BEHIND THE MUSIC: Zac Maloy’s Oklahoma Songwriter’s Festival enters its third year

“What can we do to just sort of help bring a little bit of goodness to the music business in Oklahoma? And, more importantly, why is there not a better music business in Oklahoma?”

These were the questions that Nixons’ frontman Zac Maloy was asking himself when he came up with the idea to hold a “Sundance for songwriting” right here in Oklahoma City a few years ago. Drawing on Oklahoma’s rich musical history from Woody Guthrie and Mae Axton to Garth Brooks and Carrie Underwood, the result is the popular Oklahoma Songwriter’s Festival, now in its third year.

“The song is the beginning; it’s the heart, the blood…it’s everything,” Maloy said. “For Tim McGraw to get on stage and sing a set of songs in an arena, he wouldn’t be able to if not for someone creating those songs for him to sing. The Oklahoma’s Songwriter’s Festival is a chance to bring those songwriters into town and on stage and hear the story behind the hits you love.”

Since its inception three years ago, the Festival has continued to grow both in attendance and anticipation, so much so that Maloy has moved this year’s epic Saturday night show from the ACM stage to the Tower Theater. He said it’s a move that’s intended to continue his dream of “bringing the music business in Nashville to Oklahoma City for the weekend.”

“The goal from beginning has been to invite some songwriters into town and actually collaborate with some Oklahoma writers, meet some Oklahoma mixers, meet some Oklahoma players, all that,” Maloy said. “The familiarity, however, is going to be to be what sets us apart; I can’t tell you how many people come up and say “Oh my God, I’ve never seen a show like that, where I got to listen to the guys that wrote these hit songs and tell the story behind writing them!”

The Oklahoma Songwriter’s Festival will be held April 13 and 14 in Oklahoma City with the all-star Songwriter Showcase taking the stage of the Tower Theater, 425 N.W. 23rd Street, at 7 p.m. In addition to Maloy—who promises a reunion with “members of the Nixons” as part of his performance—other performers on the bill include Bob Dipiero, Travis Hill and former Bowling for Soup frontman Jaret Reddick.

“You’re going to see a one of a kind show,” Maloy promises. “There’s really not going to be a show like this in the state of Oklahoma this year. There’s just not, there can’t be. It’s bigger than ever this year and the local component just can’t be duplicated. You’re going to fall in love with these artists and their voices and their stories.”

For tickets and further info on the festival, check out


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