Homegrown Festival - Main Street Garden Park - 5/26/12

Categories: Last Night

Danny Hurley
Yvonne Lambert of Octopus Project
When I finally set foot in Main Street Garden Park on Saturday afternoon, I knew what Homegrown Fest organizer Josh Florence was talking about. The strip of downtown green is beautiful, well-designed and forces interaction, like any good, walkable park should.

Looking up at the old Grand Hotel, which shadowed us to the South, I wondered about who stayed there, who lived there, who died there. What it would be turned into in the future. I suppose the same could be said of much of the surrounding architecture. For a music festival, Main Street Garden Park is ideal. Saturday didn't feel too crowded, the sight lines for the stage were perfect, the drink lines weren't ridiculous, and the local food (Aaron Barker's Fat Elvis ice cream put me on a cloud made of sugar) and retailers (Nevada Hill's posters, Darcy Neal's gadgets, Dowdy Studio's trailer) added to the fest's mission to showcase its own.

However, I couldn't help but feel the lineup was a little safe. I understand trying to appeal to a larger demographic and keep it family-friendly, and Ben Kweller, the Octopus Project and Hayes Carll did fine jobs motivating the crowd. Ume was probably the most "extreme" act on the bill, and I overheard many concert-goers feverishly saying they were new fans of the Austin group, but I also heard a few lamenting the lack of hip-hop or blues, both genres Dallas - hell, Texas - excels in. We did have the Mohicans, sure, and they put on a great show, even on a bigger festival stage.

I'm not saying Homegrown has to get "weirder" or more fringe - it's still growing organically. It's serving as a reminder that downtown Dallas can be revitalized. The fest was well-organized, accessible and you felt a sense of community you don't always in a festival setting. You weren't just a dot in a sea of dots. Beyond the music, there was a sense that this was a gathering of tribes - folks read, talked to strangers as their dogs played, enjoyed the weather, and boosted the local economy. In that sense, it was a success.

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help

Had a great time on Saturday. To me, it is the perfect type of small little city festival. In fact, most of the bands are bands that I'd typically be checking out at larger festivals and avoiding a popular headliner.

Sure, they're still trying to find their way. I'd like to have seen a special concert poster for the fest. More rabble rousing from a funny MC perhaps. I enjoyed the heat, being outside and drank plenty of beers. Though some mister lines and/or super soakers would've been a fun idea.

I've seen Black Joe Lewis now 4 times and they do simply nothing for me. They're talented, they energetic, he screams into the mic with some energy. But still just falls short. Ben Kweller was during my regroup time, but sounded ok from afar. I'm a big fan of Bright Light, Centromatic, Carll and OP and they were all great. Also enjoyed Ume, Eisley.

The lineup could be better yes, but I think it's already pretty hard indie. A lot of people in Dallas don't give two shits about instrumental acts they've never heard of. I'd also like to have seen some more actual local acts. They claim they had to expand the first 2 years beyond DFW, totally untrue. They needed to market it better and have a stronger lineup overall, not run to Austin.

I'd like to see the total attendance, but I love being able to have some space, see the acts and not be totally shoulder-fucked by assbags who aren't even there for the music.

Now Trending

Dallas Concert Tickets

From the Vault