Norman Music Festival Blows Away Attendance Expectations
Bolstered by amazing weather and a constant stream of live music on multiple stages, the second annual Norman Music Festival far exceeded organizers’ attendance expectations. Officials estimated that by 6 p.m. Saturday, the free festival on Norman’s Main Street had reached the previous year’s total attendance of 15,000, well on track to an estimated 25,000 by the end of the evening.
Festival publicist Quentin Bomgardner said the biggest surprise of the day came when the festival’s opening acts, such as the first main stage performer El Paso Hot Button, were greeted with large and appreciative crowds at noon.
“Our simple expectations were that it would be bigger and better, and we’re seeing that,” Bomgardner said. “I was very, very thrilled with the crowds that were out for our earliest performers. Everyone has had a crowded day, and the audiences have been rewarded with great performances.”
Crowds continued to build throughout the afternoon for bands on all 10 stages as local groups such as Student Film, Sherree Chamberlain Band, Norman’s Starlight Mints and Stillwater’s Other Lives shared festival time with San Francisco’s Sugar and Gold and the headlining band from Athens, Ga., Of Montreal. Some local musicians like Justin Rice of Student Film said the juxtaposition of local bands with national acts was a golden opportunity for exposure.
“It’s a great thing for local bands, bands like us that are trying to get attention and get people to listen to our music,” Rice said.
“Good God — I’m a little overstimulated right now with everything going on,” said Aron Holt of the Norman roots-rock band Mama Sweet, which played at 6 p.m. at the Sooner Theatre. “I knew it was going to be big the second year, but I had no idea. It’s very exciting — it’s great to be a part of it.”
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