Denton Rock Lottery Announces 20th Anniversary Lineup

Now that fall is upon us, it’s time to face the holiday season – but before Thanksgiving or even Halloween, there is a date that co-organizer Chuck Crosswhite calls a “Denton holiday” – the Rock Lottery.

The Rock Lottery was born into this world as a fundraiser organized by Good/Bad Art Collective in 1997. Since then the event has raised over 45K for various charities, and hosted over 800 musicians in the fabric confines of the very same hat that will grace Dan's Silverleaf on October 14th. The Rock Lottery entered a small hiatus in the early 2000s, making 2017 the 20th year since its invention, but making this October's celebration only the 16th time the event has been held in Denton. There have been sister events in Seattle, Brooklyn, and soon: Los Angeles. The likes of Father John Misty, My Morning Jacket, Brave Combo, and many more have participated in these events – all spawned from a singular event once held at Denton’s very own Argo.

The premise? The names of 25 musicians are put into a hat. Over breakfast, at 10:00am the morning of the show, names are pulled in groups of 5 to form 5 randomized bands. These lottery-based bands then have 12 hours to form a band, practice, and create 3-5 songs (with a strict one cover song limit) for a show at 10:00pm that very night.

“We try to have a nice mix of musical styles, backgrounds and ages,” says Crosswhite, who explained that once a musician participates in the Rock Lottery, that musician is incapable of returning until a ten-year mark in the event’s history – so any musician that has participated since RL10 will not be able to participate until RL20. “This process,” Crosswhite says, “creates a system that brings in new, younger musicians, which is what I love about it.”

One of the 25 participants this year, César Velasco, drummer of Thin Skin, is excited for what he calls “the best playdate ever.” The very structure of the Rock Lottery pushes musicians beyond their personal and musical boundaries, and since its inception, RL has aimed at inspiring community-building and experimentation between local musicians. “I’m mainly excited to play something that is entirely different to anything that I’ve been doing in the past years,” Velasco says.

RL16 20th Anniversary Celebration will also include live screen-printing from Denton-based company Pan Ector, as well as same-day posters for the newly formed bands. Proceeds from t-shirt and poster sales will benefit KUZU 92.9FM, Denton’s non-profit, community-funded radio station. “We think it’s amazing that Denton has a short-wave radio station that is complete our own, and we are incredibly glad to be partnering with them in order to help them stay on the airwaves,” Crosswhite says.

For the full experience, Crosswhite recommends a morning ticket that includes a breakfast from Denton’s own Chef Pam – who has been cooking for the Rock Lottery since it was the Good/Bad Art Collective. “She’s as much of a tradition as the Lottery itself,” Crosswhite adds. Morning doors open at 9:30am, with tickets running at $20 for both breakfast and the evening show. Tickets can be bought on Prekindle.

The event was organized by Chuck Crosswhite, Andi Harman, Shashenka Lopez, Lance Martin, Scott Porter and Ryan Williams, with assistance from Martin Iles and Chris Weber – sounds for the event will be provided by none other than KUZU itself.

More information can be found on the Facebook event page.


Participating musicians:

Sudie Abernathy  Sudie | Tyler Adams  Pinebox Serenade | Ellie Alonzo  Sunbuzzed | Josh Berthume | Stephanie Burns  Lizzie Boredom | Chelsey Danielle  Pearl Earl | Danny Diamonds | Daniel Francis Doyle  Early Lines | Jabari English  Lil Durt | Torry Finley  Tornup | Teddy Georgia Waggy  Midnight Opera | Ian Hamilton  Nervous Curtains | John Hodge  Razorbumps | Dale Jones  New Science Projects | Dahlia Knowles  Lorelei K | Randall Minick  Felt & Fur | Nick Norris  Bonnie & Nick | Alan Painter  Black Sea | Priya Patel  Silk Shaft | Katie Reese  Thin Skin | Trent Reeves  Mink Coats | Bella Scott  Mimisiku/Frejyalune | Brad Steiger  Barbara Black | Avery Taylor  Kira Jari | César Velasco  Thin Skin

Header image photographed by Emily Cline
Header image by Christopher Rodgers

Mallory Frenzarock lottery, RL16