The Tulsa Roots Music Bash is a complicated animal. It has the casual atmosphere of a fair. Spectators spread out picnic blankets and folding chairs. A constantly long line feeds attendees to Lucky’s on the Green, where they can grab a beer or two.
Yet the Tulsa Roots Music Bash is also pretty different from your typical fair fare. The event focuses on world music, and in the two years of its existence it has brought in bands hailing from Guinea to Jamaica.
And these are not obscure bands. Last year’s festival brought in internationally acclaimed Nigerien guitarist Bombino, while this year’s festival brought in hit-makers like the British Beat and Los Lonely Boys.
For all this, it’s easy to sit on your picnic blanket, eye your corn dog and let the Guthrie Green’s frequent technical glitches trick you into thinking you’re watching some backyard concert.
Yet there on stage is Ghanaian reggae artist Rocky Dawuni delivering slick rhythms and an energetic stage presence. Or Bombino slashing away at hypnotic and awe-inspiring jams.
Go ahead. Lie down, take a deep breath and soak up a few rays. You probably need to slow down for an hour or two before finals. But don’t drown out the music.