Dancing Rabbit kicking off 2024 season

May 10—The Dancing Rabbit Music Festival is kicking off its 2024 music season with an outdoor show featuring a variety of artists.

It's set for Saturday, May 11, on the outdoor stage at Third Street and Choctaw Avenue in downtown McAlester.

A diverse group of entertainers is set for the May 11 show featuring The White Buffalo, along with Wade Hayes and Autumn Ragland.

Music is set to start at 6 p.m. on the outdoor stage. Once again all of the music will be available for free, courtesy of the Dancing Rabbit Music Festival and its sponsors.

With the Italian Festival ongoing at the same time, no afternoon activities are planned.

"There are not any afternoon events because we don't want to overlap with the Italian Festival," said Dancing Rabbit Music Festival President Blake Lynch.

Food trucks will be set up early and Prairie Artisan Ales will have craft beer available, he said.

While the Dancing Rabbit Music Festival has always offered the music free to attendees, there has been the option of purchasing a $10 pit pass or other passes to get nearer to the stage. That's being dropped for the Saturday event.

"For the first time ever, we're going to make the whole thing free," Lynch said.

He's excited about the lineup of artists who are opening the 2024 season.

The White Buffalo, also known as singer/songwriter Jake Smith, has released a series of albums, including his most recent, "Year of the Dark Horse."

He will have a three-piece unit accompanying his performance.

"We're expecting a big turnout for him," Lynch said. He doesn't often come to Oklahoma.

He said The White Buffalo's music was featured in the series finale of the "Sons of Anarchy" television show.

Lynch is also looking forward to Wade Hayes' performance.

"Wade Hayes will give us a run of some of his best-known songs," Lynch said.

An Oklahoma native, Hayes scored a #1 hit on the Billboard country music charts in 1995 with his single, "Old Enough to Know Better," with the album of the same name earning a gold album certification.

Three more songs from the album also scored in the Top 10, including "I Still Dance with You" at #4, "What I Meant to Say" at #5 and "Don't Stop," which hit #10.

Hayes also scored a #2 hit with "On a Good Night," taken from his follow-up album of the same name.

He continues to write, record and perform music, with his May 11 performance marking his Dancing Rabbit Music Festival debut.

Rounding out the May 11 performers is another Oklahoma musician, Autumn Ragland, who performed at a previous Dancing Rabbit Music Festival show as part of the band, Ragland.

This time, she's performing as a solo artist, with accompaniment from her band, Lynch said.

"We're excited to hear her," said Lynch. He said one of her songs called "Love, Liquor and a Place to Die" is an apt depiction of small town life.

With clear and sunny weather in the forecast for Saturday, Lynch and the other festival organizers are hoping for an enthusiastic turnout for the inaugural performances of the 2024 Dancing Rabbit Music Festival season.