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Some Oklahoma Concert Promoters Worried About Live Music Market Saturation

A worker repairs a sign above the Chevy Bricktown Events Center in Oklahoma City.
Brent Fuchs
The Journal Reocrd
A worker repairs a sign above the Chevy Bricktown Events Center in Oklahoma City.

There's no shortage of large and small live music venues across Oklahoma.

In Oklahoma City, the owners of the Wormy Dog Saloon in Bricktowntold The Journal Record's Molly Fleming they're partnering with a Colorado investor to open a 4,200-person venue sometime late next year. But some promoters are concerned.

Innervisions Inc. President Howard Pollack said he thinks the market is too full, however. He books the OKC Downtown Airpark, First Council Casino in Newkirk and Lucky Star Casino in Concho and Clinton. He previously planned the artists at The Zoo Amphitheatre. “I think it’s too much for Oklahoma City,” he said. “We’ve been fortunate to have been doing concerts here since 1973. The past two years have taken its toll because of the casinos. Private facilities that don’t have a reason other than a concert hall will suffer.”

The Chevy Bricktown Events Center is also expanding, and plans to double its capacity. DCF Concerts marketing director Jamie Fitzgerald says the city could use another 2,500 seat venue, similar in size to the Civic Center Music Hall, but better-suited for rock shows.

The state is also unique because its casinos serve as another option for promoters. Fitzgerald says even though artists performing at casinos want a higher guarantee on their money, casino owners can still charge lower ticket prices because concerts serve as an economic loss leader.

Due to their often-remote location, casino concert-goers are more likely to eat at the restaurant or play a few games. One of the best marketing strategies is to simply bring a customer in the door. As more and more casinos bring a Las Vegas-style resort experience to Oklahoma, the goal is to get patrons thinking, "Maybe this is a place I should come check out on another night when its not so crowded."


The Business Intelligence Report is a collaborative news project between KGOU and The Journal Record.

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Brian Hardzinski is from Flower Mound, Texas and a graduate of the University of Oklahoma. He began his career at KGOU as a student intern, joining KGOU full time in 2009 as Operations and Public Service Announcement Director. He began regularly hosting Morning Edition in 2014, and became the station's first Digital News Editor in 2015-16. Brian’s work at KGOU has been honored by Public Radio News Directors Incorporated (PRNDI), the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters, the Oklahoma Associated Press Broadcasters, and local and regional chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists. Brian enjoys competing in triathlons, distance running, playing tennis, and entertaining his rambunctious Boston Terrier, Bucky.
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