As always, the ever faithful joined thousands of music fans for the twelfth year of Rocklahoma. With fans traveling from as far away as Europe, it’s hard to match the energy and expectations of the festival goers, but somehow Rocklahoma, meets and exceeds these each year. This year brought in a varied, if not controversial group of artists Cheap Trick, Poison, Butcher Babies and even Yellawolf all performed. Proving if you waited long enough there was something for almost everyone. The pricing on campsites and tickets saw a small increase, but with costs of rising security requirements and operations, that’s to be expected. Technology was brought back once again to try to alleviate ticket fraud, but still, according to some fan groups, there was a small amount. Second hand tickets are always a risk, so it isn’t surprising people would have this issue. There was also an increase of chatter about camp ground thefts, but it is difficult to ascertain if this was a larger problem, or just more easily reported with the access to the various online forums. Bottom line is, protect your valuables, lock up your things and keep honest people honest. I had no issues at my site, nor did I hear of anything wrong near me. ( Continued below)
As usual the Retrospect stage brought in some great lesser known artists, up and coming artists, and veterans. Stand outs included a the last-minute addition of newly signed Road Runner artist Joyous Wolf, Victory Records: Dead Girls’ Academy, Davey Suicide and Maxx Explosion featuring members of House of Lords and Dokken. First year main stage artist Down For Five also made an appearance. The lineup also contained Coda Cutlass, The Midnight Devils, Heaven Sent, LA Velvet, Cimino, T.R.O.Y., Wild Planes, Firstryke, War of Thrones, Mind of Fury, Chaotic Resemblance, A Brilliant Lie, Black Tora, ASKA, and local favorite Dead Metal Society.
Poison, Godsmack and Cheap Trick had very successful sets. Shaman’s Harvest, amid Lead singer Nathan Hunt’s struggles with vocal health issues turned in a better than expected solid offering leaving all of us waiting with anticipation on new music. Ghost’s new set is visually gorgeous. I would say it was surprisingly entertaining to those who weren’t sure of their addition to the line up. Yellawolf hurled his microphone stand into the crowd, but without incident it was returned with someone posting proudly her husband had been the person pelted by it.
The Axis stage provided the the official pre party and after party with great talent including the stage closer Shallow Side from Alabama and Ryder who turned in a great set. It is always well produced and for the hard core partiers, it rocks well into the night ( around 3:30 AM) and opens early (11:00 AM). Proving that Rocklahoma can go all night! It’s a hard pacce to keep up with. The after parties and campsites became so legendary that at one point I was giving Rikki Rocket and Will “Keys” of Poison directions to Camp Giggity as they were riding around on a golf cart recording for Rikki’s online blog. I can’t say I’ve ever seen anything such as that. I have heard tales of a naked slip and slide, a stripper pole, and other things that clearly I missed in my journey through the campground. The Axis stage provided the the official pre party and after party with great talent including the stage closer Shallow Side. Something to look for next year I suppose. I have been to multiple camp out festivals and I have to say this is the best one out there. It’s a combination of being in a remote location, the down to earth people of Oklahoma, and the organization. Are there issues, always, and most of the time it revolves around someone with a new and unique way to get into trouble. Most of the rookie mistakes have long since passed, and dollar for dollar you can’t find a better experience.
Be on the look out for interviews coming soon!
Photos By: Belinda Glass Reedy and Jacob Hathcock