Celebrating its tenth year, Norman Music Fest has become one of the most fun (and free!) things to do in Oklahoma. Eschewing the models of many of popular festivals, which can set you back hundreds of dollars, NMF has always been an event where you can see dozens of bands over three days and not have to drop a dime on admission. Even without charging $900 for VIP passes (*cough* COACHELLA), they still manage to get some really great national headliners to play along with your favorite local acts.
Here are some tips to getting to most out of your NMF experience, and also some videos of a few of my favorite acts that are worth checking out:
-Get a ride
The first thing you need to do is actually get to the dang fest. Parking is always scarce, so if you're driving from outside of Norman, get the crew together and carpool. Norman is pretty bikable, so bring you bicycles down in case you have to park really far away. The fest also has a partnership with Lyft and is offering a coupon code that'll get ya $5 off 5 rides.
-Make a schedule
There's 20 stages and like 10 times more bands playing this year. Be a dad and make an itinerary so you don't have to worry about missing a band you wanna see. You can browse the fest's schedule on their website and make notes about which sets you want to catch. Or, just go into it blind, wander around, and just experience it all without worrying too hard about it, you're gonna have fun either way.
-Do your research
Are you an old, out-of-touch dude like me and can only recognize like two names on the whole list? Get acquainted with some of the line-up and you might find yourself a new favorite band. NMF created a handy Spotify playlist with some top tracks from headliners and must-see local acts.
-Be a volunteer!
It's fun being at the fest, but it feels better to be part of NMF. They still need several volunteers to make it all happen. Maybe you could flex your bartending skills, monitor the parking lots, help with stage production, or a fill in for a few other positions. You'll get a free t-shirt, food, front stage access, and best of all, a clean bathroom. As NMF's PR person Michelle Bui puts it, "I mean, who doesn’t wanna do your business in AC during a potentially hot weekend?"
-Become a VIP
Maybe you want all those sweet perks the volunteers get, but you're lazy and would rather just pay for it instead. We've got you covered, fam. They've got a VIP membership where you get a bunch of merch and food and access to the front of the main stage, away from all your plebian friends watching from the back. At $100 (or $10 a month), it's still cheaper than any other big fest, and the people are nicer.