Black Sabbath?

Amid a dark controversy, the Denton festival will still go on

In interviews before the whole EMI debacle, Gray, Isbell and Schulze described the festival as an idea that mushroomed from the tiny spores of Denton folk-based experimental acts into a massive undertaking.

"It started out as a small thing," Isbell said. "The reason I wanted to do the festival, and the reason I started Magilum, is to open a window to our collective...We all very much love Denton, and our goal is to maintain the effort of experimental music here."

Despite the ballooning lineup and inclusion of non-Denton acts, the idea of promoting Denton first and foremost remains. The organizers offered sponsorship opportunities to and accepted them only from small, mostly local businesses, such as Strawberry Fields, Recycled Books and Music, Secret Headquarters and Gutterth Productions. Pop Monster Collective, a DIY label from Champaign, Illinois, will sponsor a stage. The decision to exclude chain businesses was intentional, a protest against the homogenizing forces of outsider developers.

On his way to creating a Denton folk fest, Bryce Isbell was sidetracked by a fantasy.
On his way to creating a Denton folk fest, Bryce Isbell was sidetracked by a fantasy.


Music begins Saturday at 12:30 p.m. Admission to J&J's basement stage is $10. Performing on the basement stage will be Peter and the Wolf (1 a.m.), Brothers and Sisters (midnight), New Science Projects (11 p.m.), The Theater Fire (10 p.m.), Jana Hunter (9 p.m.) and others. The other stages will be free. A full, updated lineup for all stages is available at

Gray said the group intended to keep the festival centered on folk, however loose a definition of "folk" that might require. The organizers didn't want to turn any bands down, so a few performers agreed to play unplugged sets to fit the event. Many performers have also apparently agreed to wearing costumes. Gray says he's always dreamed of a costumed folk festival. No matter how his other dreams turn out, that's one he may realize. MATAS is still listed on the official lineup, despite Isbell and Schulze stating soon after the EMI unraveling that MATAS was out of the lineup.

Gray wouldn't share details about his costume plans.

Schulze says organizing the festival, the early lineup confusion and the EMI mess provided a few hard lessons: "We learned a lot on this festival about not jumping the gun."

New Sabbath Festival|Matthew and the Arrogant Sea|Denton music|Jana Hunter|WeShotJR
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