5 Dallas Art Museums to Introduce Your Kids to the Arts

Dallas Art Museums That Are Good For KidsSometimes it’s difficult to engage kids in the arts, especially when museums often focus on a more adult audience. However, that kind of attitude is quickly changing, with many Dallas museums featuring creative programs to get kids interested in the art world. Museums in Dallas do this by offering a range of programs that inject playfulness and fun into art through performances, art-making, storytelling, and many other exciting activities. Here are five Dallas art museums that will leave both you and your kids smiling!

1. An Art Paradise for Children

The Dallas Museum of Art offers plenty of free, kid-friendly art programs and interactive exhibits where children as young as two can get in on the action. Arturo the parrot is not only the museum’s mascot, but also a friendly guide helping your children gain a deeper appreciation for art. He hosts a number of programs for children ages two to five, featuring stories, art projects, and a journey through the museum galleries. The DMA also offers a Late Nights program on the third Friday of every month, where kids can make their own art, attend special workshops, and even practice yoga. But that’s not all — the DMA offers additional family-inspired programs, including workshops, classes, and a summer art camp.

2. A Little Slice of Asia in Downtown Dallas

The Crow Collection of Asian Art features an impressive range of paintings and sculpture, plus plenty of activities and adventures for kids! The Adventure Asia program, for example, is held on the first Saturday of every month and is free to attend. There, your child can learn about art through dance sessions, face painting, and art projects. When it comes to Dallas art museums, this one stands out from the rest as a great interactive experience.

3. Meeting the Spanish Masters

The Meadows Museum, another outstanding Dallas art museum, focuses on the work of great Spanish artists such as Picasso, Juan Gris, and Jusepe de Ribera. You can foster an appreciation for these beautiful paintings even prior to your visit by downloading interactive PDFs that include thought-provoking questions. Given the broad range of Spanish painters on display, this museum also helps kids gain an appreciation for art outside the United States, exposing them to the diversity of paintings and sculptures that other countries have to offer.

4. Teaching Your Child Form, Function, and Fun

While the Nasher Sculpture Center features exquisite sculptures from around the world, grown-ups aren’t the only ones invited! Target First Saturdays are designed to get kids involved and interested in art, and it’s free for both adults and children. Their typical events calendar is also full of scavenger hunts, guided family tours of the museum, art demonstrations for kids, and storytelling. Also available is the Nasher Kids Camp, allowing kids to explore their artistic side in a fun camp environment.

5. Further Education and Student Contests

The Goss-Michael Foundation features British Contemporary art along with plenty of educational options for kids and young adults. The foundation offers an educational program with ever-changing workshops. These hands-on workshops can give your child a huge sense of accomplishment and encourage further artistic discovery!

With all of these options, Ii’s clear that Dallas art museums are committed to making sure the next generation has a vested interest in the arts. Bring your kids to any one of these great spots and get them started on a journey that will last a lifetime!

 

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Find Inspiration at Dallas’ 4 Funniest Comedy Clubs

The only thing great performers love more than performing is seeing fellow artists do their thing – and that often goes double for comedians! Whether you’re looking for local improv or some of the biggest national acts, Dallas comedy clubs have a lot to offer. Here are four venues to catch a show and maybe even get your feet wet on stage.

Dallas Comedy House

Comedy Clubs In The Dallas - Fort Worth Area

Of all the Dallas comedy clubs, the DCH offers one of the best combinations of homegrown comedy that’s still delivered professionally. The friendly, communal attitude fostered by the classes offered at DCH also filters down to the pricing structure, with tickets costing a mere $5-10. Drink prices are reasonable and the food gets decent feedback as well, which pretty much makes it Michelin-star quality by comedy club standards.

In addition to the well-regarded classes, DCH supports up-and-comers with scheduled open mic nights for stand-up and improv jam blocks where anyone can join in. These nights can be good networking opportunities for newbies to build relationships with like-minded performers, as regulars will see each other often.

Hyena’s Comedy Nightclub

Want to laugh like the cartoon version of one of nature’s most famous scavenger animals? Some would say you can act like a disgusting beast at home, but since we’re talking about Dallas comedy clubs here, you might as well go to Hyena’s.

