NORMAN — Norman Music Festival co-chair Steven White made the rounds on the first night of the fifth annual free music event, checking in on stages at Guestroom Records, Bison Witches and the Garage on Main Street.
Wherever White stopped on Thursday, owners reported bigger crowds — a development that bodes well for Saturday, when Main Street will fill with music fans waiting to see Stillwater breakthrough band Other Lives and headliner Portugal. The Man.
“They think there were three times as many people out as last year,” White said Friday afternoon as he checked in on technical preparations at the Sooner Theatre, one of 21 stages and venues participating in this year's event.
“I think there were somewhere between 4,500 and 6,000 people out last night.”
Kim Haywood, festival director for the deadCenter Film Festival, was on hand to oversee “Rockumentaries with deadCenter,” an evening of documentaries focusing on Oklahoma bands, including Black Canyon and the Flaming Lips.
She said the partnership between the Norman Music Festival and deadCenter, now in its second year of full-
“The thing that binds us is this incredible energy,” Haywood said. “These are both community-
Kent Johnson, who co-
“It's one of our goals to always keep this festival free,” Johnson said. “It makes it unique and it truly is a gift to the community. My personal feeling on it is that a creative environment stimulates creative growth.”
White is predicting that 45,000 people will fill downtown Norman on Saturday night.
He said that many festivalgoers will come to see smaller shows during the day, but that the main events at sundown always bring in a huge wave of people.
“It's taken on a life of its own,” White said. “Some people might only know a few artists coming in, but they know they're going to spend the whole day here, and it's going to be an overload of entertainment and fun. We all want everyone in the street and being a part of the fun, safe chaos.”