Oklahoma’s ties to the film industry go back at least as far as Tom Mix and Will Rogers. Yet with roots in movies this strong, many Oklahoma performers still have to leave the state to find work. The same is true for many musicians.
No Coast Music-Industry Festival ties both together March 3 as it brings live music to Red Dirt International Film Festival in Stillwater.
No Coast happens 10 p.m. March 3 at Eskimo Joe’s, 501 W. Elm Ave., in Stillwater and hopes to pull in film festival guests yearning for a taste of Oklahoma’s diverse musical offerings.
Performers include Mack, Tres Dudes, Aaron Hale and Bethany Keen. Mack said musicians were selected to showcase a wide variety of influences to an international crowd that might have a one-dimensional view of Oklahoma music.
“What you’re going to get out of a No Coast group of musicians that are playing this inaugural event is extreme originality,” Mack said. “You’re going to see something that isn’t always showcased in Stillwater. It’s not just Red Dirt music. There’s going to be some rock ’n’ roll and some funk. It’s going to be killer songwriting.”
With the music industry’s strongest focus in New York City and Los Angeles, Mack said the “No Coast” title is fitting for both Oklahoma’s geographical location and its attitude.
“Here we are in Oklahoma, landlocked,” Mack said. “I think the key with the naming of the event is that we are of no coast. It’s not that we don’t identify with the stuff coming out of New York and LA; it’s just we’re not them. We are in a land all of our own.”
For Mack, Oklahoma’s distinctive sound is a “uniqueness born of geography.” It’s a geographic crossroads that melds multiple influences from other parts of the country.
“A lot of our creative musicians and artists in Oklahoma harness that outside influence and energy and anchor it down, right here in Oklahoma,” he said, “and give us a creative, unique spin on things.”
However, Mack doesn’t use the “landlocked” aspect as an excuse for Oklahoma artists not to seek out recognition or put in the hours of work that many musicians do. Creating festivals like No Coast is only a portion of what musicians have to do to find success.
“It would do a lot for my fellow Oklahoma musicians to get a firm grasp on how to appropriately market and advertise who you are and what it is you do,” Mack said. “Be super professional in all your attempts to go out and perform in front of other people and showcase your craft.”
Mack said, ultimately, he would like to see enough people come in from the film festival to experience the show to warrant it being an annual event.
“We want to bring people together and give them an added experience to their time spent in Stillwater for the weekend,” Mack said. “If things go well, we want it back next year.”
No Coast Music-Industry Festival is a 21-and-over event. Visit facebook.com/nocoastmusicindustryfestival or call 405-714-7421. Learn more about Red Dirt International Film Festival at reddirtfilm.com.
Print headline: Coast-free music, No Coast Music-Industry Festival fuses Oklahoma’s eclectic music scene with Red Dirt Film Festival’s global audience.