5 Tips to Have the Best Time at Denton Arts & Jazz Festival This Weekend

Ah, spring time in Denton. It is a time of year when we shake out our picnic blankets and post up around town in our favorite grassy spots to enjoy the mild weather and sparkling sunshine. We come together as if it has been months since we saw each other last. Spring time in Denton may as well be our second New Year celebration, and what better way to kick off a new year than with the party of all parties – the two and a half-day event we all know and love, Denton Arts and Jazz Festival.

In its 36th year, the Denton Arts and Jazz Festival is a staple in our quaint music loving community. Located in historic Quakertown Park, Arts and Jazz Fest is an incredible collaborative effort put together by thousands of volunteers and festival organizers with a focus on visual and performing arts. This year's festival boasts seven stages which will feature a variety of local and national talent spanning several genres, an impressive spread of artists with everything from paintings, sculptures, and jewelry for sale, as well as countless food vendors serving up festival delights for our beer soaked and sun tanned taste buds.

Known simply as “Jazz Fest” to the common Dentonite, the weekend-long celebration is free and has been created, and curated, for people of all ages. A true family affair, the festival hosts a variety of activities for children and families, such as face painting, inflatables, and a playground. A Children's Art Tent, Wood Tent, and a Percussion Petting Zoo will be featured attractions if you have any little ones in your life.  

The music kicks off as early as 5:00 pm on Friday evening, and will continue well into Sunday evening. There will be two, yes, count them – two opportunities to experience the University of North Texas' famed One O'Clock Lab Band, and sticking with tradition, Denton's very own, Brave Combo, will headline the Wells Fargo/Budweiser Stage at 7:00 pm on Sunday. Bring the whole family, and do not miss your opportunity to chicken dance your way into spring and summer with your fellow Dentonites!

Never been to Jazz Fest? Here are a few helpful tips and tricks to enhance your weekend experience.

1. Park and walk. Hundreds of thousands of people will be descending upon our fair town this weekend. Your best chance for less stress and more fun is to park in a nearby neighborhood or designated area and walk to the park. If parking and walking are not feasible options, try taking advantage of Denton's latest transportation opportunities by utilizing the Uber and Lyft applications for your smartphone.

2. Pack light! While the festival does allow you to bring outside food and drinks, coolers are not allowed at the main stage – so don't even bother. Blankets, chairs, hats, comfy shoes, sunscreen, and water are Jazz Fest essentials if you want to enjoy a full day and night of art and music.

3. Let's face it. Jazz Fest has grown a great deal over the years, and patience is a virtue! It can take a chunk of time to cross the bridges around the park so if there is a particular performance you wish to see on a particular stage it is wise to prepare accordingly or take a different route around the park. 

4. There are two gas stations, one located on Bell and the other on McKinney, where you can purchase outside snacks or beverages. Remember – no coolers at the main stage – so only bring in what you are willing and able to carry. (And, please, clean up after yourself!)

5. While Jazz Fest is a family friendly event, only registered service furry friends are allowed. Please keep all dogs and pets at home.

The most important thing to remember when it comes to Denton Arts and Jazz Festival is to HAVE FUN! See and experience as much local and national art as possible. Soak in the times with family and friends, and support our thriving artistic community. Have a great Jazz Fest weekend, and happy springtime in Denton, y'all!