Published March 21, 2019
Some of us are a little bit country; others are a little bit rock ‘n roll. Most of us are probably cringing at that cheesy music joke. At any rate, we’ve already established DFW is a must-see destination for music lovers of all kinds. Thanks to a lengthy list of musical mainstays and a healthy crop of newer additions, the metroplex has also become a plentiful playground for any and all fans who love a good music festival.
From Fort Worth to Denton, Lewisville and Waxahachie, here is your guide to DFW’s can’t-miss music fests: ten events celebrating premier DFW artists and bringing in talent from across the world.
In just two years, this upstart event has brought Father John Misty and Run the Jewels to Cowtown. In other words, I think the organizers are pulling some insane, Inception-esque tricks on me to access my dreams. The third annual fest this April will bring native son Leon Bridges back to downtown Fort Worth for a weekend of shows at Will Rogers Memorial Center and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. With Chvrches, Tank and the Bangas and many more, 2019’s event offers world-class talent and a festive foray into Cowtown’s cultural district.
You may know Klyde Warren Park, but you may not know that it’s home to one of the city’s best kept secrets: Decks in the Park. This free music festival draws big crowds to this downtown Dallas park for an inclusive, accessible art celebration on Halloween. That means Klyde Warren is good for so much more than a nice walk, Instagram-ready views, and, my personal favorite: copious amounts of food truck food. But don’t worry — none of those perks are going anywhere. Keep an eye on Decks in the Park Facebook and Instagram pages for information about even more music festival pop-ups throughout the year.
3. KAABOO TEXAS
What do The Killers, Kid Rock, Sting and Lionel Richie all have in common? They’ll be joining Pitbull, The Avett Brothers, Alanis Morissette and a score of other talented artists in Arlington for the inaugural Kaboo festival in May. Oh, and it gets crazier: The comedy portion of the festival will feature Brad Garrett, Demetri Martin and more. It all adds up to a wildly random and wildly entertaining weekend at AT&T Stadium in early May. The first annual Kaboo is kind of like my frosted tips phase: No one expects it, but everyone has a good time and a lot of laughs.
Once upon a time in Lewisville, the city held its own version of Woodstock. Over 100,000 fans descended on this gem of a North Texas town to enjoy the Texas International Pop Festival. This Labor Day weekend, Lewisville will party like it’s 1969 with a redux of revival of pop revelry. With ZZ Top and Chicago headlining, we know this two-day fest (August 31 – September 1) is going to be one for the books. You’ll want to save the date — heck, block off the whole month — for this epic celebration. It may be your only chance to party Woodstock-style (while, you know, not breaking any laws).
From vintage antique shops to cool coffee locales and a historic downtown, wonderful Waxahachie has so much to offer DFW denizens and visitors from beyond. Crossroads is the perfect example: an April weekend festival offering the cream of the crop of Texas made music and films. In addition to shows by Ray Wylie Hubbard and Dallas soul singer Bobby Patterson, this year’s Crossroads will feature film screenings of Boyhood, No Country for Old Men, and Ethan Hawke’s Austin-based Blaze.
Look no further than JMBLYA for proof of just how far the DFW festival scene has come. Just like Fortress Fest, JMBLYA’s lineups seem ripped from the headlines of my dreams. The annual hip hop fest brought Chance the Rapper and Migos to the metroplex in 2017, and this year’s event features Travis Scott and Lil Wayne. Head to Dallas‘ Fair Park this May for a day of awesome music, months before Big Tex arrives.
Only the arts and culture haven that is Denton, TX could host an event as special as Arts & Jazz Festival. The annual April fest brings free music to the masses with a fun and family friendly outdoor concert replete with regional and national acts. You’ll join countless music and arts lovers for a springtime soiree at Denton’s Quakertown Park — an expansive venue filled with six stages of elite jazz performers and open displays of live art.
The aptly named Homegrown Festival always features an all-Texas lineup, but this year’s event is special. As they turn ten this April, the festival is offering a “Greatest Hits” celebration that will bring past headliners like Toadies and Tripping Daisy back to Dallas‘ Main Street Garden Park for a celebration of where they’ve been and where they’re going. Former fest performers will be joined by a lineup that mixes revered local acts like Pearl Earl with internationally recognized performers like Marc Rebillet.
Photos, films and music — oh my! Thin Line Fest is a multi-platform event that has unites Oscar-winning films and local luminaries for a one-of-kind celebration of the arts. As a former Denton resident, I’ll always have a special place in my heart for this annual April festival. Created and managed by locals who know Texas arts like the back of their hand, Thin Line is fun, free and as informative as it is entertaining.
Country music fans rejoice: This year’s Frisco fest features the event’s best lineup yet. Luke Bryan, Aaron Watson, Eli Young Band and more will thrill Frisco’s country fans at Toyota Stadium this May. I’m not a huge country fan, but even a terrible Texan like me can appreciate the sheer talent on display at this country music festival.