Muskogee, Oklahoma’s G Fest Resumes after Damaging Windstorm

by Frank Hammel
in News
G Fest logo
G Fest logo

MUSkOGEE, OK – The second annual G Fest, with more than 80 local and national acts scheduled to perform on multiple stages June 15-17, 2017, was set to resume June 16 after being disrupted by damaging winds on its first night this year. Festival organizers closed the event’s stages late in the evening and canceled a few acts as a pleasant night turned stormy.

“At approximately 10:50 p.m., we alerted fans from the main stage that, due to severe weather, we were canceling the rest of the evening and instructed everyone to exit the premises,” noted festival official Jim Blair, who also serves as executive director of Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame. “There was some structural damage to non-permanent structures and a few minor injuries reported,” Blair added, in a statement on the festival's website.

Although early news reports said high winds knocked over occupied toilets and that multiple attendees left in stretchers after a tent collapse couldn’t be confirmed, event officials confirmed that the winds did cause some minor injuries to attendees and crew members, with one person taken to a local hospital for treatment.

Officials also confirmed that the secondary Red Dirt Relief Stage tent was damaged, and acts slated for that area will perform within the Hatbox Dance Hall building instead. The event’s Main Stage appears to have withstood the high winds without significant damage.

The music-and-camping event, staged on the disused Hatbox air field near Muskogee, was slated to continue with headliners including Needtobreathe, Creedence Clearwater Revisited, Ben & Noel Haggard and the Strangers, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and others.

Inspired by Bonnaroo, G Fest launched last year with hopes of including Merle Haggard, the original “Okie from Muskogee,” in the inaugural June 2016 event’s lineup. Haggard died April 6, 2016, but the festival went on despite an oppressive heat wave, performed in Haggard’s honor.

The “G” in G Fest, by the way, is somewhat open to interpretation. The logo depicts a guitar head, which would suggest the “G” in Guitar. But event founder Blair, who says it can mean anything anyone wants, has also hinted that it was inspired by the way some people refer to Muskogee by the town’s last three letters.