Sara Story, NBCDFW.com
Denton's music festival and conference ramps up Thursday, March 10 through Sunday, March 13, 2011 -- but how will you navigate all the fun? We're here with some helpful tips.
WHAT'S IN A NAME?: The 35 Conferette isn't new -- but the name is. For the first two times out, the festival was called North By 35 or NX35, for short (P.S. all our coverage from last year's fest was tagged with NX35). This year, they're called 35 Conferette, which supposedly refers to it's exististance as a "small conference" along I-35. Whatever you call it -- it's a good time.
PLAY WITH THE BIG BOI(S): Though it's an endevour to support local music and art, this year's "conferette" is pulling some big names in acts like Cut Chemist, Mavis Staples, !!!, and Sunday's showstopper, Big Boi. Check the full schedule before you get ready to go, and make sure you're there earlier for the biggest shows.
GET MORE LOCAL: Still, there's more than enough tremendous talent from our own backyard playing at the festival. Local bands Seryn, The Hope Trust, Sarah Jaffe, RTB2, Telegraph Canyon, Shiny Around the Edges...we really could go on...will all be playing. Heading to one of these shows won't just support local music, it might turn you on to your next favorite band-next-door.
WALKING SHOES: Everything at the Conferette (Yes, even Rubber Gloves, you whiners) is within walking distance of the historic Denton Square. That means you can wander from venue to venue, enjoying the sights and sounds of the event without the need of gas-guzzling, wallet-draining motor vehicles. In other words, you should pack your walking shoes.
WRIST BAND TOGETHER: Like many music fests, 35C has wristbands for sale each day of the event ($50 for Thursday or Friday; $65 for Saturday or Sunday) or you can pull the big four-day band for $85. That'll get you into all the shows -- including the headlining "main stage" shows where Big Boi, Mavis Staples, and others are playing.
WALK-UPS WELCOME?: We'd encourage you to buy a wristband because some of our prime picks are at the wristband-only "main stages," but also so you can just see the shows. Walk-ups may be admitted to some of the indoor venues, but the official word is that the door will give precedence to those with wristbands.
NOT JUST MUSIC: Do not forget the name "conferette" -- as in mini-conference. In fact, the conference portion of the event is a great reason to go, with thinkers and speakers from the DFW area talking about hip-hop, women in rock, "free" music, arts in city development, and the future of DFW. In short, you need to explore the official daytime programming page to understand the depth of neat topics being discussed at the event.