With a good mix of local and better-known national comedians, Hyena’s keeps it real by offering open mic every Wednesday night with drink specials. The last part is likely appreciated even more by nervous first-time standup comedians than the thirsty patrons watching them.

Backdoor Comedy

backdoor comedy

This tiny club is located in the corner of a Doubletree Hotel; it’s basically a conference room, but instead of PowerPoint presentations on maximizing synergy and choosing icons in cornflower blue, you get to watch comedians up close and personal!

Backdoor lists Johnny Hardwick as an alumnus, and if that name is unfamiliar, then you may know him by his voice acting alter ego, Dale Gribble on King of the Hill.

Fairly cheap shows, open mic nights, and available workshops round out the reasons to go to this Dallas comedy club. Moreover, the content of the comedy shows has been described as funny, but also family-friendly. So feel free to bring Grandma and the kids.

Addison Improv

Falling under the aegis of the nationwide Improv™ chain, Addison Improv features big names and correspondingly big ticket prices. If you want to see that guy your friends keep sending YouTube clips of or maybe just a familiar face from a funny TV show, Addison Improv is your place.

Like a lot of Dallas comedy clubs, they have a zero tolerance policy toward heckling. Normally, this would be a good thing, but Jamie Kennedy has been known to play the club and if you were to hurt his feelings enough, you just might give him material for another anti-heckling documentary and be immortalized therein. Win-win for you and Jamie, but you’d probably be thrown out before you could even get going.

Whether you want to be a comedic actor, improv performer, or stand-up comic, these five clubs can give you all the inspiration you need in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Does the idea of adding your name on the list for open mic night or jumping up on stage for an improv jam with no preparation intimidate (or even terrify) you? If so, it might be worth working with an experienced acting coach beforehand. Your instructor can teach you the tricks and techniques to boost your confidence and have the time of your life on stage. Good luck!

 

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Concerts in Dallas: Inside the Classical Music Scene

Classical Music Concerts In The Dallas AreaLovers of Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, and Wagner have plenty to enjoy in Dallas. Amid the country and jazz, oldies and gospel, religious and Latino tunes, there is a vibrant and active classical music scene in D-Town for you to enjoy. You can easily find classical concerts in Dallas at some of the most breathtaking venues.

Classical Music Radio in Dallas

In the car or at home, tune your radio to WRR Classical 101.1. Not only does this station entertain and uplift listeners with music from the world’s most fabulous composers, conductors, and performers, it offers a website that serves as a portal to all things cultural in the thriving Dallas community.

Visit the WWR website at the link above to learn about all of the upcoming performances by the nationally acclaimed Dallas Symphony, as well as other news and information about other artistic performances, such as plays and other live music in Dallas.

Classical Music Festivals in Dallas

If you are into classical music, you simply can’t miss the Big “D” Classic festival! This event takes place on several dates throughout the spring, and at several different locations, so check the website and schedule for the details. You can enjoy this festival at places like Majestic Theater, the MacGorman Performing Arts Center, the Meyerson Symphony Center, and City Performance Hall. The festival features various classical and choral performances.

Classical Music Venues in Dallas

The Meyerson Symphony Center is the home of the nationally recognized Dallas Symphony orchestra, which has performed in the Dallas area since 1900. Season tickets to the symphony are a fantastic gift you can give (or get for yourself) if you’re a Dallas music lover. However, this isn’t the only venue where you can find classical concerts in Dallas.

Majestic Theater is operated by the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs and hosts a variety of concerts, plus other entertainment from comedy acts to local cultural events. Check the Event Calendar on their website to find out what’s coming up that you might be interested in.

The MacGorman Performing Arts Center is the largest center in the Dallas-Fort Worth area for hosting performances. In addition to various classical music concerts, the venue features a variety of cultural activities to enjoy, including archaeological exhibits like the Dead Sea Scrolls. The venue often invites experts in the field to hold informative lectures about the exhibits. Keep your eyes on the website for upcoming concerts in Dallas, as well as other cultural opportunities.

