kalo, Kyle Reid and definitely Uncle Lucius.”

Many of the local musicians are just happy to be a part of the festival, especially in its first year.

“It’s an honor to play a festival so close to home, with so many of my favorite artists. A great line-up, everyone from Merle Haggard to the Vox Squadron,” said Grant Tracy, who plays bass for Jason Boland and The Stragglers.

That does seem to be a popular sentiment from everyone I talked to about playing the festival, everyone seems to be pumped and excited.

“I’m really excited to play G fest. I’m excited to see all the big artists that are coming there, and the smaller artists all at once and to be a part of that, it will be really fun,” said Sophie Babb of Annie Oakley. “There are so many great artists all across the line up, I’m just amazed. Even if I wasn’t playing this event, I would be going to it. I feel very lucky and very excited, and it’s amazing that it’s happening in Muskogee. It’s going to be pretty awesome. I’m excited about seeing the Avett brothers.”

“The Avett bothers for sure, I’ve been wanting to see them for years,” agreed her sister Grace Babb.

No doubt the G Fest festival is going to offer a tremendous amount of music and entertainment all the way around. Tickets and camping passes are still available, as well as the many different volunteer opportunities. You don’t want to miss out on this event’s very first year. You can find more information about the festival at the website at as well as their Facebook site.



The Full schedule:

Thursday June 16th

Love Bottling Stage

Heath Wright and the Hangman Trio 1-2pm

Paul Benjamin Band with Don White 2:30-3:30pm

John FullBright 4-5pm

The Quebe Sisters 5:30-6:30pm

Paul Thorn Band 7-8:15pm

Old Crow Medicine Show 8:45-10:15pm

Oklahoma Roots Stage

Maggie McClure 1:30-2:15pm

The Happily Entitled 2:30-3:15pm

Junior Markham 3:30-4:15pm

Saige Cross 4:30-5:15pm

Travis Kidd 5:30-6:15pm

T.Z Wright 7:30-8:15pm

Beau Jennings and the Tigers 8:30-9:15pm

Ricochet 9:30-10:15pm

Wild Card Band 10:30-11:15pm

Real Okie Stage

Millisa Henderson 2-2:30pm

Selby Minner 3:30-4pm

Mason Jar Revival 5-5:30pm

Craig Morgan 6-6:30pm

Miles Williams 8:15-8:45pm

Harley Hamm Jam 10:15-11:30

Currentland/Red Dirt Nation Stage

Klondike 5 3-4pm

The Dirtboxwailers 4:30-5:30

Smokey and the Mirror 6-7pm

Levi Parham and Co 7:30-8:30pm

Tom Skinner’s Science Project 10:30pm-12am

Friday June 17

Love Bottling Stage

Full Flava Kings 1-2pm

Uncle Lucius 2:30-3:30pm

Dirty Dozen Brass Band 4-5pm

The Swon Brothers 5:30-6:30pm

Rober Randolph and the Family Band7-8:15pm

The Avett Brothers 8:45-10:15pm

Oklahoma Roots Stage

Dylan Stewart and the Eulogists 1:30-2:15

Annie Oakley 2:30-3:15pm

Steelwind 3:30-4:15pm

BC and the Big Rig 4:30-5:15pm

Cherokee Maidens 5:30-6:15pm

Bonham Brothers 6:30-7:15pm

Kalo 7:30-8:15pm

Darrell Christopher and the Ingredients 8:30-9:15pm

Alaska and Madi 9:30-10:15pm

Nicnos 10:30-11:15pm

Real Okie Stage

Dylan Whitney 12:30-1pm

Vox Squadron 2-2:30pm

Jermaine Mondaine 3:30-4pm

Kay Brothers 5-5:30pm

Blue Fish 6:30-7pm

Echelon 8:15-8:45pm

Harley Hamm Jam 10:15-11:30pm

Currentland/Red Dirt Nation Stage

The Dirty Mugs 1:30-2:30pm

Gypsy Twang 3-4pm

Randy Crouch and Flying Horse 4:30-5:30

Head for the Hills 6-7pm

Kyle Reid and the Low Swinging Chariots 7:30-8:30pm

Tom Skinner’s Science Project 10:30pm-12am

Saturday June 18th

Love Bottling Stage

Byron Berline Band with Barry “Bones” Patton 1-2pm

Aubrie Sellers 2:30-3:30pm

Jason Boland and the Stragglers 4-5pm

Marty Stuart 5:30-6:30pm

Turnpike Troubadours 7-8:15pm

Merle Haggard 8:45-10:15pm

Oklahoma Roots Stage

Desi and Cody 1:30-2:15pm

Red Dirt Rangers 2:30-3:15pm

Mountain Smoke 3:30-4:15pm

Ripple Green 4:30-5:15pm

Green Corn Rebellion 5:30-6:15pm

Hosty Duo 6:30-7:15pm

Head for the Hill 7:30-8:15pm

Carter Sampson 8:30-9:15pm

Brujo Roots 9:30-10:15pm

Paul Benjaman Band 10:30-11:15pm

Real Okie Stage

Paradox 12:30-1pm

Southern Blend 2-2:30pm

Jacob Tovar and the Saddle Tramps 3:30-4pm

Byron and Janna Jae Fiddle Show 5-5:30pm

Livin’ Country 6:30-7pm

Patti Taylor Band 8:15-8:45pm

Harley Hamm Jam 10:15-11:30pm

Currentland/Red Dirt Nation Stage

Meandering Orange 1:30-2:30pm

Chuck Dunlap, Scott Carson and the High Desert Riders 3-4pm

We Dream Dawn 4:30-5:30pm

Travis Linville Trio 6-7pm

Dirtfoot 7:30-8:30pm

Tom Skinner’s Science Project 10:30pm-12am







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