Article & captions by Evan Jarvicks
As the storms roared in Saturday morning, only the most avid festivalgoers were in attendance for whichever outdoor acts managed to catch a break to perform amidst the still dismal conditions. Gradually, the weather cleared in time for all of the headliners (including major catch Thee Oh Sees) and festival attendants to come out and partake in a much-earned live music experience.
The eventual outdoor greenlight was a testament to the resilience of everyone involved, as multiple reports have been smart to recognize, but one can't help sensing a bittersweet tone to most accounts of NMFX. That's because most of the focus has been on the Saturday outdoor portion of the event.
For a literal majority of the performers at Norman Music Fest, though, it all went rather well.
Casual observers might not pick up on just how many music stages populate downtown Norman during NMF because it's often the loudest and most visible ones that are recognized. It may come as a surprise, then, that there are nearly 20 stages, and over a dozen of those are located in various bars and venues along Main Street.
When paired with a flurry of rain, these indoor venues become a shelter for live music fans to get their fix while waiting on the bigger stages to pick up again. Because of this, lesser known stages like those at Bison Witches or Main Street Event Center likely saw some extra traffic because of the rain. Of course, this would have only been the case on Saturday, as NMF's outdoor stages played to mostly dry conditions earlier in the week.
Fortunately, even with storms, the majority of NMFX's 300+ bands were able to perform without a hitch, thanks to the fest's well-oiled machinery and the expertise of local venue owners. Furthermore, a few of the acts that were cut entirely from their outdoor stages still managed to salvage their sets at other indoor stages or the multiple unofficial stages that surround the event every year.