Experience The Beat Tulsa Live Music Scene

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Hey music lovers out there, are you tired of going to the same bars and clubs every weekend to listen to the same old music? Do you crave something more exhilarating, more vibrant, and more unique? Well, you’re in luck because in this article, we are going to explore Tulsa’s live music scene, and trust us when we say, Tulsa has a lot to offer. From rock to jazz to country, there’s something for everyone in this city, and we’re here to guide you through it all.

By the end of this article, you can expect to find all the hottest live music venues in the city, the upcoming concerts and events, and a brief history of Tulsa’s music scene. Whether you’re a long-time resident or a visitor to the city, we guarantee that you’ll discover something new and exciting in the music scene here. Plus, we’ll share tips on how to make the most out of your live music experience in Tulsa so that you can leave feeling satisfied and wanting more.

If you’re a skeptic, we hear you. You might be wondering if Tulsa’s live music scene is really worth exploring. Well, we’re here to tell you that it absolutely is. Tulsa has a storied history with music, producing some of the biggest names in the industry like Leon Russell, J.J Cale, and early works of the country music legend Garth Brooks. We’ll provide you with proof of the city’s thriving music scene and its impact on the culture of Tulsa. So, get ready to put on your dancing shoes and immerse yourself in the wonderful world of live music in Tulsa.

Best Venues for Live Music in Tulsa

Tulsa, Oklahoma is a hub for live music, with a plethora of venues catering to different genres and audiences. Whether you are a fan of jazz, rock, country or even classical music, Tulsa has something to offer for everyone. In this article, we will explore the top venues for live music in Tulsa and what makes them unique.

1. Cain’s Ballroom – A Historical Gem

Cain’s Ballroom is an iconic music venue that has been around since 1924. It started as a dance hall but transformed into a music venue over the years, hosting some of the biggest names in the music industry. The likes of Bob Wills, Hank Williams, and even Elvis Presley have graced the stage of Cain’s Ballroom.

Today, Cain’s Ballroom continues to be a key player in the live music scene, with a capacity of 1,800 people. The venue boasts of excellent acoustics and a spacious dance floor, making it a great place to catch a live show. Some interesting facts about Cain’s Ballroom include:

  • It was once known as the “Carnegie Hall of Western Swing”.
  • The floor of the venue is a century-old wooden dance floor, which adds to the charm of the place.
  • The venue has also been used as a filming location for music videos, movies, and TV shows.

If you are looking to catch a live show at Cain’s Ballroom, you can check their website for upcoming events. The venue typically hosts a wide range of music genres, from rock to country to blues.

2. The Vanguard – Intimate Setting, Big Sound

Another popular venue for live music in Tulsa is The Vanguard. It is a relatively new venue but has quickly gained a reputation for hosting amazing shows. What sets The Vanguard apart is its intimate setting, which allows for a unique music experience. With a capacity of 300 people, there isn’t a bad seat in the house.

The venue has state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems, making it a great place to catch a live show. Some interesting facts about The Vanguard include:

  • The venue was previously a Mexican restaurant before it was transformed into a music venue.
  • The Vanguard is known for its craft beer selection, which includes local and regional brews.
  • The venue has hosted some of the biggest names in the music industry, including The Lumineers, Mac DeMarco, and Kacey Musgraves.

If you are looking for an intimate setting to catch a live show, The Vanguard should definitely be on your list.

3. Brady Theater – Rich History and Great Sound

Brady Theater is yet another iconic music venue in Tulsa. Built in 1914, the venue has a rich history and has hosted some of the most famous musicians in the world. The likes of Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, and Eric Clapton have all performed at Brady Theater.

The venue underwent a major renovation in 2014, and today it boasts of state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems. With a capacity of 2,800 people, it is a great place to catch a live show. Some interesting facts about Brady Theater include:

  • The venue was originally known as the Tulsa Convention Hall and was used as a WWI armory.
  • The venue is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • The floor is sloped, allowing for better viewing angles for all attendees.

Brady Theater typically hosts big-name acts and is a must-visit venue for those looking for a top-class music experience.

