Spoon, Polyphonic Spree & Sparta Among The Acts Slated To Play Dallas’ Buffalo Tree Festival In Support Of Beto O’Rourke, Lupe Valdez & Others On October 7.
In an effort to push Texas voters to the polls, a massive lineup of musicians and speakers will gather in Downtown Dallas just two days prior to the October 9 deadline to register to vote in the upcoming November 6 elections.
Hosted at Main Street Garden Park on Sunday, October 7, the upstart Buffalo Tree Festival will feature speeches from some 30 or so Texas Democratic party political hopefuls, including U.S. Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke, gubernatorial candidate Lupe Valdez and U.S. Congressional hopeful Colin Allred.
It will also feature concerts from such notable Texas music acts as Austin indie rock icons Spoon, venerable Dallas chamber-rock favorites The Polyphonic Spree, influential El Paso post-punk band Sparta, Latin Grammy-nominated Dallas norteño act La Energía Norteña, revered Dallas indie singer-songwriter Sarah Jaffe, buzzing Dallas political rapper Bobby Sessions and Houston pop-rock outfit The Tontons.
The event will run from noon until 10 p.m. Tickets to the affair, which can be purchased in advance here, will run $10. Proceeds will go toward future editions of the Buffalo Tree Festival, which organizers hope to turn into an annual marriage of music and political activism in Downtown Dallas. Attendees under the age of 17 will be admitted onto the grounds free of charge.
The Buffalo Tree Festival is the brainchild of Dallas musician Dylan Silvers (These Machines Are Winning, Sunshine, Village, The Polyphonic Spree, [DARYL] and more), who is putting it together along with help from his [DARYL] bandmate Michael Lamm, the organizers behind the Homegrown Music & Arts Festival and the Dallas County Democratic Party.
The name of the event is inspired by a children’s book and Sunshine Village album Silvers wrote called The Buffalo Trees Saved the Children of the Sun, which tells a story of young people rising up to combat and topple a government war machine. Says Silvers: “After seeing groups like March For Our Lives step up and take action, I decided to do whatever I could as an artist to help the cause on the ground, and not just on paper.” (Silver’s Sunshine Village project will also perform as part of the day’s festivities.)
Co-organizer Lamm describes the event succinctly: “The Buffalo Tree Festival is a merging of music and political activism to inspire the disenfranchised, uninformed and new voter to make their voice heard on November 6.”
Despite clear political leanings in its speak lineup, organizers say the goal of the fesitval is not so much to push a political agenda as to make sure that eligible voters are registered to cast their ballots come the November election. To that end, the event will feature at least 100 voter registration volunteers from such organizations as MoveOn.org and Jolt Texas scattered throughout its grounds all day long.
“We hope to get hundreds, if not thousands, of people registered to vote, fired up and headed to the polls,” says Homegrown Fest founder Josh Florence, whose team will be producing the Buffalo Tree event.
The event will feature a layout and production format similar to that of the Homegrown Fest and its sister Old 97’s County Fair event, with vendor booths lining the edges of Main Street Garden Park as speakers and musicians perform from a stage located at one of the park’s ends. In line with the spirit of the event, those booths will be dominated by various nonprofit and political activist organizations, among them Moms Demand Action, the Coalition of Black Democrats, the Next Generation Action Network, the League of Progressive Voters and the Human Rights Campaign.
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For Florence and his Homegrown Festival team, teaming up with Silvers’ concept was an easy call.
“Just like most people, we can see and feel that the world is broken and divided in a lot of ways, lacking love, compassion, grace and forgiveness,” Florence says. “When Dylan presented us his vision, it was clear to us that Buffalo Tree Festival was a way we could put our skills to work and try and help change some of those things in Texas. We were tired of sitting on the sidelines.”
Adds Dallas County Democtraic Party chair Carol Donovan: “The Dallas County Democratic Party is proud to partner with the Buffalo Tree Festival to combine the determination of Democrats with the talents of our county’s homegrown performers. This October 7 concert will focus on young Democrats and provide a fun forum for new voters to register to vote for the November 6 election.”
Buffalo Tree Festival 2018’s Confirmed Music Lineup To Date:
The Polyphonic Spree
La Energia Norteña
Mariachi Damas de Oro
Fishing for Japan
Buffalo Tree Festival 2018’s Confirmed Speaker Lineup To Date:
U.S. Senator candidate Beto O’Rourke
U.S. Representative District 5 candidate Dan Wood
U.S. Representative District 24 candidate Jan McDowell
U.S. Representative District 30 re-election candidate Eddie Bernice Johnson
U.S. Representative District 32 candidate Colin Allred
U.S. Representative District 33 re-election candidate Marc Veasey
Governor candidate Lupe Valdez
Lieutenant Governor candidate Mike Colllier
Comptroller of Public Accounts candidate Joi Chevalier
Justice, Supreme Court, Place 6 candidate Kathy Cheng
State Board of Education District 12 candidate Suzanne Smith
State Board of Education District 13 candidate Aicha Davis
State Senator District 2 candidate Kendall Scudder
State Senator District 8 candidate Mark Phariss
State Senator District 16 candidate Nathan Johnson
State Senator District 23 re-election candidate Royce West
State Representative District 102 candidate Ana-Maria Ramos
State Representative District 105 candidate Thresa “Terry” Meza
State Representative District 108 candidate Joanna Cattanach
State Representative District 113 candidate Rhetta Andrews Bowers
State Representative District 114 candidate John Turner
State Representative District 115 candidate Julie Johnson
State Representative District 112 candidate Brandy K Chambers
Chief Justice, 5th Court of Appeals District candidate Robert Burns
Justice, 5th Court of Appeals, Pl 2 candidate Robbie Partida-Kipness
Justice, 5th Court of Appeals, Pl 5 candidate Erin Nowell
Justice, 5th Court of Appeals, Pl 9 candidate Bill Pedersen
Justice, 5th Court of Appeals, Pl 10 candidate Amanda Reichek
Justice, 5th Court of Appeals, Pl 11 candidate Cory Carlyle
Justice, 5th Court of Appeals, Pl 12 candidate Ken Molberg
Justice, 5th Court of Appeals, Pl 13 candidate Leslie Lester Osborne
Dallas County Sheriff candidate Marian Brown
Dallas County District Attorney candidate John Creuzot
The Buffalo Tree Festival takes place on Sunday, October 7, at Main Street Garden Park in Downtown Dallas. Tickets are $10. Head here for more information.