Dallas Week's Founder Wants to Create North Texas' Own Version of SXSW

Dallas Week wants to encourage artists like -topic (second from right) to work together and discover resources.EXPAND
Dallas Week wants to encourage artists like -topic (second from right) to work together and discover resources.
Kathy Tran

Pat Averhart believes Dallas' underground music scene can become a flourishing, self-sufficient culture — it just needs a little help. That's where Dallas Week comes in.

Running today through Sunday, the second annual Dallas Week will include 15 local events that Averhart helped organize. He hopes to not only create awareness of Dallas’ rich music culture, but also document the week’s worth of events to show the City of Dallas how important it is. He and TommyJay, a creative marketing director, will create a 10 to 15-minute video compilation of Dallas Week to present to the City of Dallas’ Office of Cultural Affairs. The video comes with a business plan and pitch to apply for a grant to help fund next year’s edition.

If all goes to plan, it could be the springboard to something much bigger — even something akin to South By Southwest.

“People think SXSW popped up out of nowhere. You don’t get there without economic gain or political gain through the city. It’s impossible,” Averhart says. “Some people think SXSW is on some self-financed Kickstart shit. It’s not. Dallas is too big of a city not to have something like that.”

As a marketer, promoter and street teamer in Dallas for years, Averhart has long been active in the music scene. But he struck on a fresh idea last summer when he noticed a number of events going on during the same week, including -topic’s annual Cake Jam birthday party and Post Malone’s sold-out homecoming show at Trees. He made phone calls to his extended network and put together a few more events to make sure each night was covered. 

“Dallas Week [2015] was the first of its kind. It was magical because we had all these events going and it just all lined up,” Averhart says. “I thought it wasn’t going to happen this year because I felt like people didn’t want it but I came up with a long-term vision for this year and that really got me motivated to make this week happen and turn it into something bigger for next year.”

This year’s Dallas Week offers a rich diversity of events and revolves around already scheduled events such as Dezi 5, Sam Lao, -topic and Buffalo Black's show at The Kessler and Wintertime by Top Shelf Texas as well as regularly occurring weekly events like #WINGSDAY at Gators, DJ Sober’s Big Bang and John Stewart & Blue The Misfit’s All/Everything party. Averhart dug into his own pockets to make the other events happen for a full week’s worth of events.

Along with concerts, album releases, DJ nights and networking opportunities, Dallas Week offers a wide variety of events: an opportunity for new, undiscovered artists to gain exposure at events like SayCheeseTV’s Open Gym; learn photography tips from one of the city’s best artists, Jeremy Biggers; or take in a night of jazz performed by young local talent at Drugstore Cowboy. “Dallas Week is important for cohesive promotion,” Averhart says. “If you don’t have camaraderie in the city when it comes down to a culture, then you have a watered-down culture.”

Under the umbrella of Dallas Week, a number of curators, promoters, talent and more will see their names together for the first time, serving as an open invitation to not only work together but attend each other’s events. Averhart’s biggest ambition of Dallas Week, though, is to educate everyone involved on economics and funding. On Tuesday night the Dallas County Young Democrats will hold a panel event hosted by Rodney Blu featuring Dallas City Council members Dwaine Caraway and Philip Kingston as well as panelists Pete Freedman, Louis Conner and Chad Newton. The primary focus of the panel, according to Averhart, will be economics and funding of the arts in Dallas.

“My whole kick or spiel hasn’t been about exposure of the culture, or who sees the culture, or even the media in the culture. It’s been about economics in the culture,” Averhart says. “If we aren’t trying to create our own self-sufficient economy, then we’ll forever be relying on people from Nashville to come in and sign us or someone from New York to sign us. We have this idea that somebody from out of town is going to hear about Dallas’ music scene and come in with a blank check. That’s unrealistic.”

A majority of the events going on through Dallas Week 2016 are hip-hop based which came natural as the bulk of Averhart’s network is in the hop-hop community, but he’s focused on creating more diversity in the event if his grander vision comes to fruition.

