Norman Music Fest is a three-day music event that is held annually in Norman, Oklahoma. The concerts take place during the day as well as at night in various venues in Downtown Norman.
The festival was started in 2008, and shows are free to the public. To celebrate its 10th anniversary, the event was revamped with a new logo and brand identity. It has grown exponentially since it first began and has had a tremendous positive impact on the economy of the city.
The yearly lineup features different music genres and performances by established as well as emerging bands and musicians. Artists like The Polyphonic Spree, Octopus Project, Tea Leaf Green, Starlight Mints, Dirty Projectors, James McMurtry, Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears, Audra Mae, Alejandro Escovedo, Beach Fossils, Big Business, Japanese Breakfast, and My Brightest Diamond have performed at Norman Music Festival in the past.
In addition, to live music, visitors can enjoy delicious food and buy art and handicrafts from local vendors. A carnival organized by the Norman Lions Club takes place at the same time as the festival. So there is plenty of fun lined up for visitors of all ages.
Norman Music Festival is free for everyone to attend. This is made possible thanks to the support of generous individuals and businesses that sponsor the event. Guests who’d like to contribute can join the NMF VIP Membership. It costs about $100 and can be renewed on an annual basis. The membership includes perks like special viewing areas, private restrooms, invitations to exclusive events, and festival merchandise.
If you’re coming in from the north or south, drive north along the I-35 to reach Downtown Norman. You may also travel on I-40 or I-44 for much of your trip into the region. Tollroads are present throughout Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and Norman, so have cash on hand for smooth sailing through them. You may want to avoid driving your large RV in the downtown area as the streets will be packed with vehicles and people attending the event.
Paid car parking is available in some lots associated with the City of Norman parking lots and private lots near the downtown area. Another option is street parking, but spots are extremely limited and may have size restrictions. Thousands of people attend the event, and the streets will be crowded, so park your RV at your campsite before heading to the downtown area.
The most convenient way to get to and from the festival is by using a ride-hailing service. This way, you can avoid the hassle of parking. Busses operated by Cleveland Area Rapid Transit (CART) also connect the downtown area with different parts of the city.
Onsite camping is not available at the Norman Music Festival. Book your spot at an RV park or campground in the area ahead of time. These tend to get booked up for the days of the festival, so reservations are advisable.
The nearest RV park is about a mile from the downtown area. Lake Thunderbird State Park is a short 20-minute drive away and has campsites with full hookups. Its proximity to I-40 makes it easy to reach. You'll also have lakefront access and be able to enjoy beautiful biking and hiking trails. Oklahoma City East KOA sits just east of Oklahoma City and about a 40-minute drive from Downtown Norman, making it an easy stop for many travelers coming into the area.
NMF concerts take place in various outdoor and indoor venues in the downtown area, and the best way to get around is on foot. Bicycles, carts, electric scooters, and other personal motorized vehicles will not be allowed in the performance areas but might be desirable between some venue locations. Patrons with disabilities are allowed to use wheelchairs and other mobility devices.
Festival-goers will mostly be dressed in lightweight, casual clothing like sundresses, jeans, and shirts. You’ll be spending time outdoors, so breathable fabrics like linen are recommended. Wear a hat and sunglasses for some added protection from the sun. Covered shoes are a good idea for comfort and in the crowds.
Large bags or coolers are not allowed into the Norman Music Fest. Take a low backed chair or blanket to sit on during the performances. Chairs will be permitted on the grounds until the start of the headline shows when they will need to be returned to your vehicle. If you’re traveling with young children, take a stroller and make sure your diaper bag is stocked.
Carry a bottle of water and stay hydrated throughout the day. Make sure it’s made of metal or plastic since glass or aerosol containers will not be permitted in the festival area. Pets, with the exception of certified service animals, will not be allowed. The grounds will be crowded, so stay close to your group and designate a common meeting point.
Most campgrounds in the area have convenience stores within a one or two-mile radius. So you can stock up on supplies before retiring to your motorhome for the night. A hot campfire cooked meal is the perfect way to beat the nighttime chill. Don’t forget to bring your favorite herbs and spices since these can really amp up the flavor of a dish.
While the City of Norman is known for American classics, its culinary scene has become more diverse in recent years. Whether you’re in the mood for a gourmet burger and fries or a Thai red curry, you’ll find it in one of Norman’s great restaurants. Be sure to try some of the sweet treats in one of the many bakeries or cafes.
Every year Norman Music Fest organizers invite the top local vendors, restaurateurs, and caterers to be a part of the event. There will be a large food court close to the main stage, as well as food trucks and roaming vendors. In addition to typical music festival fare like burgers, donuts, and cheese fries, fans usually find plenty of fresh vegan and vegetarian food.
Private and public security officers will help direct the safety of Norman Music Festival patrons and staff. They will be present in the various venues, and bag checks will be conducted at the entrances. If you’re doubtful about whether a certain item will be allowed in or not, it’s best to leave it in your vehicle or back at your campsite.
Temperatures typically range in the mid-70s during the day and the low 50s at night. Carry a warm jacket to beat the evening chill. Before starting on your trip, check the festival’s social media pages to see if any road or weather alerts have been issued in Norman or other parts of the county.
A first aid station will be located in a central part of the festival area. You can head there if you need medical assistance or reach out to one of the event staff or volunteers. If you need to carry medically necessary items into any of the venues or have accessibility-related queries, it’s a good idea to contact the organizers in advance.