Situated conveniently in the Dallas Arts District is the Dallas City Performance Hall, which often hosts the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, as well as visiting orchestras and other live performances. Here, you can see fashion shows, stand-up comedians, choral performances, dance performances, music festivals, and much more.

Finding classical music and concerts in Dallas doesn’t have to be difficult. With the right resources at your fingertips, you can find something fun and enriching to do practically any night of the week. You might be surprised at how much there is to check out in Dallas!

 

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Planning an Event? How to Find the Best Dallas Bands for Hire

How To Find Dallas Music Bands For HireAre you planning an event, and want to take it up a notch with some live entertainment? This article will help you find the perfect band for any occasion, be it a wedding, party, school dance, or other event. When looking for Dallas bands for hire, there are a few things you will want to keep in mind.

Expectations

The first thing to decide is what exactly you expect from the band. Are you seeking a band for a professional event? Or are you looking for a group of musicians who enjoy playing music for a more casual event? What type of music will fit the style of event you’re hosting?

Deciding what kind of tone or mood you’re looking for is the first step toward finding the right band. Different genres will pair better with certain events, and specifying this in advance will help you narrow down your selection of bands, and save time and energy in the process.

Budget

Consider your budget before seeking out a specific band. You’ll want to find a group that fits well with the size of the event and with the funds you have. While you may not know the price of a band before you contact them directly, reading a bit about their history and experience can help you eliminate the big-name bands who might ask for more than you can afford.

Keep Up on the Latest Dallas Bands

To find great local bands in Dallas, check out some of the latest concerts at venues like the Granada Theater, South Side Music Hall, and the Kessler Theater. Many bands for hire can also be found on the following sites:

  • If you are looking for a rock band, you may want to check out JAM Magazine. You’ll find a variety of local bands listed that are eager to play a huge range of events.

  • There is also a great selection on the official Dallas Local Bands Site. This website gives you plenty of different styles of Dallas bands to choose from. Most of the bands listed on this website are more professional, so you can expect them to treat you just like a well-seasoned group would.

  • Dallasbands.org offers the latest news on local bands you may not have even heard of yet. Be sure to check them out for a wide array of unique groups!

Listen Before You Leap

When searching through Dallas bands for the best one to hire, make sure to check out their music or swing by one of their upcoming performances before you make your decision. You’ll want to make sure you like both their sound and their presentation, and sometimes, you can only get a true feel for both when seeing the band in action. Finally, check out DMagazine.com for a Dallas concert schedule to help you plan your band previewing schedule. You might just find that the hardest part of selecting a band is picking just one from so many great options!

 

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Live Music in Dallas: Tips for Finding and Booking Gigs

Booking Live Music Gigs In DallasDallas is rich with music history, and the bustling city offers numerous venues to showcase your talents. Grab your guitar, drums, jazz sax, or microphone, and get ready to book a gig playing live music in Dallas:

Find Your Sound

Before you can knock the music industry’s proverbial socks off, you’ll need to prepare yourself for booking gigs. Luckily, the first step is also the fun part – start making music! Prior to landing a dream gig, you’ll need to practice as much as possible to figure out your strengths and weaknesses so that you can continue to improve. Don’t obsess over perfection, though – booking gigs should be fun! Just keep in mind that approaching venues before you’re ready might hurt your chances of getting booked there later, so give proper time and attention to your craft beforehand to ensure that you’re ready.

“Demo”-nstrate Your Talents

Even the most instinctive booking agent won’t know you without receiving your demo, and this important tool is usually necessary for securing gigs. Don’t stress about having a demo that sounds perfectly smooth; these are meant to showcase your sound and musical stylings, not serve as a final cut. Many computer-savvy artists today record demos using their own personal computers. If you don’t feel confident in your recording skills, consider booking a studio and seek guidance from those who know their way around one. Demos usually consist of three to four of your most catchy songs, so you’ll want to edit your musical collection to best showcase your range and individual style.

