Levelland Productions puts OKC at top of Oklahoma music scene

levelland logoLevelland Productions got a lot of good press last week with their actions that are propelling the Oklahoma City music scene.

“It’s been exciting to see these guys get to this point,” said Phillips Murrah Director Juston R. Givens. “They’ve put in a lot of hard work and it’s fun to watch that come to fruition.”

For background, we mentioned Levelland in March as they broke ground on The Criterion, a premier live music venue that will allow A-list bands to come to Bricktown rather than playing at the various, road-trip-distance, edge-of-the-metro casino venues. Or in Tulsa, (which I’ll mention in a bit).

The Criterion is set to change the way we experience music in OKC with a world-class, dedicated-music venue comparable to what one would expect at a Hard Rock Live. Or a House of Blues (owned by Live Nation, which I’ll mention in a bit.).

Last week, Levelland announced a 15-year agreement to operate the iconic Tower Theater, an historic theater situated on 23rd Street between Hudson and Walker. This agreement will make Tower Theatre into a roughly a 1000-capacity music venue and an upscale cocktail bar.

Please see these great stories by OKC historian/contemporarian, Steve Lackmeyer, for the details:
Tower Theater in Uptown bought by local developers with history of success
Tower Theater signs long-term deal to host live music

On the heels of that announcement came word that Levelland Productions is teaming up with Live Nation for booking talent into The Criterion. The word on the street is that this move will put Oklahoma City on the map as the state’s music capitol.

From the NewsOK article, Live Nation Is Coming to Bricktown (It’s a Big Deal), Lackmeyer wrote:

“Live Nation is the big dog in the concert industry, and if there is any entity out there can smash apart the status quo of Oklahoma City taking a back seat to Tulsa when it comes to live music and not lose out other major acts to the casinos, it is Live Nation.”

Here is Lackmeyer’s full story about the The Criterion / Live Nation partnership.


Phillips Murrah congratulates music venue The Criterion on groundbreaking

The Criterion

Greater OKC Chamber CEO Roy WIlliams congratulates The Criterion on the day of their groundbreaking.

Phillips Murrah Director and Shareholder, Juston R. Givens, expresses congratulations to his clients as they break ground on The Criterion, a world-class music venue being constructed downtown Oklahoma City.

“It’s great that there is a dedicated live music venue of this quality and calibur coming to Bricktown,” Givens said. “I’m extremely proud of these guys and this project.”

NewsChannel 4 reporter Lacey Lett had this story on March 4 announcing the beginning of construction:

From NewsChannel4: It’s just a mound of dirt now, but by the beginning of next year, the land at 500 E. Sheridan will be a music venue with 4,000 capacity enhancing the scene.

Ronnye Farmer and Philip Randolph run three Oklahoma venues, including a red dirt music venue, the Wormy Dog Saloon. Now, they’re adding The Criterion to their list.

“We want something that we could do that would hold more people that we could expand to all genres of music,” Ronnye Farmer, co-owner of The Criterion said.

The construction started Wednesday in east Bricktown to build a $6 million dollar, 39,000 square foot attraction specifically for music and paid for with both private and public funds.

“From start to finish, this has been designed for the experience of music, and it’s not a building that’s been retrofitted into a music hall as an afterthought,” Matt Maley, the developer of Alliance Investments, said.

See the full story here:

The exterior is designed to pay homage to its namesake, the original 1921 Criterion Theatre that was destroyed in the mid-1970s by the Urban Renewal Authority.

The Criterion’s exterior is designed to pay homage to its namesake, the original 1921-built Criterion Theatre, which was razed in the mid-1970s by the Urban Renewal Authority.