Picture Show: Homegrown Music & Arts Fest, Up Close and Personal

Over on Unfair Park, Wilonsky--who is a better man that I, clearly--spent his Sunday morning recapping his thoughts on Saturday's Homegrown Music and Arts Festival at Main Street Garden Park. No need to fully re-hash the thing in this space, then? Probably not. But, still, there remain a few pictures to see and some points worth bringing up...

  • Was it warm on Saturday? You bet it was. And, on some levels, yes, that's to blame for the so-so crowd volume in the festival's earlier hours. But, at the same time, as Robert already delved into, the weather allowed the new downtown park's amenities to shine through. The fountains in which the kiddies played during the peak sunlight hours? Good looking and useful. And over in the park's northwest corner, the covered patio? That, really, was quite the delight, too--especially the misters affixed along the patio's poles, which provided quite the cool respite from the direct sunlight. Oh, and here's the big thing: Once the sun crouched down behind the downtown skyscrapers, the weather at the fest really couldn't have been any better.
  • As for the field's set-up? This much isn't even up for debate, really: The stages set up at either end of the park may not have been huge, but they sure served to fulfill every one of the fest's needs. Better yet, when coupled with the Red Bull-sponsored bar in the middle of the field, the live art tent off to one side and the line of covered booths on the other, the whole park had a very professional look to it. Did it look like a mini-ACL? A little bit, yes. Add in the fact that, aside from the weather, there were no real complaints to be had, and that sure bodes well for the festival's future.
  • Speaking of the future: Yes, there will be one for Homegrown. Or so our discussions with organizers Josh Florence and John Solis led us to believe. Were the crowds smaller than the organizers had hoped to draw in their dreamiest of dreams? Yes. But, over the course of the day, organizers are reporting, some 1,500 people wandered in and out of the gates--and while that may not have been enough to turn the festival into a major commercial boon, it was enough, I'm told, to help organizers recoup their production costs and break even on the event--a major feat, indeed, for a first-year deal like this one.
  • Sonically, too, there were few complaints, Sure, there were moments of feedback and, at the start of Jonathan Tyler & The Northern Lights' set, some awkward delayed effects still being sorted out, but for the most part, given the fact that this festival lasted some 11 hours, the sound problems were of minimal concern. And during certain performances--Analog Rebellion, This Will Destroy You and Ishi--the sound piped through the rented speakers capably impressed.
  • As far as performances, Jonathan Tyler & The Northern Lights did its usual thing, captivating audiences with its guitar heroism. But the real winners, in my mind, were Ishi and Analog Rebellion. The former, which drew one of the larger crowds of the day to the second stage, accomplished the near-impossible, getting audiences to dance--and, like, seriously dance, too. The latter, meanwhile, took some serious advantage of the opportunity to play before a crowd that was largely unfamiliar with its work, and impressed crowds with a high-energy display from its new three-piece lineup.

All in all, quite the time, for sure.

Oh, and one last point to make before moving on: How cool was it to hang in downtown Dallas and see original, local live music? Pretty damn cool, actually.

Here's looking forward to next year.

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