Promote Yourself

Imagine that you’re the booking agent for a great venue in Dallas’ Deep Ellum. Would you want the musical talents you’re booking to arrive with a solid fan base, or all alone? Crowds make venues happy, of course! Get the word out about your band, whether through word of mouth, social media, newspaper articles, fliers, a website… or all of the above. Creating an electronic press kit (EPK) is a great way to combine your article collection, band biography, and demo into a concise presentation for booking agents.

If you write your own material, The Door may just be the place to go knocking. This venue, located at 2513 Main Street, first opened its doors in Deep Ellum in May 1998. According to its website, The Door promotes and facilitates artists with original material – so while it allows some covers, you’re better off coming with original songs. All of its bookings are done through email, and you’ll need to include your band name, contact information, and an online music link, along with basic information on your music style, audience age, and former shows played. Don’t fret if you’ve never played a show before – you’re still a contender!

Draw Some Applause

Dallas has lots of opportunities to get heard, and a great way to do that – especially as a newbie – is to try your hand at open mic nights. Not only does this build invaluable experience, but it gives you the confidence you need to approach venues about scheduled performances. You’ll grow your fan base here, as well, and you can document your open mic shows on your website or blog. Take full advantage of any open mic opportunities.  With each performance, you’ll get more and more comfortable with playing in front of a variety of crowds… plus, you never know who in the audience might be scouting talent!

  • Opening Bell Coffee, located at 1409 South Lamar Street, has made a name for itself on reality television shows such as E!’s “The Opening Act” and the series “Troubadour Texas”. Described as “Dallas’ best acoustic live music venue and coffee bar,” the coffeehouse frequently offers live music. To book a gig, you’ll need to complete an online interest form and submit a link to your music.
  • Mokah Coffee Bar is also located in the arts hub of Deep Ellum at 2803 Taylor Street. The venue is described as “passionate about two things: good coffee and people sharing what they love through music, art, and conversation.” Thursday nights and weekends typically provide opportunities for local music to be heard, and those interested in booking a gig here can contact the establishment through Mokah’s website or by telephone.
  • Labyrinth Walk Coffeehouse, located at 3839 West Kiest Boulevard, describes itself as “a live music venue featuring a variety of musicians and events.” Labyrinth features a monthly JazzJam held on the second Sunday, as well as indoor and outdoor concerts. Its Jazz Under the Stars and OakCliff JazzFest are offered in the spring and fall, respectively. With a non-smoking, non-alcoholic environment, this coffeehouse is ideal for teenagers looking for an age-appropriate venue. Be advised that the coffeehouse does not book based on CD alone, and instead encourages those playing their live music in Dallas to let LWCH know beforehand so representatives can watch. By putting yourself out there, you’re bound to get some recognition!
  • For our last option, prepare to be star-struck! Trees opened in May 1990 at 2709 Elm Street, and this acclaimed spot is known for its history of live music in Dallas and the Fort Worth area. With past shows by Radiohead, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Deftones, Dave Matthews Band, Tool, and Erykah Badu, it’s no wonder that bands are drawn to this noted venue. Bands can inquire about booking gigs via email.

Festival Exposure

Another excellent way to gain exposure and experience is through participation in local music festivals. The annual Wildflower! Arts and Music Festival is held in May in Richardson, Texas, which is less than 20 minutes outside of Dallas.  Several local scouts attend this widely promoted event in search of the next big music acts. Whether you’re a singer, songwriter, or part of a band, the festival offers numerous opportunities to get your music heard. Simply send your EPK and application to the festival coordinators. Festivals like this provide wonderful ways for new talent to showcase live music in Dallas and neighboring areas.

Located at 9555 North Central Expy, Uncle Calvin’s Coffeehouse states that it “actively seeks artists out at concerts, conferences, festivals, and their song circles and competitions.” The coffeehouse does not accept unsolicited recordings or submissions, and instead recruits new talent by attending these showcases around town.  This venue also scouts new talent from the Wildflower! Arts and Music Festival, which is one more reason to perform there.

Dallas has a solid history of music at its core and a bright future ahead for emerging performers. Good luck!