Venue Capacity Unique Features
Cain’s Ballroom 1,800 Century-old dance floor, excellent acoustics
The Vanguard 300 Intimate setting, state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems
Brady Theater 2,800 Historic venue, top-class sound and lighting systems
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In conclusion, whether you are a music lover or simply looking for a fun-filled night out, Tulsa has plenty to offer. From iconic venues like Cain’s Ballroom and Brady Theater to up-and-coming venues like The Vanguard, there is something for everyone. Make sure to check out these venues for an unforgettable live music experience.

The economic impact of Tulsa’s live music Scene

The Tulsa live music scene is more than just a form of entertainment or an artistic expression. It is a substantial part of the city’s economy. The live music industry has a significant economic impact on Tulsa’s businesses and the community as a whole. Below are some of the economic benefits of Tulsa’s thriving live music scene.

1. Job creation

Live music contributes to the creation of jobs in the service, tourism, and music industries. Musicians, sound technicians, stagehands, promoters, and venue staff are among those who work in the industry, providing valuable and diverse employment opportunities. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in the performing arts, spectator sports, and related industries in Tulsa County has increased by over 6% since 2012. The industry has also been instrumental in creating secondary employment opportunities in the hospitality, retail, and transportation sectors.

2. Revenue generation and tax revenue

The live music industry generates significant revenue for the city of Tulsa through ticket sales, merchandise, food and beverage sales, and related activities. A study commissioned by the National Independent Venue Association found that every dollar spent on concert tickets at small venues resulted in $12 in economic activity within the surrounding community. In addition to direct economic benefits, live music venues also generate tax revenue for the city, which goes towards funding public services and infrastructure development.

3. Promotion of tourism

Tulsa’s live music scene is an important factor in promoting the city’s tourism industry. Live music events attract visitors from across the state and beyond, contributing to the hospitality and tourism industries. Food, beverages, and merchandise sales create additional revenue streams, and visitors are more likely to extend their stay and explore other attractions in the city. A survey by the American Bus Association found that live music events are the second most sought-after attraction for tour groups, after museums and historic sites.

4. Cultural preservation and community engagement

Tulsa’s live music scene is a vital part of the city’s cultural heritage and identity, representing the rich diversity and depth of the city’s musical expression. Live music events bring people together, fostering community engagement and promoting social cohesion. Local musicians and performers are given a platform to showcase their talents and build their careers, contributing to the cultural fabric of the city. Live music aficionados also have access to a diverse range of events, reflecting a broad spectrum of music genres and styles.

5. Challenges faced by the industry

Despite the many benefits of Tulsa’s live music scene, the industry faces a number of challenges that threaten its long-term sustainability. One of the most pressing challenges is the lack of venues and performance spaces, particularly those dedicated to up-and-coming local artists. There is also a need for more transparent and equitable compensation models for musicians, who often receive a small percentage of the revenue generated from their performances. The COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated these challenges, with many live music venues struggling to stay afloat.

Pros and Cons of Tulsa’s Live Music Scene

Below is a table illustrating the pros and cons of Tulsa’s live music scene:

Pros Cons
  • Job creation
  • Revenue generation and tax revenue
  • Promotion of tourism
  • Cultural preservation and community engagement
  • Access to diverse range of music genres and styles
  • Lack of venues and performance spaces
  • Inequitable compensation for musicians
  • Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the industry

In conclusion, the live music industry is a vital part of Tulsa’s economy and cultural heritage, contributing to the creation of jobs, generation of revenue, promotion of tourism, and preservation of cultural identity. However, the industry faces several challenges that require immediate attention and action. By addressing these challenges, Tulsa’s live music scene can continue to thrive and make valuable contributions to the city’s growth and development.

Local bands making waves in Tulsa’s music scene

Tulsa, Oklahoma has never been short of talented musicians. Local bands have made considerable contributions to the state’s thriving music scene and have gained nationwide recognition over the years. In this article, we’ll be discussing the most prominent local bands that are currently making waves in Tulsa’s music scene. We’ll delve into their style, history, and why they’re becoming more and more popular.

