Reviews + Photos by: Taylor Prater & Jaren Lorenz
The weather in DFW is officially not crazy (knocks on wood) and you know what that means - arts festivals. Music, food, games, art, the works, and all in Deep Ellum, one of the best cultural gathering places in the Metroplex.
A gigantic area of land was sectioned off just for the occasion and branched into three sections, a large stage at each end and smaller ones scattered throughout local food booths, trucks, artists making live creations and giant Jenga games. The festival brought out Dallas' coolest, most creative, and quirkiest.
The first sound to hit my ears was one of deep, guttural growling, which took me off guard in all the best ways. Maybe I am sheltered but I have not yet seen a heavy metal group jamming it out at an arts festival, and it was fantastic. White Arms of Athena greeted the crowd with a blood red stage and some epic headbanging and lots and lots of ME-TAL.
The enthusiasm spread from the stage to the crowd below who quickly navigated from their chairs toward the front.
Another standout was the Oliver White Group, a group of guys with plenty of soul and a whole lot of classic Texas rock vibes. Married couples, kids, teens and dogs alike couldn't help but dance along to the funky bass and rock some air keyboards while the vocals brought us back to that hometown feel.
Back to Blue had a similar vibe with a bit more blues, and it looked like Dallas' favorite keyboardist Bob was loving it as well. The band made sure to add plenty of interaction to their set with some call and echo lyrics and encouraging the budding dance floor.
The first night was truly a fantastic night to discover some new local favorites and kick off the season right.
Saturday, the Deep Ellum Arts Festival took over main street with an overwhelmingly vast 200 hundred juried visual artists selling their works, 5 music stages, and over 30 restaurants.
Attendees were lost in a world of artistic expression and culture as they looked at, tasted, and listened to the new world surrounding them. Not only were there an overwhelming number of artists, but the spectrum of diversity that was equally vast.
Music acts ranged from the hard core White Arms of Athena to the folk Parallel Play to the hip-hop Astronautalis and punk The Phuss (not to mention pretty much everything in between consisting of over 100 artists) The exhibitors’ art ranged from sculptures to photography to pixelated images to three-dimensional paintings.
Only one thing was common, and that was that booth you saw would be something different and a kind all its own. Patrons were overwhelmed with choices in the Deep Ellum Texas village sampling the local community’s finest restaurants as well as more than twenty more unique booths and trucks.
A wonderful world of talent and expression from the streets to the stages the Deep Ellum Arts festival was a fantastic celebration of the culture and the unique people who create it.