Back at it again with Dallas’ most entertaining arts festival hosted in the most artsy part of the city is fun and bohemian Deep Ellum with so much to offer. With up to 300 artists and performances taking over multiple stages along Main Street, Deep Ellum’s Arts Festival continues to give opportunities to young up-and-coming singer/songwriters and art personalities to show their talent to the whole world, and this year was no different.
Deep Ellum’s Arts Festival was created in 1994, making this year the festival’s 22nd anniversary. Since then, it has become one of Dallas’ biggest events of the year with over 1,000 visitors from all over the country. People enjoy art, live music and delicious local and national foods that will satisfy any palette.
From folk and rock/alternative to jazz and country, the array of genres showcased the festival planning committee’s commitment to bringing diversity to the table. Local bands, including The Moment Before, Parallel Play, The Skinny Cooks, The Effinays and Manifestive, gave incredible live performances worthy of mention in front of large audiences ranging from entire families to younger crowds. The festival had plenty of room to showcase the mass amount of talent with six-block area reserved for the festival had two main stages and three side stages to give exposure to local, national and international bands, said Festival Assistant Manager Andrew Aguilera.
All the art lovers out there understand that the opportunity to be selected as one of the hundred painters and sculptors is not only an honor, but an opportunity to gain recognition. For some people, this festival means a lot more than any event; it’s a part of their career. Phil Kutno, one of this year’s returning modern painters, is attending the event for the fourth year in a row.
“A lot of times in these shows, you see the same artists every year,” says Kutno. “Now, they keep coming back because they’re selling things, but it is important for new artists to always apply and keep trying to get into this shows; it’s a national juried event after all.”
This year, the festival introduced a new campaign promoting recycling in a creative, original way: decorating dumpsters.
The city of Dallas has over 140 recycling drop off sites, and, according the Zero Waist Sanitation Services Manager Murray Myers, most people “pass it by and don’t realize it’s there,”—prompting the company to team up with Deep Ellum’s community association to add art to the dumpsters. The company put on a competition to see the most creative designs that “conveyed an environmental and recycling message.”
The Food Stands (and awesome fried Oreos)
Yes, you heard us: fried Oreos. If you haven’t tried it, you haven’t lived. With the combination of that delicious dessert plus an eclectic mix of food styles, this event could not be more delicious. All the local restaurants from the area teamed up with the festival to bring a little flavor to the party. Some crowd favorites? Bucky Moonshine Southern Eats and Bar, Twenty-Seven Fine Dining, Elbow Room, Café Salsera and Cristi-N-Ali Cuisine.
Why is this event so important?
We asked people at the festival this precise question, and stage manager and lead guitarist for The Moment Before Jason Patrick Stake summed it up perfectly.
“I think there is such an opportunity to discover things that you wouldn’t be able to discover sitting in your own local scene,” says Stake. “You can walk down the street and see some amazing art, a welder making giant dinosaurs out of motorcycle parts, an industrial metal band and then go and get your kid’s face painted.”
We have to say, we agree. Thanks for having us, Deep Ellum!
Photo by: Will Baldwin