By Hannah Cruz
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — With the sixth Norman Music Festival around the corner, event organizers are switching things up.
The three-day, free music festival scheduled for April 25-27 in Downtown Norman will feature over 250 musicians, groups or bands like it does every year — but this year’s headliner is introducing a party atmosphere like never done before.
NMF Chair Steven White said this year’s headliner, Welsh band The Joy Formidable, will close the festival with a dance party, complete with a laser show.
The lead singer and guitarist of the three-piece group, The Joy Formidable, is a female, Ritzy Bryan. White said this is the first time in NMF history that the headliner’s lead singer is a woman.
“She’s blonde and sexy and fun. It’s going to be a good show,” White said, joking.
The Joy Formidable will be preceded by New Orleans funk band, Big Sam’s Funky Nation.
The urban funk band’s lead, trombonist Big Sam Williams, is the former trombonist for the Dirty Dozen Brass Band — the headliner for this year’s Jazz in June music festival scheduled for June 20-22.
The entire NMF music lineup is set to be announced on Tuesday, White said.
“We’ll probably have 260 to 270 bands play, and probably about 160 to 170 of those bands will be from around here in Oklahoma City,” he said.
Last year’s festival introduced a classical music stage, but White said that’s still up in the air for this year. Another possibility includes having a Christian music stage.
Additional activities during the festival this year will include the Dustbowl Art Market, a local art and handmade market, as well as street performers.
White said the event — anticipated to attract up to 40,000 people this year — wouldn’t be possible without the assistance of the City of Norman and the downtown Norman businesses.
“I think this is a unique event to Norman. As I look around to other cities that start free music festivals, usually it’s about five or six years before they start charging. ... It’s all of us working together and I sincerely appreciate your help,” he said, addressing the Downtowners Association during a meeting Thursday.
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