The Flaming Lips

The Flaming Lips are arguably the most famous band that emerged from Tulsa. Their psychedelic rock style is renowned all over the world, and they are an inspiration to many newcomers in the music industry. The band was formed in 1983 by Wayne Coyne and has been producing music ever since. Their 1993 album, “Transmissions from the Satellite Heart,” brought them mainstream recognition, with their single “She Don’t Use Jelly” even charting in the UK. The band’s music is weird but beautiful and ranges from ethereal melodies to heavy psychedelic guitar riffs.

  • The Flaming Lips were one of the first bands to conduct a COVID-19 social distancing concert where fans were sealed in their own plastic bubbles.
  • In 2007 they received a Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance for their track, “The Wizard Turns On.”
  • Their album “The Soft Bulletin” is considered one of the best albums of the late 90s.

The Flaming Lips have become a household name within the music industry, and their music continues to influence and inspire many other local bands in Tulsa.

Other Lives

Other Lives is another band that has emerged from Tulsa and has gained recognition worldwide for their unique style. This American indie rock band started as a side project in 2004 for lead singer Jesse Tabish, who was once a member of several Tulsa bands. The band’s music is a combination of orchestral arrangements and ambient sounds, with hints of folk and indie rock.

  • “Tamer Animals,” their third studio album released in 2011, was a commercial success, reaching the top ten in Billboard’s Heatseekers chart.
  • The band has toured with famous musicians such as Radiohead, Bon Iver, and The National.
  • Their music has been featured in several popular TV shows, such as “True Detective” and “Grey’s Anatomy.”

Other Lives’ music has a unique sound and has received critical acclaim for their ability to incorporate classical instruments into their songs.


Colourmusic is another band that has been making waves in Tulsa’s music scene. Their music is a blend of experimental rock and pop, with catchy hooks and intelligent lyrics. The band was formed in 2005, and since then, they have been pushing the boundaries of sound and style in the music industry.

  • Their debut album “F, Monday, Orleans, Nebraska” was released in 2010 and received favorable reviews from critics.
  • They were named the Best Indie Rock Band in Oklahoma by The Gazette in 2011.
  • Their music video “Yes!” won a gold award at the Oklahoma Film Festival in 2020.
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Colourmusic’s unique sound is a product of their willingness to experiment and combine different genres, resulting in a sound that is uniquely theirs.

Pros Cons
The Flaming Lips 1. Unique psychedelic style that inspires many local bands.
2. Grammy-winning music.
3. Introduced innovative ways of live concerts during the pandemic.
1. Their music style is not for everyone.
2. Their live concert gimmicks can be seen as a bit excessive for some.
Other Lives 1. A unique blend of different genres that has been praised by critics.
2. Commercially successful albums.
3. Touring with famous bands has exposed them to broader audiences.
1. Their music can be seen as too obscure for some.
2. They are yet to achieve mainstream recognition like other bands.
Colourmusic 1. A willingness to experiment makes their music fresh and innovative.
2. Named Best Indie Rock band in Oklahoma.
3. Their music video won a gold award at a local film festival.
1. Their music style can be seen as too unique and experimental for some.
2. They are still struggling to achieve commercial success.

In conclusion, Tulsa’s music scene is bustling with talented artists, with The Flaming Lips, Other Lives, and Colourmusic being some of the most innovative and creative bands. Their unique styles and willingness to experiment have set them apart, not just in Tulsa but globally. These bands’ rise to fame is an inspiration to other aspiring artists from the city, proving that with hard work and dedication, anyone can make it in the music industry.

How to Choose the Best Live Music Event for Your Taste

When it comes to live music events in Tulsa, there are plenty of options to choose from. However, not all events will be right for everyone. Here are some tips for selecting the best live music event for your taste:

1. Know Your Music Preferences

Before you attend a live music event, it’s important to know what kind of music you enjoy. Do you prefer indie rock, jazz, country, or something else? Once you know your music preferences, you can research events that feature the type of music you like.

