Dallas’ NCAA-related music fest draws thousands

Posted Saturday, Apr. 05, 2014  comments  Print Reprints

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As a stormy Thursday gave way to sunshine and clear blue skies Friday, the March Madness Music Festival on the edge of downtown Dallas enjoyed a near-perfect first day of weather.

Booths selling food and beverages, as well as Final Four memorabilia, ringed the outer edge of Reunion Park (a space created especially for this three-day event). In between sets, those in the crowd could visit one of several branded areas or even ride the Ferris wheel overlooking downtown.

Attendees largely behaved well, according to Dallas police and fire officials on site, with no major incidents reported within the festival grounds. However, some fireworks intended for a show were stolen from a parking garage near the concert site, Dallas police reported.

The Friday-night crowd was clearly in the thousands and filled Reunion Park. (Turner Events, which is producing the festival, will not release attendance figures until the festival’s conclusion, a representative said.)

Country star Jason Aldean headlined the AT&T Block Party (each day of the weekend-long festival features a different corporate sponsor), capping the day with a 90-minute set.

Performances from a roster of rising and established acts, including the Denton-formed Eli Young Band, the Wild Feathers and SMU alum Jack Ingram, rounded out the day.

City officials had urged festivalgoers to use public transit. DART experienced a brief delay early Friday afternoon when a suspicious package temporarily shut down the Uptown station, but full service was restored in about 45 minutes.

The March Madness Music Festival continues Saturday with appearances from LL Cool J, Tim McGraw and the Killers, with Pat Green, fun. and Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band closing things out on Sunday.

Preston Jones, 817-390-7713 Twitter: @prestonjones

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