Sorting Through The 46 Best- And Worst-Named North Texas Music Festivals.
Welcome to Ranked, a new, recurring column where we take a long, hard look at oddly specific things pertaining to Dallas and tell you the order in which you should care about them.
And now we can add to the several dozen music fests that have already gone down this year the impending inaugural Mattress Firm Music Festival which will see bands perform in the Cotton Bowl during the State Fair of Texas' run for the first time in a decade.
That's cool and all, we guess. But that name? Yeeeeeeeeeesh.
Still, it got us thinking: If that's not the worst-named fest in town of the year, what is? Here, we've decided to categorize and rank the names of 46 other North Texas music festivals, from worst to first, with the understanding that, clearly, this Mattress Firm deal is the unquestioned worst one we've ever come across.
8. Overly Generic Names.
Examples: Fort Worth Rock Assembly, Richardson Wildflower Festival, Pegasus Music Festival, Radfest, H2O Festival, Meltdown Festival, Bedford Blues & BBQ Fest, Dallas Indie Festival.
Here are a bunch of fests with names that include words that don't carry any real weight or convey anything about what's going to go on at the event. But, hey, they're not going to offended anyone, either. Real talk: Haven't we all overused the word “indie” enough over the past decade to render it completely meaningless by now?
7. Strictly Location-Based Names.
Examples: Deep Ellum Arts Festival, Oak Cliff Music Festival, White Rock Lake Festival, Fort Worth Music Festival.
You may not glean any info about the nature of these fests from their names alone, but at least you'll where to look to find out, right? That's kind of a win.
6. Over-the-Top Names.
Examples: Texas Music Revolution, Rock-a-tron 5000, Rageville Festival, The Most Good Music Festival.
We get it. You're more than just a show. You're a festival, dammit! There's not just going to be food trucks, sideshow acts, a dog parade and vendors galore at your event — but you're changing the world, too! At least that's what we gather from these festivals' names.
5. Vaguely Directional Names.
Examples: 35 Denton, Suburbia, Oaktopia, Clearfork Music Festival, Homegrown Music and Arts Festival.
We could have just as easily lumped these in with the other location-based fests, but these guys get bonus points for at least showing a modicum of wit.
4. “It's Our Party” Names.
Examples: King Camelversary, Gorilla vs. Bear Fest, EdgeFest, Mad Decent Block Party, Dia de los Toadies, Chive Fest 2014, 13th Floor Music Fest, Chiptole Cultivate Festival.
If all else fails, just name the fest after yourself. No, really: It's actually not a bad strategy. Anyone who follows these brands and promoters closely enough to head to these affairs probably knows exactly what to expect going in. Meaning? If you're not looking to hang out with thousands of douchebags in “Keep Calm and Chive On” T-shirts, you know exactly which of these to avoid.
3. Pun-tastic Names.
Examples: South by So What, Index Fest, Deep Ellum Big Folkin' Fest, PBR-B-Q, Unsilent Night.
We're staunchly pro-pun here at Central Track, lest every headline we've ever written hasn't given that away.
2. Simple-but-Effective Names.
Exampes: Spillover, March Madness Music Festival, Dallas International Guitar Festival, Elm Street Music and Tattoo Festival.
There's a thin line between coming off generic as hell and simple-yet-classy. But here are a few fests whose names tread that territory rather gracefully. It just goes to show: You don't always have to be over the top to get your point across.
1. Best in Show.
Examples: Lights All Night, Willie's Picnic, Breakaway Festival, Summer Cut, Untapped, Canned, JMBLYA, Thin Line Festival.
Here are the fests that really nailed it in the name department. But what makes these so on-point? Well, the organizers of these fests labored to come up with names that are clever without coming off as insincere, that are punny but not eye-roll-inducingly so, and that subtly nod to what, along with the music, is being celebrated at the fest. Above all, these names seem to invoke some sort of pride. In other words: They're everything the Mattress Firm Music Festival isn't.