By Brittany Davenport
The local fans of the Dallas music scene have been eagerly anticipating the 2014 Dallas Observer Music Awards. The event, which kicks off on December 6, showcases over 60 bands covering a wide spectrum of genres on nine different stages all over Deep Ellum.
Deep Ellum is packed with entertainment and is known for its historical involvement in local music and art. Art galleries, restaurants and thrift shops abound, along with the inevitable bars and live music venues. Independent businesses like The Free Man Cajun Café & Lounge and Lula B’s Antique Mall thrive in the alternative scene. Everything is a short walk away from everything else, so it is a great location for a festival. This year, venues include The Door; Green Room; Prophet Bar; Reno’s; Three Links; Trees; Off The Record; and Club DADA, with music inside and outside.
“The bars have been part of the Dallas Observer Music Festival for six to eight years now” said Russell David Hobbs, owner of The Door and Prophet Bar. “And [those two bars have] been open longer than any of the other bars in Deep Ellum, about 30 years.”
He said that the event helps the local music scene quite a bit, and brings a lot of attention from fans.
“The best part is that we’ve always been open to all kinds of music, which allows people to experiment and gives a lot of artistic freedom,” Hobbs said.
Hobbs said his two bars will feature “a lot of indie rootsy rock,” but that is not the focus of the festival as a whole. In fact, the festival makes a point of not focusing on any particular genre. For example, Club DADA, another venue, is known for its attention to the rock scene. The variety is part of the showcase’s appeal, because the tickets don’t limit audiences to any one location. Festivalgoers can move from club to club and see all that they want to see. The shows are staggered, so audiences can see part of each and every set.
The Dallas Observer, which sponsors the awards, is a local independent newspaper whose mission is to bring attention to local small businesses. The light and sarcastic tone taken by its writers conceals the effort they put into covering scene.
Because the publication is based in Deep Ellum, the writers have particular reason to put a spotlight on musicians based in the area. “We’ve created a relationship with many of the venues [in Deep Ellum,]” Chelsea Thionnet, a writer for the Dallas Observer, said. “Community is a huge part of what makes this event what it is today.”
General admission tickets for the showcase are available for preorder online for $10 and go up to $20 the day of the event. VIP admission starts at $34 and is $50 the day of. VIP admission includes three drink tickets for the VIP Bar, a catered buffet, and a T-shirt to commemorate the event. Of course, you will need to be over 21 with a valid ID to take advantage of the drink tickets.
The festival is a way to really see the heart of the music scene in Dallas. So go out, walk around, and enjoy the show.