Mayfest 2011

Tulsa’s Annual Celebration of art and music begins this Thursday extending through Sunday in beautiful downtown Tulsa.  The festival begins Thursday afternoon till 11pm and runs from 11am-11pm on Saturday and Sunday from 11am until 6pm.

Where:  The heart of beautiful downtown Tulsa on Main Street starting on 3rd Street and going past 6th Street, the Green at 3rd between Main and Boston and 4th between Main and Boston.

Cost: FREE!  That’s right, 120 artists, 3 stages of entertainment, 5 indoor galleries (Invitational, Youth, The Center and “Green” and ArtBike) and KidZone featuring family friendly entertainment and art projects all for free!

Parking:  Parking is available at on-street locations as well as lots and garages surrounding the festival site.  Fees will vary as the lots are operated by different companies.

Tulsa International Mayfest is committed to Going Green!  Do you want to be involved in helping Mayfest go green?  If so, ride your bike to the festival or carpool, use recycling stations for your plastic bottles and aluminum cans, drink local wine, use the Mayfest Web site or our mobile map at to plan your festival experience, buy our environmentally-friendly souvenirs and buy a recycled and reusable bag at souvenirs to carry your goodies.

Bike Valet:
Tulsa Hub is a non-profit bicycle resource and bicycling advocacy organization promoting action transportation and human-power initiatives. Offering a no-charge secure bicycle valet at Mayfest and showcasing innovative bicycle art and engineering projects, Tulsa Hub will also provide information about ongoing local bicycling activities, educational opportunities and vehicular-cycling consciousness.  Come to 3rd & Main to secure your bicycle.

Artists: Mayfest showcases the artwork of approximately 120 artists from around the nation along Main Street, which includes about 85% Juried Artists and 15% Market Artists. Juried Artists are accepted into Mayfest after a highly selective jurying process. Juried Artists offer fine art in a variety of mediums, including everything from clay to wood. Market Artists are artists and craftsmen who may feature items such as toys, folk art, hand-painted T-shirts, leather goods, calligraphy, etc.  Artists’ booths will be open Thursday-Saturday 11am – 8pm and Sunday 11am-6pm.

Youth Art Gallery: The Youth Art Gallery, located in the Performing Arts Center at 3rd and Cincinnati, proudly displays art from over 500 talented students of Tulsa County.  The Youth Art Gallery will be open Thursday-Saturday 11am-6pm and Sunday 11am-3pm and is sponsored by Public Service Company of Oklahoma.  

Invitational Gallery: Some of the best artists from the Tulsa area have been invited to showcase their work in the Mayfest Invitational Gallery, located in the lobby of the Williams Towers.  Enter from Samson Plaza at 3rd and Main.  The gallery is an indoor exhibition with all art available for purchase.  The Invitational Gallery will be open Thursday-Saturday 11am-6pm and Sunday 11am-3pm and is sponsored by Metropolitan Real Estate Investments, LLC. The Invitational Gallery will host Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food, panel discussion with Green Country farmers presented by Tulsa Green Drinks on Saturday, May 21st at 6pm.  This event will feature vendors from the Cherry St. Farmers Market who will take questions from Tulsans eager to learn more about why it is so important to source food locally.  Free and open to the public.

AHCT Mayfest Young Artist Awards:  The Mayfest Young Artist Awards are presented to five high school students to foster personal growth and development in the arts.  Mayfest, in conjunction with the Arts & Humanities Council of Tulsa, also presents the Stephanie Jackson Outstanding Young Artist Award in honor of Stephanie Jackson who has devoted more than 35 years to volunteering at Mayfest.  Winner’s entries can be seen in the Youth Art Gallery.

“Green” Gallery: PaperView: This 2011 Mayfest specialty gallery has been created to showcase artwork created in the spirit of Tulsa’s sustainable future.  The Green Gallery was first displayed at Tulsa International Mayfest in 2010 and was inspired by Mayfest’s move towards a more sustainable festival and Tulsa’s development of a more sustainable future. Over twenty Tulsa artists repurposed a variety of materials from wood to textiles to electronics.  This year’s gallery will focus on artwork made with reused, repurposed or recycled paper products.  Awards will be given for Best in Show and Best Use of Materials at the opening reception on Thursday, May 19th from 5-7pm, which is free and open to the public.  The “Green” Gallery: PaperView is located in the lobby of the Park Centre Building at 525 S. Main.  The “Green” Gallery will be open Thursday 11am-7pm, Friday – Saturday 11am-6pm and Sunday 11am-3pm and is sponsored by Waste Management, hosted by Kanbar Properties.

