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Music festivals are almost synonymous with Oklahoma in the summertime. Juneteenth and Rocklahoma may stand out to many people, but more recently, Rush Fest Music Festival (Rush Fest) has made a name for itself. The inaugural festival took place in 2017. Now, in its 5th year, it has grown into a multi-venue festival spanning over two nights.
This year’s festival was held July 8 and 9 at bar Four.Seven.Three and Heirloom Rustic Ales brewery, in Tulsa’s Kendall Whittier district.
The island vibes were in full effect from the music that was performed, to many attendees wearing all white with a splash of royal purple to honor the festival’s theme, “Royal Island Celebration.” The performers were diverse: poets, country singers, punk rockers, hip-hop and R&B artists that all graced the two stages over the course of the weekend.
Rush Fest takes center stage in Tulsa
Cordney “MAC Woods” McClain, a native of Oklahoma City and Rush Fest performer, told the Black Wall Street Times he was impressed by what the festival brought to the city. “The greatness of a culture can be found in its festivals and Rush Fest was an excellent example of the sentiment,” he said. “I was impressed by the inclusivity of the fest and intentionality of equality that was implemented during the celebration,” he added.
Rush Fest was more than musical entertainment. More than a dozen vendors and food trucks offered goods and services to the festival attendees. Melanie Rahtod, Co-Owner of N Crowd Clothing, was a vendor and festival attendee. “The Rush Fest was an awesome experience full of talent from all genres,” she told the Black Wall Street Times. “It sent me to a place I never knew existed in our own backyard. She [Tea Rush] has provided a big city feel to a small town that has given us five years of artistic excellence. It was an honor to be a vendor and see everyone dressed up to the nightly themes ready to have a good time.”
Tea Rush, artist and founder of the festival, said in a Facebook post, “I’m just a local artist trying to help other local artists feel National & (we’re just that great)!! Why wait and hope for someone to give us something we can build ourselves and KILL IT!!”