2. Check the Lineup

Once you’ve identified events that feature your preferred music genre, check the lineup to see what specific artists will be performing. If you’re not familiar with the artists listed, take some time to listen to their music beforehand to make sure you’ll enjoy the show.

3. Consider the Venue

The venue can greatly impact your live music experience. Some venues are small and intimate, providing an up-close and personal experience with the artist. Other venues are larger and offer more of a party atmosphere. Make sure to consider the type of venue you prefer when selecting a live music event.

4. Look for Special Features

Many live music events offer special features that can enhance your experience. Consider looking for events that offer things like food and drink specials, VIP ticket options, or merchandise giveaways. These little extras can make attending a live music event even more enjoyable.

5. Plan Ahead

Once you’ve selected a live music event that fits your preferences, it’s important to plan ahead. Purchase tickets early to ensure you get a good spot and avoid last-minute price increases. Make sure you know the venue location and plan for transportation, parking, and any other logistics you might need to consider.

Pros Cons
-Ability to see your favorite artists live -Events can be expensive
-Opportunity to explore new music -Limited options based on location or availability
-Chance to meet other music enthusiasts -Crowds can be overwhelming

In summary, selecting the best live music event for your taste involves knowing your music preferences, checking the lineup, considering the venue, looking for special features, and planning ahead. By taking these steps, you can ensure that your live music experience in Tulsa is enjoyable and tailored to your tastes.

The History of Live Music in Tulsa and its Impact on the Industry

Live music has been a significant part of Tulsa’s culture since the early 1900s. It has played a vital role in shaping the city’s music scene, attracting musicians from different genres, and boosting the economy. This article will take an in-depth look at the history of live music in Tulsa and how it has impacted the industry.

Tulsa’s Early Music Scene

Tulsa had a vibrant music scene in the early 1900s. Jazz was the most popular genre, and musicians would play in speakeasies and clubs around the city. Artists such as Count Basie, Bix Beiderbecke, and Benny Goodman performed in Tulsa during that period. Tulsa’s music clubs attracted people from all over the country, making it one of the most famous places for live music in the United States.

Tulsa’s Historic Music Venues

Historic music venues in Tulsa have played an essential role in shaping the city’s music scene. These venues have hosted some of the most popular musicians and artists of different genres, making them an iconic part of the city’s culture.

  • Cain’s Ballroom: It is one of the most famous music venues in Tulsa. Built-in 1924, Cain’s Ballroom has hosted some of the biggest names in music such as Bob Wills, the Texas Playboys, and the Sex Pistols. It is still an iconic venue that features bands of different genres.
  • The Brady Theater: The Brady Theater opened in 1914 as the Tulsa Convention Hall. It is one of the most significant live music venues in Tulsa, with a seating capacity of around 2500 people. The Beatles performed their last concert in 1966 at this venue.
  • The Tulsa Performing Arts Center: Opened in 1977, the Tulsa Performing Arts Center has been a destination for many artists and musicians over the years. The venue features different genres of live music and offers a fantastic experience for music lovers.

The Rise of the Tulsa Sound

The Tulsa Sound is a genre that originated in Tulsa in the late 1960s and 1970s. It is a blend of rock, country, blues, and jazz that has become an iconic part of Tulsa’s music scene. The sound was inspired by Tulsa musicians such as J.J. Cale, Leon Russell, and David Gates. They were some of the earliest musicians to use the sound, which later became popularized by artists like Eric Clapton and Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Impact of Live Music on Tulsa’s Economy

The live music scene in Tulsa has had a significant impact on the city’s economy. It has attracted people from all over the world, making it a popular tourist destination. The live music industry has created employment opportunities for people, generated revenue for businesses, and increased the city’s tax base. In 2020, the BOK Center, a multipurpose arena in Tulsa, was named one of the top twenty arenas in the United States, showing the impact of live music on the city.

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The Future of Live Music in Tulsa

The live music scene in Tulsa is continuously evolving. New venues and festivals are emerging, and new musicians are making names for themselves. Tulsa’s music scene is still vibrant and attracts artists and music lovers from all over the world. With the rise of social media, it is now easier for artists to share their music online, making it accessible to a larger audience. The future of live music in Tulsa is bright, and it will continue to play a significant role in shaping the city’s culture and economy.