The Center Gallery:  The Center Gallery will showcase the artwork of members of The Center for Individuals with Physical Challenges and will be located in the new Downtown YMCA in the Mayo Building at 418 S. Main.  The Center Gallery will be open Thursday – Saturday 11am-6pm and Sunday 11am-3pm and is sponsored by T.D. Williamson.

Performing Artists: With over 75 performances on 3 stages, you’re sure to find a performance to enjoy at Mayfest!  Be sure to catch the free national headliner act Phil Brown’s Guitar Army at the Williams Green Stage at 3rd and Boston at 9:30pm on Saturday night.

The “Guitar Army” is led by Brown, a critically acclaimed guitar-slinger/road warrior who fans and critics alike have placed in the guitar hero ranks of Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck over the years.  Brown’s performance credits have included stints on guitar and vocals for such notable bands as Little Feat and Kool & the Gang, and his original compositions have graced recordings by Eric Clapton, Pat Benatar, Kiss’s Ace Frehley, Cher, Journey’s Steve Perry, Kix and Bonnie Tyler, to name a few.  Brown moved his command headquarters to Oklahoma from Austin in recent months, and is thrilled to be appearing at Mayfest.  (He has fond memories of his past dates with Little Feat at Cain’s.)

Brown’s “Jimi Project” CD, an inventive reworking of a dozen classic Hendrix compositions, was an instant critical success on its release in 2006, and is still a staple on progressive rock and satellite radio stations here and in Europe, as are several of Brown’s other recent recordings.  The “Jimi Project” album will be performed by Brown’s Guitar Army in its entirety at Tulsa’s Mayfest, along with several other Phil Brown gems and a surprise or two from what Brown describes as the “Great Classic Rock & Roll Songbook.”

The “Guitar Army” includes three additional “guitarist’s guitarists” in its front ranks:  Ray McCarty, a veteran of stints with Hendrix drummer Buddy Miles as well as the Eric Burdon (the vocalist for “The Animals”) band and recording sessions with John Lee Hooker; Frank Harrison, another Buddy Miles sideman who also performs with the current touring incarnation of Thin Lizzy; and Jasco Coomes, an explosive jazz-blues-fusion guitarist and Phil Brown protégé.  

Providing the Guitar Army with its rhythmic fire power are veteran Oklahoma players Dave Copenhaver (the Army’s “Bass Commander” and member of Brown’s OKC based trio “Body Language”), along with the percussive artillery of Peter Pollack (the drummer of Brown’s “Body Language” trio). Copenhaver is an Oklahoma native and veteran of 200 notable recording projects as producer and session/touring musician, including work with notable Tulsans Leon Russell and J.J. Cale.  Pollack previously spent seven years as part of the Las Vegas “Blue Man Group” drumming/performance art entourage, and holds a PhD in percussion – making him a veritable “rock & roll ‘doctor’.”

Mayfest marks the first Oklahoma appearance for the Guitar Army.  This is classic rock & roll at its finest, performed by highly decorated rock & roll veterans of many historic musical campaigns.  Fans of Hendrix, classic rock and virtuoso guitarists to your battle stations — for a night of rock & roll fireworks that will long be remembered.

David Cameron Community Stage:  The Community Stage was established in 1992 and features outstanding vocalists, dancers and instrumentalists from Tulsa and surrounding communities.  The stage was renamed in 2006 to honor long-time Mayfest supporter and friend, David Cameron.  Artists such as Hanson, Brandon Jenkins, Alaina Whitaker and several Miss Oklahoma Pageant winners started their performance careers on the Mayfest Community Stage.  Performers of all ages are featured on the stage.  Please see the performance schedule for more information.

KidZone: Mayfest’s KidZone is expanding in 2011!  Bring your children to KidZone to create art projects, chase bubbles, draw with sidewalk chalk, play catch in the park and listen to great musical performances on the KidZone Stage.  

In addition to all of the fun art activities we’ve had in the past, we are adding a fossil dig tent this year.  Tulsa Geosciences Center will be leading the fossil dig and kids can take home what they find!  Be sure to visit on Saturday to participate in the Bear Clinic presented by The Children’s Hospital at Saint Francis and enjoy the national entertainment acts presented by the Tulsa Children’s Museum and Tulsa City-County Library.  

