2023 Oklahoma International Bluegrass Festival report

Random Band Jam at the 2023 Oklahoma International Bluegrass Festival – photo © Pamm Tucker

The second weekend of October arrived, and with it annual Oklahoma International Bluegrass Festival. With an interview already scheduled with Jana Jae, and Bones Patton, I was hoping to bend Bette Berline, Sue Hickman, and others’ ears as well to cover my bluegrass fix for the rest of the year.

The line-up at this festival covered everything from bluegrass to western swing. 

Normally, the festival can be a little wet, and has been known to be chilly, but this year the weather favored the attendees. I will admit a sweatshirt was worn before noon and again after dark, but all in all, the weather was perfect. 

Cottonwood Flats is an ideal site for a festival, with a nice open field with a lot of grass, room to spread out, three areas to catch live performances, and live jamming in the campground. This is a really beautiful park. The three stages (Byron Berline Stage, Youth Tent, Cottonwood Creek Stage) are far enough apart for no distractions to bleed in from the others. I spent over an hour visiting with Bette and Becca Berline, and Sue Hickman, catching up on memories of the great Byron, and John Hickman.  

A very important part of any festival to me is the food, and the restrooms. OIBF had the food covered, with most anything you might want. Porta potties were set up, or if you are up for a small walk over to the Youth Tent, there are indoor toilets and running water. But, of course, the music was my primary focal point.  

Here is the line-up for each day:


  • The Red Dirt Rangers
  • Cowboy Jim Garling
  • Bret Graham
  • Bob Wiles & Cowboy Jones
  • The Bonhams
  • Trapp, Mullenax and Moore
  • John Fulbright
  • Random Band Jam (fan and artist favorite)
  • The Red Dirt Rangers
  • Cynthia Ridge


  • Cowboy Jim Garling
  • Bret Graham
  • Good Friends Bluegrass Band
  • Matt Axton
  • Szabadsag
  • The Fretliners
  • Jana Jae
  • Oklahoma Swing
  • John Moore, Rick Farris, & Stuart Duncan
  • John Jorgenson Bluegrass
  • Bluegrass Experience
  • Russell Clan
  • Pearl & Grace


  • Midnight Hollow
  • Beppe Gambetta
  • Hunt Brothers Band
  • Trapp, Mullenax & Moore
  • The Fretliners
  • John Moore, Rick Farris & Stuart Duncan
  • The Travelin’ McCourys

The festival was well organized and ran smoothly throughout. With over 400 volunteers, there was someone to help you everywhere you turned. Over time we have seen changes to the format and the lineups, and this plays true to OIBF.  If I were to give this event a rating in 2023, I would give it an 8. 

If you haven’t been to Guthrie, OK in October, then you may want to make this one of your festival stops.

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About the Author

Pamm Tucker

Growing up in Oklahoma, music runs throughout Pamm Tucker's veins. Her earliest memory of music is standing beside her Grandma's upright, singing. "Trust in The Lord". Little did the 5 year old realize that this was the foundation of things to come. Being very active in 4-H, Pamm was elected as reporter at the age of 9 and held this position for many years. Taking extensive journalism marketing and free-lance writing classes while attending college helped to spark her interest in being a journalist. Her skills helped her acquire the position of journalist for the Northern Oklahoma college school newspaper. An Oklahoma native and no stranger to music, she has performed with the likes of Lulu Roman, Jean Shepherd, Willie Nelson, Tanya Tucker (no relation) Gene Watson and Charlie McClain just to name a few. Even today you can find her tapping her foot to every genre of music.