 

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The Dallas Music Scene: More Than Just Country

Dallas Music FestivalsIf you ask an outsider what kind of music they’d expect to hear in Dallas, they’d probably answer “country.” But not everyone in the area was born to wear a Stetson hat and cowboy boots. While country does play a vital role in the Dallas music scene, it’s important to remember that there’s a lot more going on in this vibrant city! If you look a little closer, you’ll find all kinds of music around town.

Dallas Music Festivals

If you want to hear some bands or musicians playing something other than country music, one of the best places to start is to hit up a local music festival. The smaller festivals around town generally focus on local bands, but a number have larger acts from all across the globe. Here are just a handful of the annual festivals that are part of the Dallas music scene:

  • Meltdown Music Festival: If you’re hip to the electronic beats, you’ll love Meltdown. Previous acts who have performed at this festival include Flux Pavilion, Delta Heavy, and Carnage.

  • Homegrown: Once an all-local affair, this music and arts festival held in downtown Dallas has expanded to include bands and artists who are tied to the entire state of Texas. You’ll find a roster mostly made up of indie and alternative bands, such as The Polyphonic Spree, …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, and Toadies.

  • Warped Tour: The Warped Tour festival stops in Dallas each year, hosting a full day of all your favorite punk and metal bands. Acts who have played this festival include Pennywise, NOFX, My Chemical Romance, and Rise Against.

Music Venues

If you’re looking to branch out from country music, you’ll need to know the best venues to hear music from other genres. The Dallas music scene is definitely thriving, so you’ll always find something going on at one of these spots:

  • Trees: Located in Deep Ellum, Trees is a 600-capacity venue that has hosted many great bands. Over the years, it has played host to many big-name acts, such as Nirvana, Radiohead, and Deftones, while they were on their way to the top. It mostly features rock, metal, and alternative bands.

  • Meyerson Symphony Center: Fans of classical music might like to take a trip to the Meyerson Symphony Center, where you can enjoy performances from the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and occasionally other local cultural and musical groups.

  • Harwood 609: This is one of the best places in the city to hear live jazz. It’s a restaurant, as well as a music venue, so if you want to enjoy a little dinner with your music, then this is a fantastic place to check out!

Getting Up-to-Date Info

To find out the latest in Dallas music news, the best way to stay up-to-date is online. In this tech age, you’re more likely to find gig listings on Facebook or Twitter than on fliers. Be sure to “Like” or “Follow” the social media accounts of your favorite bands, performers, and venues to keep up with what’s happening in the Dallas music scene. Local websites, such as the Dallas Observer, have up-to-date listings for shows and concerts in the area. If you prefer to do things “old school,” there are still shops, bars, and venues where you might be able to find fliers for upcoming shows or even get some word-of-mouth recommendations. Try punk bars, such as Double Wide, or alternative clothing stores, like Buffalo Exchange.

As you can see, there’s much more to music in Dallas than country. So get out there, see some shows, and support your local music scene. Have fun!

 

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The 5 Best Dallas Bars With Live Music

Top Dallas Bars With Live MusicDallas is the ninth-largest city in America and is one of the most visited places for tourists and travelers in the state of Texas. It’s hip, cool, and sophisticated, and offers some of the best nightlife and entertainment in the Southwest! When the sun goes down, the partygoers come out, and there are some great bars with live music found throughout the city for those looking for some genuinely authentic acts. Here are five of our favorites:

City Tavern

If you’re looking for a music venue in the heart of Downtown Dallas, look no further than City Tavern, which is located on Main Street between Akard and Field. Wednesdays and Saturdays are the best nights for live music here, and you’ll get to see a great range of local rock and acoustic music acts fighting their way to the big time. If you’re looking for somewhere cool and laid-back, this is one of the best bars with live music that you’ll find in Dallas.

Trees

Trees is world-famous and is also one of the premier live music venues in Dallas. When it first opened back in 1990, it featured some of the biggest music acts in the world, including Nirvana, Radiohead, and Pearl Jam. There’s always a range of acts hosted at Trees, so whether you’re interested in rock, punk, rap, pop, or anything else in between, it’s worth checking out the schedule to see what’s coming up. With gigs almost every night of the week, you’re bound to find something you like!

