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Bricktown —  It’s just a mound of dirt now, but by the beginning of next year, the land at 500 E. Sheridan will be a music venue with 4,000 capacity enhancing the scene.

Ronnye Farmer and Philip Randolph run three Oklahoma venues, including a red dirt music venue, the Wormy Dog Saloon. Now, they’re adding The Criterion to their list.

“We want something that we could do that would hold more people that we could expand to all genres of music,” Ronnye Farmer, co-owner of The Criterion said.

The construction started Wednesday in east Bricktown to build a $6 million dollar, 39,000 square foot attraction specifically for music and paid for with both private and public funds.

“From start to finish, this has been designed for the experience of music, and it’s not a building that’s been retrofitted into a music hall as an afterthought,” Matt Maley, the developer of Alliance Investments, said.

It will have curtains to give it a theatre look; the curtains also help with the sound.

Renderings show the outside façade having a similar look to other Bricktown buildings.

“It’s going to create that neighborhood feel as you walk from one end of Bricktown to the next,” Maley said.

“The overall objective for all of Bricktown is to make it feel like it’s one neighborhood.”

It’s also a way to keep residents from going elsewhere for live music.

“I don’t know how many people I know that go to Dallas or Tulsa or Kansas City to see shows that pass Oklahoma City by because there’s nowhere for them to play here,” Farmer said.

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