Art in Motion will feature a Tulsa Transit bus being painted by students of the Tulsa Girls’ Art School on Saturday.  KidZone is located at 6th and Main on the H.A. Chapman Centennial Green and features a variety of activities for children of all ages to enjoy the arts.  A complete KidZone schedule is listed before the performance schedule.  KidZone will be open Thursday-Saturday 11am-7pm and Sunday 11am-6pm and is sponsored by The Children’s Hospital at Saint Francis and Williams.

Samson Plaza hosts the Creative Culture Courtyard:  The Creative Culture Courtyard brings together a taste of New York City street performance art with a touch of Venice beach vibes.  This year presents Jascha on his recycled drum set, Cherokee Story Teller Robert Lewis, Pow Wow Dancers, Drum Circle, Body Art, Chalk art, Interactive Dance Performances (tango, salsa and swing) and DJ sets from 9-11pm on Friday and Saturday night.  The Creative Culture Courtyard hours are Thursday – Friday 7pm-11pm and Saturday 1pm-11pm.

Food for Kids Backpack Program:
  Don’t forget to visit the MidFirst Bank Coin Van at 6th and Main while you’re enjoying Mayfest this year.  MidFirst Bank and News On 6 have teamed up to support the Food for Kids Backpack Program, a program of the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma.  All coins collected in the Coin Van will be donated to the Food for Kids Backpack Program.  There will also be volunteers on hand to accept cash and check donations.  The Food for Kids Backpack Program currently provides a backpack of shelf stable food every Friday of the school year to over 3,700 children at risk of weekend hunger in Tulsa County.  It takes $160 annually to provide a backpack for one child for an entire school year through this program, every little bit helps!

Food:  Mayfest offers a variety of food choices sure to please any festival guest.  Our food vendors offer everything from gyros, corn dogs, sausages, ravioli, funnel cakes and turkey legs to cotton candy and pizza.

Beverages: Non-alcoholic beverages, including soft drinks, tea, water, lemonade and other specialty drinks, as well as alcoholic beverages, including Anheuser-Busch beer products, are available at various locations throughout the site.  Oklahoma’s own Blue Coyote Winery will feature Mayfest Private Label Wines for purchase by the bottle or taste on the Williams Green. As always, please drink responsibly and please don’t drink and drive.

Coupons:  Coupons are required for all food and beverage purchases and are sold in increments of $.50.  Food vendors DO NOT accept cash.  Coupon booths are located at 5th and Main, 4th and Main, 3rd and Main and on the Green (at 3rd between Main and Boston). Coupon locations on the Green and the west coupon booth at 5th and Main accept credit cards.  Mayfest is partnering with local non-profits Retired Senior Volunteer Program of Tulsa (RSVP), Sapulpa High School Band Booster Club, Sigma Alpha Lota International Music Fraternity, Tulsa Boy Singers Parents’ Association, Tulsa Children’s Chorus/Tulsa Youth Chorale and Tulsa Master Recyclers, to operate the festival coupon booths.  Mayfest will donate funds to these great organizations for their service.

  Official Mayfest souvenirs include 2011 commemorative posters (including those signed by the artist), T-shirts, note cards, and a specially designed 100% organic cotton T-shirt in addition to past Mayfest souvenirs.  Credit cards are accepted at official souvenir locations.  Souvenirs is located at 410 S. Main in the lobby of the Main Park Plaza.

Lost and Found:  To turn in found items or claim lost items, please visit the festival Headquarters, located at 515 S. Main.

Wheelchairs:  Wheelchairs are available, free of charge, with a refundable deposit at Headquarters, located at 515 S. Main.

Restrooms:  Portable facilities, including wheelchair accessible, are provided throughout the festival site at the following locations: 6th & Main, 5th & Boulder, 4th & Main, 3rd & Main, and 3rd & Boston.  Baby changing stations are available at 6th & Main and 4th & Main.

ATM Locations and Credit Cards:  MidFirst Bank’s ATM machine is located on the northeast corner of 4th and Boston.  The souvenir stores, many artists and coupon booths located on the Green and the west coupon booth at 5th and Main accept major credit cards.  In addition, MidFirst Bank will have a portable ATM at 6th & Main during daytime hours of the festival.

Relaxation Stations: Visit MidFirst Bank’s Relaxation Stations at 4th & Main and 3rd & Main to relax at an oasis in the middle of Mayfest.  The area will feature picnic tables for you to take a break, enjoy that corndog and people watch!  MidFirst Bank is the Presenting Sponsor of Mayfest.

Festival Rules: No coolers or backpacks allowed on site.  No outside food or beverage allowed on site.  Revenue from on-site food and beverage sales allows the festival to remain an admission-free event.  For the safety of your pet and other festival guests, we ask that you please leave your pets at home.