What You Need To Know About The Most Anticipated Upcoming North Texas Music Fests Of 2018 — From JMBLYA To Warped Tour’s Final Run And Everything In Between.

Whether you enjoy folk, punk, metal, trap or pretty much any other genre of music, there’s at least one festival coming to town this year that you’re going to want to be sure to attend.

And we can prove it! With festival season nigh upon us, we figured we’d put together this handy breakdown of everything you need to know about the fests that are headed North Texas’ way in the coming months.

Before we get started, though, a pro tip: Stay hydrated out there, for real! Every year, tons of people end up having to spend the bulk of a festival inside of a medical tent because they didn’t plan ahead and drink enough water. Turns out dancing for 10 hours straight without any water breaks isn’t the safest thing to do! Listen, the last place anyone wants to be is hooked up to an IV drip as the headliner they came to see is performing — so, please, don’t forget this crucial rule to successful festing, OK?

Now that we’re all on Team Stay Hydrated, let’s jump into the whos, the wheres and the whens of Dallas’ upcoming music fests of note — both big and small.


Deep Ellum Arts Festival.

Date: April 6 to 8.
Location: Right on Main Street, between Malcom X Boulevard and Exposition Avenue.
Who’s Playing: So many people. Maybe too many people? About 200 artist shops will be on display and 100 local bands will perform.
Cost To Get In: It’s free!
What else to know: Each year, DEAF offers Dallasites and the suburbanites who only visit Deep Ellum once a year a great chance to see what the Dallas art and music scenes are supposedly all about. Is it a good representation of the best we have to offer? Nope! But, hey, there are six blocks worth of vendors, and it’s free to attend.

Denton Folk Festival.

Date: April 6 and 7.
Location: The Parker House.
Who’s Playing: The Deer, Levi Cobb & The Big Smoke, Claire Morales, The Straw Hat Society, Matt Grigsby, Issac Hoskins and more.
Cost To Get In: $10 to $25.
What else to know: Hosted by the Denton Songwriters Guild, this second annual offering will feature various songwriters and folk singers from the area. In other words, it’s exactly what it sounds like!

Stoner Jam.

Date: April 7.
Location: Gas Monkey Live.
Who’s Playing: Mothership, Green Beard, Forming The Void, Destroyer of Light, Royal Sons and Mountain of Smoke and more.
Cost To Get In: $10 to $25.
What else to know: While marijuana may still be illegal in the state of Texas, we can all agree that psychedelic rock vibes are alright, alright, alright. Right? That’s the case being made at this event, which features bands like Austin’s Destroyer of Light and Louisiana’s Forming the Void, which are two of the harder-hitting, sludge metal acts to surface in past couple of years. Dallas’ own heavy-hitters in Mothership headline this trip.

Breakaway Music Festival.

Date: April 7.
Location: The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory.
Who’s Playing: Lil Dicky, Rich the Kid, The Lost Boys, Niiko & Swae, YFN Lucci and more.
Cost To Get In: $40.
What Else To Know: Some of the biggest names in hip-hop link up for this day-long offering at Irving’s still-new, million-dollar venue — and for a reasonable price, too. Could that last bit be headliner Lil Dicky’s influence? We can’t say for sure, but we are pretty positive that he approves of the notion.


Acid Koolaid Festival.

Date: April 12 to 15.
Location: Denton.
Who’s Playing: Teenage Sexx, Acid Carousel, Orcanaut, Thin Skin, Botany and more.
Cost To Get In: $20.
What else to know: Been slacking on keeping up with the local scene? This festival, which features some of the cooler up-and-coming acts in the region, provides you with a nice chance to play catch-up. Plus, there’s a little bit of everything on the bill — some great metal acts, a couple really cool punk bands and some soundscape artists who are ready to blow your mind.

Old 97’s County Fair.

Date: April 14.
Location: Main Street Garden Park.
Who’s Playing: Old 97’s, Lord Huron, The Mavericks, Valerie June, The Bottle Rockets, Paul Cauthen, Bastards of Soul and more.
Cost To Get In: $50 to $125.
What Else To Know: In its third year, this charming joint venture from the Old 97’s and the minds behind the Homegrown Music and Arts Festival will feature The Bottle Rockets and The Mavericks linking up with the festival namesakes for some legacy alt-country jams while Lord Huron, Valerie June and Bastards of Soul bring some sonic diversity to the package. Oh, and there’s a giant Ferris wheel, too.

Fortress Festival.

Date: April 28 and 29.
Location: Fort Worth Cultural District.
Who’s Playing: De La Soul, Shabazz Palaces, Father John Misty, Chromeo, Courtney Barnett, Chicano Batman, Rhapsody, WAXAHATCHEE, Rza ft. Stone Mecca and more.
Cost To Get In: $59 to $265.
What Else To Know: In year two, this Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth-set offering boasts a once-again stellar lineup. And impressive feat considering last year’s initial offering included performances from Run The Jewels, Flying Lotus and Slow Dive.


