Scenes From The Sixth Annual (And First Indoor) Homegrown Music and Art Festival.
Well, despite the forecast, it didn’t really rain on Saturday. Not until the sixth annual Homegrown Music and Art Festival was over, anyway.
So all of the effort, all of those headaches, all of that worst-case-scenario preparation — ultimately, it was somewhat for naught.
Still, it was clearly the smart, and right, move: Out in Fort Worth, the beer-cum-music fest that is Untapped went ahead outdoors as planned on Saturday only to see its festivities cut short due to rain and lightning; meanwhile, closer to home at Gexa Energy Pavilion in Fair Park, Lana Del Rey too saw her headlining set canceled because of weather concerns.
So, sure, it’s possible that, by sticking to its guns and staying place at its outdoor home at Main Street Garden Park, Homegrown could’ve avoided a similar fate while retaining all the outdoor, family-friendly charms for which it’s become so adored. But the sheer possibility of that kind of demise? Retrospect shows that it was still worth circumventing. Because, in this better-safe-than-sorry scenario, the show was guaranteed to completely go on — all the way from start to finish.
Sure, by most any barometer, that made it a different kind of Homegrown — there were very few kids this time around, no dogs whatsoever and no Downtown Dallas skyline views at which to gawk — but, even though there was only one stage here as opposed to the original two and even though the day thus took a little longer to complete, it still happened. And it was still a fun, daylong, well-soundtracked celebration of Texas music (and, sure, to a much lesser degree, the local merchants who lined the venue’s walls).
Plus, hey, there was air conditioning! And, you could certainly argue that, sound-wise at least, it was even better than it would’ve been at Main Street Garden Park: Outdoor shows almost never sound great; at the Bomb Factory, where the P.A. isn’t rented but part of the venue infrastructure, that was never much of a concern.
Headliners Spoon, for instance, sounded downright crisp throughout their tightly wound, 90-minute offering of modern-day indie rock classics. Same goes, too, for the local alt-country heroes in the Old 97’s, whose 70-minute set somehow felt too short.
Meanwhile, the day’s earlier performers got to experience the thrill of doing something they maybe never quite expected to experience at this point: They got the chance to play the still-new, still-massive, still-very-impressive Deep Ellum venue, just as the fans who hadn’t yet seen the space got to use Homegrown as an excuse to check it out for the first time.
No, it wasn’t the outdoor venture initially pitched, but the venue managed to remain a draw. Indeed, if there was a winner to crown — past the organizers themselves — for Homegrown’s sixth go, it was for sure the Bomb Factory itself, which, fortunately for all involved parties, was able to staff up at the last minute for this previously un-booked night in its schedule. Good thing, too: Organizers confirm that there was an uptick in ticket sales once the new venue for Homegrown was announced.
And why not? It guaranteed that there’d be no raining — neither metaphoric nor literal — on Homegrown’s parade.
But was it the same? Honestly, no, not quite, even if still pretty great.
Spoon frontman Britt Daniel, who’d previously headlined Homegrown just two years ago alongside his Divine Fits bandmates, maybe summed that sentiment up best.
“This is a great festival,” he said as Spoon’s set and the fest at large approached its end. “But I sincerely hope it gets to be outside next year. It’s beautiful out there.”
Well, more beautiful. But otherwise, yeah, spot on.