House of Blues

You’ll find the Dallas House of Blues in the White Swan Building on N. Lamar Street between the West End and Victoria Park. It opened in 2007, but the building is pretty historic and you’ll certainly know it when you arrive. It’s not just a place for musical acts; it’s also a venue for all sorts of other performances and has a great artistic history as well. Having said that, music is the real passion of the people here, so expect to see a full schedule of musical performances all year round when you take a look at the schedule.

Adair’s Saloon

Covered in graffiti and full of worn tables and chairs, Adair’s Saloon may look pretty gritty when you first walk in. Spend a bit of time there, though, and you’ll realize that this is one of the coolest bars with live music in the whole city of Dallas, and even Texas for that matter! Seven days a week, you’ll find musicians and bands trying to make a name for themselves. And if Jack Ingram and the Dixie Chicks can use the stage at Adair’s as a stepping stone to the big time, you know it’s a big deal! Found on the Eastern edge of Downtown Dallas, the place is perfectly located for a great night out.

The Curtain Club

Right in the heart of Deep Ellum, The Curtain Club considers itself to be one of the best bars with live music in the whole country, let alone Dallas! You’ll typically find local talent here, as opposed to big-name artists. With a great production staff, lighting, and acoustics, you’re in for a real treat at The Curtain Club.

The Dallas music scene has been going through a boom in recent years, and there is no sign that it’s going to slow down anytime soon. There are hundreds of bars with live music all across the city and its wider suburbs, so whatever music sounds sweet to your ears, you’re bound to find a host of great venues to satisfy you. Have fun!

 

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A Beginner’s Guide to Broadway Shows in Dallas

Broadway Shows In DallasBroadway shows are big in every sense of the word – inspirational music, timeless themes, elaborate productions, and, often, big-name actors and actresses. Dallas has a rich performing arts history that includes a variety of events, and Broadway shows in Dallas have taken center stage for decades in venues like the Dallas Theater Center and the Music Hall at Fair Park. Joining the thousands of people who regularly enjoy the dazzling array of productions in Dallas can make for a fun outing, offering a way to enjoy cultural and artistic diversity without ever leaving town!

What Makes a Show a Broadway Show?

Most shows start in the Broadway theater district in New York City, even the Broadway shows in Dallas. People tend to think of this performing arts genre as consisting of all musical productions, but that’s not true. Granted, most Broadway shows traveling around the country and gaining recognition are musicals, like the eternal “Hello, Dolly!” or “Jesus Christ Superstar”. However, many non-musicals such as “August: Osage County” and “Noises Off” are also Broadway shows.

Many of the Broadway shows presented in Dallas are put on by New York-connected touring companies. Community Broadway productions are primarily put on by local theaters that purchase the rights to the plays. However, Broadway plays normally do not make up a large part of community theater productions.

Finding the Big and the Small

It can be easy to find the larger, well-known theaters, but how do you find smaller community theater productions? Here are a few sources to start searching for Broadway shows in Dallas presented on the big and small stages:

  • GuideLive.com is a website managed by The Dallas Morning News, covering all the entertainment happenings around the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Select “Things to Do” and then “Performing Arts” for event type during your search.

  • BroadwayWorld.com has a listing of Dallas regional theater performances, so you can find a variety of shows around the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

  • The City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs maintains a list of facilities the city owns or manages, and many offer professional Broadway shows on a regular basis.

  • The DallasObserver.com is another good source. It has an Arts tab that you can click on to find what’s going on around town, including at venues like the Dallas Theater Center.

Get Going!

The best way to appreciate Broadway shows in Dallas is to see one! Buying tickets is as simple as going online and purchasing through a ticket vendor, or directly from the theater. Attending Broadway shows enables you to connect with the local performing arts community. Once you see a Broadway show in Dallas, you’l see what we mean!

