More than 80 local and regional acts representing myriad musical genres descend upon Curtis Harts historic Muscle Car Ranch for Twister Fest, which runs Friday-Sunday in Chickasha.
As far as music and camping festivals go, this one is a true value at $20 for day passes and $35 for festival passes.
Ben Ellis, bassist and backup vocalist for Lawton-based rock band Snake Oil, performed at last years festival and said it is one of the best music events he has been to.
Its a great atmosphere of just peace, music and socializing, he said. It was big on socializing last year. Ive been to other festivals, and its cool. They have great musicians, and they get on and off the stage, and then they leave. At Twister Fest, everyones camping together, eating together or hanging out in spontaneous jamming sessions.
Ellis also helped organize this years festival. He booked many of the bands, including Oklahoma acts Skytown, Cut-Throat Queens and Chief Peace. With five festival stages, Ellis said there is always something to see.
At any given minute, theres at least two bands playing, he said.
Every other hour, three bands perform.
Hart started hosting large parties and often inviting local music acts at the ranch in 1978.
Eventually, word spread about the locale and it became a popular party spot. In 1990, he turned his ranch into a business, collecting vintage cars and booking big-name acts from the past like The Byrds, The Turtles, The Grass Roots, Firefall and Steve Forbert.
Harts shows had such a reputation for getting rained out that locals would beg him to make bookings.
I broke two droughts, he said. The farmers started making some jokes, saying, Oh, were going to start paying Curtis to have a concert. Well get some rain. I wasnt laughing though, you know? When I did The Grass Roots in 92, it cost me $20,000 for 60 minutes.
The most distinctive feature of Muscle Car Ranch likely is Harts vast collection of vintage restaurant, hotel and automotive signs from Oklahoma.
They basically had no value in the 80s, when I was getting into them. Now, theyre kind of a big thing, he said. Fortunately, I saw that these would be gone soon, and I gathered up quite a few of them.
Ellis said he fell in love with Twister Fest last year. He volunteered to help bands and set up stages during Snake Oils first run at the event. This year, he insisted Hart put him on the festival staff.
Hes like me. Hes a worker, man, Hart said. You just point him in a direction, and he gets stuff done.
One of Twister Fests goals is to showcase the states wide variety of talent. Organizers work tirelessly to promote the festival and its music lineup. Hart said he printed thousands of flyers this year. Since 1990, he has printed more than 900,000.
Nobody else goes through this trouble, he said. What Ive gained from it is Im getting calls constantly from other artists and bands who want to be here. I think were building a fire. I really do.
For more information or to buy tickets, visit twisterfest.com.
Print headline: Storm season, Muscle Car Ranch hosts dozens of music acts spanning rock to rap at this years Twister Fest in Chickasha.