Free music festival kicks off in big way downtown

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (April 3, 2015) -- Final Four weekend kicked off in a big way at White River State Park, as fans took in their first of three days of free music. Between the bands, the ferris wheel and the photo ops, the fans who showed up for the March Madness Music Festival were not disappointed.

"Everything's been great and everybody's been really nice," fan Kathy Ballweg said.

"It's really good for the city and it's a big deal," fan Aiden Kantner said.

For some, like Ron Akers and his daughter, this was a repeat visit. They came in from California because of some great timing: it's also his mom's 80th birthday.

"We were here in 2010 for her 75th birthday and we came out here and really enjoyed the whole setup that they had," Akers said.

Other fans, like Brian Leal, came for the first time. He drove from northern Indiana for the day.

"I really didn’t know what to expect to be honest with you, but it’s impressive, I’ll tell you that," Leal said.

Then there was Sarah Mancini, one of many Kentucky fans who banked on a perfect season  and planned this a long time ago.

"We booked the hotel room back in November, so we had faith all the way back to the beginning of the season," Mancini said.

The rain did put a damper in things for the first concert, Cold War Kids.

"I think the weather’s really going to mess everything up," fan Amy Howell said.

In the end, though, the sun prevailed. Setting up the beginning of a busy and exciting weekend at White River.

"It’s a lot of fun. You can’t beat the price," Leal said.

"It’s a nice thing to bring in the non-sports fans and get people out," fan Jason Scott said.

The next set of concerts kicks off at noon Saturday. For more information on the free music festival, click here.

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