 

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Dallas Music Festivals That You Won’t Want to Miss

Must See Dallas Music ShowsFor music lovers nationwide, spring and summer are better known as festival season. And with all the great weather you get in Dallas, there’s no reason not to attend one or two of these events! Which festival (or festivals, if you’re feeling ambitious!) you attend will probably depend on what kind of music you’re into. Never fear, though, because there is a range of Dallas music festivals, with something to suit everyone! Here are a few of our favorites:

Homegrown Festival

Homegrown Festival started in 2009, with the original intention of featuring only local Dallas acts. Since then, the festival has expanded so that any band or musician with a link to Texas can play. While this somewhat diminishes the idea behind the festival, it does mean that you’ll be able to see bigger-name acts play. A handful of acts can be seen during this one-day festival, which is usually held in May at beautiful Main Street Garden Park. The festival doesn’t stick to just one genre, but features a mixture of quality acts, with an aim to please almost anyone. Bands and artists who’ve previously played Homegrown include The Polyphonic Spree, Ume, Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears, and Robert Ellis.

KXT Summer Cut

This festival is put on each year by local Dallas radio station KXT 91.7. KXT Summer Cut is usually held in June at the Gexa Energy Pavilion, and previous acts have included The Avett Brothers, Grace Potter and The Nocturnals, and Oil Boom. While it generally attracts a younger vibe and audience, don’t let that deter you, as there are plenty of adults who also attend. The amphitheater provides the perfect outdoor music venue for this summery festival.

Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Picnic

Willie’s Picnic is a Texas mainstay. Although it hasn’t always been held in the DFW area, it has now settled on a location at the Fort Worth Stockyards and has earned its top spot among the wealth of other Dallas music festivals. For country music fans, this is probably one of the finest ways to spend your 4th of July. As you may be able to guess, Willie Nelson is always part of the lineup, but a range of other acts will grace the bill as well. In previous years, this has included Asleep at the Wheel, Billy Joe Shaver, Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Leon Russell and Emmylou Harris.

Dia de Los Toadies

This annual music festival is hosted by local favorites, Toadies. You can expect the Toadies themselves to play, of course, but acts in previous years have also included The O’s; Gary Clark, Jr.; These Machines are Winning; and the Dirty River Boys. Held at Panther Island Pavilion, it’s a little outside Dallas, in the Fort Worth area, but it’s not much of a trek to catch an awesome lineup! It usually takes place in the first half of September, so Dia de Los Toadies is the perfect event to say goodbye to summer and the festival season. This is a family-friendly festival that welcomes attendees of all ages.

Which of these Dallas music festivals is your favorite? Leave a comment below and let us know!

 

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From the HOB to The Rail Club: Your Dallas Concerts Survival Guide

Dallas Concert Guide And TipsWhether you’re a concert aficionado and catch new acts every weekend, or have never been to a live show before, you’ll definitely have a good time at one of many great Dallas concerts throughout the city. This diverse city offers audiences a plethora of contemporary and classic genres to choose from! Here you can check out everything from world-famous chain venues like the Dallas House of Blues, to totally different atmospheres at places like the Granada and The Rail Club.

Planning ahead for these concerts will help you minimize the stress and maximize the fun. Get ready for a great time at shows big or small, with this guide to enjoying Dallas concerts:

Pre-Show:

Logistics matter, and can make or break the concert experience if someone in your group can’t enter the show, can’t get back to the car, or can’t find a seat. Uncomfortable shoes and forgotten IDs aren’t any fun, either! Run through this list to make sure you’re prepared for your favorite concerts in Dallas.

  • Check the venue’s rules about children, if you’re bringing them along. Some shows aren’t necessarily appropriate for kids, and some venues (like most bars) have age restrictions. Also, consider bringing ear protection for the kids, as some shows get pretty loud!

  • If anyone in your group has special needs, check in with the venue about accessibility. Don’t wait until you’re at the door; call or visit their website before you determine the rest of your concert night plans.

  • Know how parking works so that you don’t have to spend extra cash or walk longer than you expected. Also, check whether the venue or festival allows re-entry, especially if you’re thinking of stashing something in your car that you might need later on, like a jacket.