Key Concepts Pros Cons
The history of live music in Tulsa Boosts the economy, Increases tourism, creates employment opportunities Can be loud and disruptive, can attract large crowds that may cause traffic congestion
Tulsa’s Historic Music Venues Iconic part of city’s culture, Attracts famous musicians, increases revenue for businesses, creates job opportunities The venues may be too large for some artists, can be expensive to rent the venues
The Rise of the Tulsa Sound Shaped Tulsa’s music scene, trendsetting genre, brought fame to Tulsa musicians May have limited appeal to some people, can be too eclectic for some
Impact of Live Music on Tulsa’s Economy Attracts people from all over the world, generates revenue for businesses, increases tax base, creates employment opportunities Can be loud and disruptive, may cause traffic congestion
The Future of Live Music in Tulsa Tulsa’s music scene is continuously evolving, attracts new musicians, and new venues and festivals emerging May face competition from other cities or genres, can be expensive for some artists to perform there

In conclusion, live music has been and will continue to be a significant part of Tulsa’s culture and economy. Tulsa has a rich history of live music, and it has shaped the city’s music scene over the years. The influence of Tulsa’s historic music venues, the rise of Tulsa Sound, and the impact of live music on Tulsa’s economy have all made it a popular destination for music lovers worldwide. The future of live music in Tulsa is bright, and it will continue to be a source of inspiration for musicians and music lovers alike.

FAQs for Tulsa Live Music

What are some popular music venues in Tulsa?

Some popular music venues in Tulsa include Cain’s Ballroom, The Vanguard, BOK Center, and The Shrine.

What type of music can I expect to hear in Tulsa?

Tulsa is known for its diverse music scene, featuring everything from country and bluegrass to rock and hip hop.

How much do tickets for live music events in Tulsa usually cost?

The cost of tickets for live music events can vary greatly depending on the venue, performer, and demand. Tickets can range from $10 to over $100.

What is the best time of year to catch live music in Tulsa?

Spring and fall are typically the best times to catch live music in Tulsa. During these seasons, the weather is mild and many outdoor concerts and festivals take place.

What are some upcoming live music events in Tulsa?

Some upcoming live music events in Tulsa include Jason Isbell at Cain’s Ballroom, Eagles at BOK Center, and the Hop Jam Beer and Music Festival.

Are there any free live music events in Tulsa?

Yes, there are often free live music events in Tulsa. Check local listings and event calendars, as well as venues that offer free admission.

What is the dress code for live music events in Tulsa?

The dress code for live music events in Tulsa can vary greatly depending on the venue and performer. Some venues may have a dress code, while others may be more casual. It’s always a good idea to check the venue’s website or call ahead to inquire about dress code policies.

Can I bring my own food and drinks to live music events in Tulsa?

The policy on outside food and drinks can vary depending on the venue. Some venues may allow outside food and drinks, while others may have restrictions or not allow them at all. Check the venue’s website or call ahead to inquire about their policies.

What is the age limit for attending live music events in Tulsa?

The age limit for attending live music events can vary depending on the venue and performer. Some venues may be 18+ or 21+ only, while others may allow all ages. Check the venue’s website or call ahead to inquire about age limit policies.

Are there any local musicians in Tulsa that I should check out?

Yes, Tulsa has a thriving local music scene. Some local musicians to check out include John Fullbright, Samantha Crain, and Jacob Tovar.


In conclusion, Tulsa is a hub for live music with a diverse music scene and many popular venues. The cost of admission for live music events can vary greatly, but there are often free events to attend as well. Spring and fall are the best times to catch live music in Tulsa, and there are many upcoming events to look forward to. It’s important to check each venue’s policies on dress code, outside food and drinks, and age limits before attending. Lastly, don’t forget to check out Tulsa’s local musicians who contribute to the city’s unique and vibrant music culture. Thank you for reading and be sure to check out our other articles!