With big crowds, Norman Music Festival ends on high note

BY GEORGE LANG Modified: April 27, 2009 at 2:37 pm •  Published: April 26, 2009
Bolstered by 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. ...”

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.