Date: May 4, 2018.
Location: Fair Park.
Who’s Playing: J. Cole, Migos, Cardi B, Kevin Gates, Ski Mask the Slump God, Trippie Redd, Playboi Carti and more.
Cost To Get In: $89 to $349.
What Else To Know: For the sixth year in a row, the biggest names in hip-hop will descend upon Dallas to partake in just the latest of JMBLYA’s impeccably curated offerings. Ever wonder how this festival is able to pull such amazing lineups off year in and year out? It’s because the Scoremore brand behind this fest has established itself over the course of the last decade as the premiere hip-hop booking agency in Texas, if not beyond.

Punk in Drublic.

Date: May 6.
Location: Panther Pavilion.
Who’s Playing: Bad Religion, NOFX, Bad Cop/Bad Cop, Mad Caddies, The Interrupters and more.
Cost To Get In: #39.50 to $99.50
What Else To Know: This touring festival is a 21-and-older affair, so there’s no need to worry about kids getting in the way as you day-drink your way through the 100-plus craft beers that will be available on site and listen to your favorite punk rock bands of yesteryear as you do.

Homegrown Music and Arts Fest.

Date: May 12.
Location: Main Street Garden Park.
Who’s Playing: Explosions in the Sky, The Black Angels, Alvvays, Acid Carousel, Roky Erickson, Sad Cops, Medicine Man Revival and more
Cost To Get In: $42 to $125.
What Else To Know: Always one of our favorite days of the year, the ninth edition of Homegrown promises to be a decidedly psychedelic affair, thanks to the inclusion of Roky Erickson and The Black Angels on the bill. Don’t just show up in time for the headliners, though! The local acts opening up the festivities — Sad Cops, Medicine Man Revival, Duell and Acid Carousel — aren’t to be missed. Neither is the midday reunion set from onetime Deep Ellum indie rock favorites [daryl].

Soluna Festival presents Array.

Date: May 12.
Location: Bomb Factory and Canton Hall.
Who’s Playing: Nas, Jacob Banks, Kaleo, Big Gigantic.
Cost To Get In: $68 to $153.
What Else To Know: OK, so this one is crazy ambitious. For one night, four touring musicians will come to town to collaborate with various Dallas ensembles for one-time-only performances. Nas will perform with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Big Gigantic will team up with the Dallas Mavericks Drumline, Kaleo will link with the Dallas Neo-Classical Ballet, and Jacob Banks will join the Booker T. Washington High School Gospel Choir. Hell, even the free-to-get-into art portion of this event that’s happening simultaneously at Canton Hall next door sounds worth paying for, as area artists Sheryl Anaya, Mattheiu Brooks, Alejandra Lara Camargo, Jordan Castilleja, Jeremy McKane, Carmen Menza, Darcy Neal, James Talambas and Tramaine Townsend are each slated fill the newest addition to the Deep Ellum venue landscape with immersive installations.

Elm St. Tattoo and Music Festival.

Date: May 18 to 20.
Location: All along Elm Street. Pick a venue, really.
Who’s Playing: Ben Nichols & Friends, Riverboat Gamblers, Lower Class Brats, Days N Daze, The Old Firm Casuals and more.
Cost To Get In: Prices vary on a performance-by-performance basis.
What Else To Know: Initially launched as a tattoo and music festival in equal measure, this year’s version of the fest continues on its path toward focusing more on the tattoo part of things. But, even so, the slightly less-emphasized music portion, filled with close friends of the festival’s namesake tattoo shop, is still really impressive.

Outlaw Music Festival.

Date: June 30.
Location: Starplex Pavilion.
Who’s Playing: Willie Nelson, Sturgill Simpson, Ryan Bingham, Edie Brickell & The New Bohemians, The Head & The Heart, Wild Feathers and more.
Cost To Get In: $35 to $199.50.
What Else To Know: Oh, just one of the greatest country artists ever, top a bill featuring the best country acts going these days. Oh, and as a nice added bonus, Deep Ellum icons Edie Brickell & The New Bohemians have been added to the Dallas stop of this touring deal.

Vans Warped Tour.

Date: July 6.
Location: Starplex Pavilion.
Who’s Playing: Reel Big Fish, 30H!3, Mayday Parade, Bowling For Soup, Twiztid and more.
Cost To Get In: $45.
What Else To Know: It’s the last-ever Vans Warped Tour! If you were ever an angsty teenager who enjoyed pop-punk, ska or just being super edgy — or maybe if you still are — then this is your final chance to see some of the big names of the late ’90s and early 2000s doing it up like they did back then. Relive the phase some of us would like to forget, while rocking out along a crowd of people who will forever remember.

Cover photo of JMBLYA 2017 by Breanna Loose.

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