  • Think about your clothes so that you’ll be comfortable enough to do lots of walking and standing. Depending on the kind of crowd you’ll be around, it might get rowdy, so think twice about wearing anything that could be damaged by a spilled drink. If you plan to stand close to the front at a crowded rock show, wear sturdy shoes instead of heels or flip-flops.

  • Plan a few essentials to keep on you, like your ID, cash, earplugs, and keys. Also, pull out cash ahead of time, so that you can skip the ATM fees when you’re buying merch, food, and/or drinks.

  • If you’re going to a big festival, think ahead about water, food, sunscreen, and planning your itinerary. Festivals typically have lots of bands playing back-to-back and often on multiple stages, so don’t end up with regrets – plan realistically, and give yourself time to get close to your favorite artists before their set starts.

  • Don’t forget the tickets! Some large venues (like the Gexa Energy Pavilion) can scan your tickets from a smartphone, but don’t a;ways make this assumption. Make sure you know how to pick up any will call tickets, or keep it simple and just bring printouts.

Enjoying the Night:

Even at the show, it’s easy to get distracted and miss out on the fun. Take a deep breath, relax, and make the most of the night by knowing what to expect.

  • Find important places right away, like exits and bathrooms. Identifying these will also help your party select rendezvous points; if someone loses contact with the group, those are usually good first choices for where to look.

  • Keep your phone charged, just in case you’re the one who gets lost! Turn off extra apps, Wi-Fi, and maybe even the entire phone if you really want to relax. It’s the best way to save the battery. (And if you’re packing for a big festival, consider bringing an extra charger!)

  • Let your group do their thing, and don’t be surprised if people split off. Similarly, if you expect to run into lots of people you know at the show, don’t be sad if you don’t get to say hi (or bye) to everyone – there’s always next time. Now, on the flip side …

  • Do make new friends! Be friendly and be open to meeting new people – concerts are an excellent way to meet other enthusiasts who share your tastes! Instead of pulling out your phone in between sets, introduce yourself to the people around you.

  • Go easy on the partying. Whether it’s drinks, merch, or moshing, it’s a good idea to pace yourself during Dallas concerts. It’s easy to overload on fun if you take it too fast, especially at a multi-day festival.

  • Walk the entire venue. Take advantage of at least one set break to take a look around, so that you don’t miss the hidden secrets the best concert venues in Dallas have to offer. Posters from history-making shows, unique merchandise from bands, unusual views of the stage, and more await when you explore venues to their fullest.

Partying On:

The cleanup crew might be hitting the floor and looking forward to getting home for the night, but as long as you’re not in their way, you don’t have to hurry out just yet. Wait out the traffic and cap off your favorite Dallas concerts with some extra memories.

  • See if the bar has a late-night scene, like a night owl happy hour. If you stay later, especially at smaller venues and bars, you may even get to meet some of the band members! If it’s quiet enough and the bartenders aren’t hurrying to clean up, they (or other staff) might have some great stories to share.

  • Look out for last-minute giveaways, like extra copies of freshly-outdated posters from the show.

  • See if there’s an after-party, or consider organizing one yourself! Alternatively, plenty of all-night diners and other restaurants (like Buzzbrews Kitchen) make for fun stops before you head home for the night.

  • Save the memorabilia, like your ticket stubs, wristbands, stickers, and handouts.

  • Share online about the great time you had! Venues and bands appreciate good reviews (and constructive criticism) of shows, so speak up on your favorite social network or review site.

  • Support the bands and performers you liked by looking them up and learning more about what they do, and buying tickets to their other shows.

Spending time with friends, learning new things, and listening to music are all great for your health – and let’s face it, they’re also much-needed fun! So take a night off sometime (or an entire weekend) and steep yourself in humankind’s universal language. Finding good concerts in Dallas is as easy as asking your friends or searching online for your favorite artists’ tour schedules, so there’s no excuse not to get started. Whether you’re finding old favorites, or trying something spontaneous and new, you won’t regret getting out more often for Dallas concerts all around town!

 

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Photo by Mariam Shahab