Per the Denton Record-Chronicle, some big news out of Denton yesterday, as the organizers of 35 Conferette got the go-aheads from city council to erect outdoor stages on public property in downtown Denton and to also sell alcohol outside during their four-day festival. As such, there will be no last-minute complications forcing the festival to hold its outdoor shows to be held at the North Texas Fairgrounds, as happened last year, when the festival (then known as the NX35 Conferette) hosted outdoor stage performances from The Flaming Lips and Midlake.
Or, in other words, one of the last hurdles has been cleared for the festival, which now sits just three weeks off. And, from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursday, March 10, and Friday, March 11, and from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, March 12, and Sunday, March 13, 35 Conferette will host a number of outdoor performers on two downtown stages -- one in the Wells Fargo parking lot and another just down the road on Hickory Street. A third outdoor stage, which would exist on the lawn of Denton's Courthouse on the Square, is still pending.
This announcement is a significant one, if only because a similar situation was the festival's was the hope for last year's ordeal. The city, however, squashed those plans for fears of The Flaming Lips drawing too large an audience into the neighborhood. Similarly, such logistical problems again appeared to be of concern at Tuesday night's meeting, where, estimates 35 Conferette booking agent Scott Hawthorne, city council members spent a good 30 minutes peppering organizers with questions of crowd size, stage locations and security concerns.
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But, according to Hawthorne, city council had one more request of the organizers during this meeting, as well.
Wrote Hawthorne on Twitter after the meeting: "Without saying it specifically, Denton City Council asked that [the 35 Conferette] not have vaginas on projected screens," referencing the Flaming Lips' video introduction at last year's festival, where they were "birthed" out of their video screen, emerging from a beaming, illustrated vagina.
"One of the city council members just said, 'I want to make sure that, if there are any video screens, that what we show is family-friendy,'" Hawthorne says this afternoon. "We all started looking at each other and smiling, and he was like, 'You guys probably know what I'm talking about.' And, of course, we all did."