With All Its New Venues Coming, Is Fort Worth Modelling Its Music Scene After Dallas'?

Just a quick thought, since, due to other obligations, I wasn't able to participate in this week's very interesting Conversation about the comparative strengths of the Dallas, Fort Worth and Denton music scenes, if, granted, something of a piggyback on a comment made by Fort Worth Weekly music editor Anthony Mariani therein.

Said Mariani about the looking-good future for the already strong Fort Worth music scene:

Two (small) steps in the right direction... will be arriving soon in the form of the remodeled Ridglea Theater on the West Side and the new Live Oak Music Hall & Lounge on the Near South Side, two venues comparable in size -- and, hopefully, in style -- to the Kessler.
Funny that he'd say that, since that'd been something I've been thinking a lot about lately.

Recent articles in both the Weekly and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram have made it clear that the people behind these two on-their-way venues are looking to Dallas for inspiration -- the Ridglea is setting itself up as the  Granada Theater West, hoping to to compete for the same types of shows over in that market (even their websites look somewhat similar), and the Live Oak Music Hall & Lounge is specifically looking to cop some of the "ultra-hip" Kessler Theater in Oak Cliff.

So, what to make of this news then?

Well, maybe this. If, it seems we can all agree, Fort Worth is the strongest scene going in North Texas at this very moment, isn't it even more impressive that they're doing so without the solid, and clearly enviable, infrastructure in place here in Dallas? I'd say so.

The counter-question, of course: Isn't part of Fort Worth's strength that there aren't as many venues open out there at the moment? Could too many venues just spread things out and , inherent, weaken them in the process?

Perhaps. I know I'm starting to worry about that much in Deep Ellum specifically. The other day, I heard rumblings that someone was looking to open yet another local music-hyping venue down there in the near future. When told as much, I couldn't help but roll my eyes. Because, well, Deep Ellum and Dallas as a whole actually have a ton of such venues at the moment -- an embarrassment of riches, one might argue. If Deep Ellum needs another venue, it needs someone to open up Deep Ellum Live again so the neighborhood can get a little more variety in show size, right?

Point is, you want support, but you don't want it to become watered down. I mean, look at Austin.

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Pete Freedman
Contact: Pete Freedman