35 Denton at Risk as Staff and Financial Backer Part Ways

The future of the 35 Denton music festival is unclear as three of its main players depart.

Event director Kyle LaValley says she decided shortly after the event this year to part ways with the festival she has run for several years. Programming Director Natalie Davila also decided 2013 would be her last year with 35 Denton.

Perhaps the most serious blow to the festival though is the loss of its chief financial backer Little Guys Movers.

Kim Phillips, Vice President of the Denton Convention and Visitors Bureau says she isn't quite sure what will become of the festival at this point. She says the DCVB is hopeful this won't be the end of the four-day, multi-stage music event that's become a big draw to the city over the last five years.

"Not so much the number of people that came in," said Phillips. "35 Denton's real impact for our city was in bringing attention to Denton as being the music mecca that we really are."

LaValley says the departures were all on good terms, everyone just needed to try something new. 

As for the festival she says she's keeping in close contact with the folks who are working to take it over and is hopeful they will keep it alive.

"I think that there is still that momentum in the air and that there will definitely be something that will be spawned off of it or hopefully the festival will go on in the future," said LaValley.

She says she can't speculate on what will happen but she hopes to help out as much as she can.

One way she hopes to do that is through a new live music venue downtown called The Hive, which is one of the main reasons she stepped down from the festival.

At 2013's event the 35 Denton crew used the old warehouse for their main stage performances after a rain-out on the outdoor stages. LaValley says she's decided to take on the place full time and create a new place to host large concerts in Denton.

"It'll be the largest venue in this area competing with larger rooms in Dallas," she said. "It certainly has (lended) a lot of the experience I had at 35 Denton."

As for the festival she now used to lead she and the city hope this will only be a set back and not the final bow-out for 35 Denton.

"Now it's kind of at that place where it's time to revisit it, maybe shape it a little more, ya know move it into a new direction, whatever needs to happen," said Phillips.

35 Denton was created in 2005 as an event at Austin's South by Southwest festival. It eventually moved to Denton where it grew over 5 years to hosting about 200 acts in 2013.

LaValley says it’s uncertain whether the event will go on in 2014.

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