Enter our free giveaway to win this beautiful guitar. As the birthplace of Red Dirt music, Stillwater strives to support our local musicians. We're proud to offer this custom-crafted guitar recognizing the important role the Red Dirt Relief Fund plays in providing assistance to musicians. 







The Birthplace of Red Dirt Music: The Farm

The sound of Red Dirt music is more than a genre rooted and cultivated in Stillwater, Oklahoma. It is a way of life, a catalyst for storytelling, and a source of mentorship for musicians and songwriters who have influenced the Stillwater culture and captured the hearts of their loyal audiences, both young and old.

Red Dirt music was rooted in a 149-acre piece of land affectionately known as "The Farm" on the outskirts of town in 1979, where once stood a run-down two-story farmhouse. Rented by Oklahoma State University students John Cooper and Danny Pierce in 1979, The Farm quickly became a creative hub for musicians, artists, and free spirits. The remote location allowed for endless jam sessions and parties, fostering the development of a unique sound blending country, bluegrass, rock, and honky tonk. 


Bob Childers Playing Guitar at The Farm
Bob Childers at The Farm Bob Childers plays guitar with a group of fellow musicians at The Farm in 1993.


For over 20 years, musicians held jam sessions in the living room, on the front porch, in the garage - known as the Gypsy Cafe, and around campfires. Influential figures like Bob Childers - the godfather of Red Dirt music, the Red Dirt Rangers, and other notable musicians including a young Garth Brooks, Robert Earl Keen, Cody Canada and Cross Canadian Ragweed frequented The Farm, cementing its place in music history. Local songwriters like Monica Taylor, Tom Skinner, Jason Boland and Stoney LaRue all launched their music careers at The Farm and in Stillwater's music venues.


John Cooper, Bob Childers and Brad Piccolo Performing at The Farm
Jam Session at The Farm John Cooper, Bob Childers and Brad Piccolo Performing at The Farm



The Legacy of the Gypsy Cafe and the Red Dirt Relief Fund

After The Farm burned down, the Gypsy Cafe—a beloved performance space—remained fondly remembered by Red Dirt musicians. This legacy inspired the annual Bob Childers Gypsy Café music festival, held every year in Stillwater. The festival is a premier event celebrating Red Dirt music, featuring dozens of songwriters and musicians performing across multiple venues including Eskimo Joe’s, George’s Stables, Outlaws, The Salty Bronc Saloon, and Stonecloud Brewing.


Red Dirt Rangers Jamming at Original Gypsy Cafe
Original Gypsy Cafe Members of the Red Dirt Rangers jamming at the original Gypsy Cafe at The Farm.


The festival supports the Red Dirt Relief Fund, established in 2012 to provide financial aid to Oklahoma music professionals facing emergencies. Initially focused on Red Dirt musicians, the Red Dirt Relief Fund now serves the broader music community, offering grants for healthcare, disaster recovery, and other crises. Since its inception, the Red Dirt Relief Fund has granted over $750,000 to more than 800 music professionals, demonstrating its critical role in sustaining Oklahoma's vibrant music scene.


Gypsy Cafe Festival Finale
Gypsy Cafe Festival Finale Musicians onstage for the finale jam at the Gypsy Cafe music festival.


Recognizing the importance of supporting musicians to maintain the vibrant Red Dirt scene, Visit Stillwater has worked closely with the Red Dirt Relief Fund from the beginning. Our president and CEO served on the original board of directors, helping to launch the organization. We continue to support our treasured Red Dirt musicians actively. Visitors to the Stillwater welcome center are greeted by a Red Dirt music wall of fame featuring prominent musicians from the Stillwater scene, sparking conversations that introduce visitors to our unique homegrown style of music.


Red Dirt Relief Fund/Visit Stillwater Guitar on Eskimo Joe's Bar
Red Dirt Relief Fund/Visit Stillwater Guitar Visit Stillwater has had a long-term relationship with the Red Dirt Relief Fund to help support our local musicians.



The Tradition Lives on in Stillwater 

On any given night, you’re likely to discover talented Red Dirt musicians performing live in our vibrant nightlife hotspots and music venues. The Strip, also known as Washington Street in downtown Stillwater, has a long history of offering lively nightlife options. Browse our live music listings for the upcoming week below and plan your visit to experience some great live music!


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