The fifth installment of the Norman Music Festival has come to a close, leaving music fans with fond memories and business owners with full pockets.
“The estimated attendance was up on Thursday and Friday night from previous years. This is very preliminary, but it seems like this is the biggest Norman Music Festival to date from eyeballing the crowd,” Norman Convention and Visitors Bureau communications manager Stefanie Brickman said.
“When you’ve got bands coming from out of town and festival-goers from out of town that’s a good thing for Norman.”
The three-day festival has become the crown jewel of the Norman entertainment calendar, and the numbers keep climbing, but Brickman prefers a sky’s-the-limit attitude.
“We’d love for it to go to the point to where it fills up all of Norman’s hotels. We’re getting closer,” he said.
Pink Elephant Cafe Owner Shannon Sherrod said she looks forward to the festival every year.
“It’s getting better and better. Each year we make more money,” Sherrod said.
Tres restaurant owner J. Michael Sherrod said it’s even bigger than he expected.
“We’ll do a lot better job next year, knowing what we’re dealing with,” he said.
Still, he felt it was a success for all involved.
“I don’t think there were any headaches. It’s been a pretty good deal. People are great.”
Also in its first year on Main Street, The Garage experienced its first taste of the Norman Music Festival.
“It’s been bananas,” assistant manager Jirka Rivera said. “Business has booming all day and (the music) has been awesome.”
Beer vendor Lisa Ash opened shop at 9 a.m. said it’s been non-stop.
“I’d say we’ve sold more than 2,500 beers,” Ash said.
Fans weren’t disappointed either. Five-time Norman Music Festival attendee Lanie Tate said it’s a festival on the rise.
“I’ve been every year, and this year has been my favorite.”
Despite an overwhelmingly positive response, some still had minor criticisms.
“The beer’s too expensive, and there are too many cops,” festival-goer Taylor Swabb said. “The man’s taking over.”
All things considered, he said it was still a good time.
After three days of blistering business, Main Street shop owners will welcome normality but look forward to next year’s blockbuster weekend.
“It benefits the community and brings in more dollars while promoting the Norman arts and music scene. In the end, what’s not to like about that?” Shannon Sherrod said.
Mack Burke 366-3530 firstname.lastname@example.org