“If we get this funding next year and can continue to grow I don’t want it to only involve the hip-hop scene. I want to be able to have Charley Crockett in the same room as Shawn Cotton or have Sudie in the same room as Felix,” Averhart says. “I want to be able to put everybody — not just hip-hop— everybody that hasn’t blown up yet. I want metal bands, rappers, EDM, the punk scene, everything. It’ll be dope if we can exhibit all that art.”

Dallas Week's Founder Wants to Create North Texas' Own Version of SXSW

Guide To Dallas Week 2016:


SayCheeseTV’s Open Gym: All unsigned artists are welcome to bring one song as well as some snacks to this event. Host Shawn Cotton will give each artist five minutes to play that song for the crowd.
Location: TBA (Check #DallasWeek on Twitter for updates)
Time: 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.


DCYD Music, Culture and Politics Panel: Hosted by Rodney Blu, panelists include Dallas City Council members Dwaine Caraway and Philip Kingston and topics of discussion include economics of arts and culture as well as the role of politics in the Dallas underground arts culture.
Location: Sue Ellen’s (3104 Throckmorton St.)
Time: 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Upcoming Events


#WINGSDAY at Gators: This happy hour and $.50 wings night is a popular destination for young professionals to network with music provided by well-known local DJs. 
Location: Gators (1714 Market St.)
Time: 7 p.m. to midnight

War Club Wednesday: Blue, The Misfit brings back his popular weekly for one night during Dallas Week 2016.
Location: RBC (2617 Commerce)
Time: 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.


Pokemon Go Meetup: Hosted by Michael Conner of NewDallasLTD, the meet up will explore Poke Stops in Main Street Garden and talk local hip-hop. Bring lures.
Location: Main Street Garden
Time: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Dezi 5, Sam Lao, -topic and Buffalo Black: This powerhouse showcase from four of Dallas’ most talented musicians is a genuine can’t-miss event of Dallas Week 2016.
Location: The Kessler (1230 W. Davis St.)
Time: 8:30 p.m. to midnight

DJ Sober’s Big Bang: This weekly event is always one of Dallas’ most popular destinations of the week.
Location: Beauty Bar (1924 Henderson)
Time: 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.


W.A.R. Media’s Da Dreak/Rahzil Blackwell Album Release Party: Da Dreak is a local producer who has worked with Dr. Dre and other top hip-hop luminaries. See him perform tracks from his new album.
Location: Club Dada (2720 Elm St.)
Time: 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. 


Jeremy Biggers Photo Walk: Tour historic Deep Ellum with one of Dallas’ best artists and learn some tips along the way.
Location: Starts at Serious Pizza (2807 Elm St.)
Time: 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

The Outfit TX’s Brand New Money 2: This day party will bring out a ton of Dallas’ best local hip-hop talent.
Location: Club Dada Outdoor Patio (2720 Elm St.)
Time: 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. 

Wintertime Presented By Top Shelf Texas: Locally-based Top Shelf Texas has built a reputation for being the first to bring in up-and-coming national talent and the same goes for this Wintertime, who is an up-and-coming rapper from Florida. There will also be plenty of local openers on hand.
Location: RBC (2617 Commerce)
Time: 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. 

Faded Deejays Dallas Week After Party: Get ready to wind down the week with DJ Mutemore and DJ Lil Chris.
Location: RBC (2617 Commerce)
Time: 11 p.m. to 2 a.m.


We Are Dallas: Pull Up At The Park BBQ: Enjoy a day of food, basketball, dominoes and music with the minds behind We Are Dallas and NASAGang
Location: Pike Park (2807 Harry Hines)
Time: 6 p.m. to  8 p.m.

Jazz Night at Drugstore Cowboy Featuring Ghoulfive: Enjoy of night of Jazz in all its forms performed by young Dallas musicians.
Location: Drugstore Cowboy (2721 Main St)
Time: 9 p.m. to midnight 

All/Everything: Cap off the week at one of Dallas’ biggest weekly events with DJ John Stewart and Blue, The Misfit.
Location: RBC (2617 Commerce)
Time: 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Upcoming Events

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