It was an ambitious plan, and one that would've been exciting to see played out this spring: the first annual Deep Ellum Block Party, a sprawling mix of music, art and comedy in the heart of Dallas' coolest neighborhood. But we'll have to wait at least another year to see it happen. Early this afternoon, Block Party organizer Charlsie Grace announced that the first-year event has been postponed until 2016.
The Block Party was scheduled to take place in Deep Ellum from Friday, April 17 to Sunday, April 19. It was a promising bill, too, with hip hop legends Public Enemy and indie vets Yo La Tengo joined by artists like Diarrhea Planet and Astronautalis as well as a host of locals, including Ishi, Sealion and Son of Stan. There were also plans for comedians, art, breweries and films in effort to reflect the full diversity of the neighborhood's creative output.
In addition to an announcement made on the Deep Ellum Block Party Facebook page, Grace informed DC9 at Night: "After a lot of consideration we have decided to postpone Deep Ellum Block Party. I am having some chronic health issues (and an impending surgery) that have made the festival happening this year impossible. We hope that things work out for 2016 and we're trying to get our headliners (Yo La Tengo, Public Enemy, etc) rescheduled for then."
Grace, who also runs local events organization The Artist Collective, was spearheading the Block Party herself, but has had to do so in spite of ongoing complications from Huntington's Disease. We reported on her condition last summer when she held a fundraiser for her medical expenses. As writer H. Drew Blackburn explained, "Huntington's is a neurodegenerative disease that causes brain cells to deteriorate. It's highly fatal and can only be treated, not cured."
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The Block Party was being put in part through crowdsourced funds, which Grace says will be refunded. "We will also be issuing refunds to everyone who purchased a ticket on our website and through Groupon and Indiegogo," she wrote in the event statement. "If you have any questions or concerns, please email email@example.com instead of posting them on our Facebook. "
We're deeply saddened to hear today's news, but wish Grace all the best and improved health as soon as possible. Here's hoping for a great Block Party come 2016.
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