Norman Music Festival kicks off year five of Oklahoma music and comedy

Norman Music Festival is a free, three-day event that invites national and local acts to perform throughout downtown Norman. More than 200 acts are scheduled to perform at the festival, which started Thursday.
BY NATHAN POPPE Published: April 27, 2012
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Jarod Evans looked more like a marathon runner than an audio engineer.

That's what happens when your music venue's stage arrives five hours late, and you've spent about six months planning concerts and scheduling bands for the fifth annual Norman Music Festival.

“This is by far the most exhausted I am each year,” Evans said. “It isn't a bad thing because I love every second of it.”

Evans co-owns Blackwatch Studios, which is just one of the venues hosting the 50-plus bands, DJs and comedians that performed during the Norman Music Festival's opening night on Thursday. The free three-day event invites national and local acts to perform throughout downtown Norman. More than 200 acts are scheduled to perform at the festival.

While Evans prepared his stage, Okie singer/songwriter Jacob Abello worked inside of Blackwatch Studios in order to put the finishing touches on the opening track for his performance.

Abello's hot pink, spike-studded shoes sat at his feet as he readied costume changes and elaborate pop ballads for his set. He said he anticipates one of his biggest crowds to date.

Although Thursday's early evening crowd hadn't yet swollen to the size of the 35,000 patrons that attended the closing night of Norman Music Festival last year, the festival was brimming with anticipation for music, comedy, films and all things loud.

Oklahoma City-based band Horse Thief performed a bombastic, theatrical set inside The Opolis, 113 N Crawford Ave. Smoke machines, megaphones and dizzying light displays wowed the crowded venue. Horse Thief frontman Cameron Neal said police ended the band's show last year because a fraternity party was scheduled to start in the middle of its set and he wouldn't stop playing.

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