The Dentonite's Guide to Band Together Denton

Is there a better time than Festival Time in Denton? There’s a little more spring in everyone’s step, a little more beer in everyone’s belly, and a general spirit of excitement and anticipation. It’s only been about four months since Oaktopia but here we are, ready and impatient for Band Together Denton to begin. How the time flies.

Speaking of Oaktopia, The Dentonite covered the 2016 fest’s activities pretty thoroughly—and in the process, we learned a lot about our preparedness levels, our livers, and ourselves. Festivals big and small can take a lot out of you. Navigating large crowds of people can be stressful or outright crazy. In the midst of it all, it’s easy to forget the details. For your sake (and for ours), here are some tips and general Qs and As to ensure that your BTD weekend is the best it possibly can be.

What do I need in order to enter the festival?
First, you need to make sure that you’ve purchased your ticket. Once you’ve bought that, you just need to visit your first venue to pick up your wristband. People working the door will have a list of names to check off, so you may want to bring your ID to ensure that pickup goes smoothly. (It’s generally a good idea to have that with you anyhow.) But don’t forget: online ticket sales end tonight, January 19th, at midnight. After that, you’ll need to visit a venue in person and buy your ticket at the door. Once you’ve got your wristband you’ve got free reign of the venue or festival for the rest of the day—or the rest of the weekend, depending on which tier ticket you’ve purchased.

What should I do to prepare for BTD?
We weren’t kidding about how much we learned about our livers at Oaktopia 2016. Dehydration is real, and we highly recommend you combat it: bring some water to counteract whatever drink you’re guzzling. (Water is also good for overheating and hand-washing, should you be unable to find a sink.) We also recommend wearing sturdy closed-toe shoes, dressing in layers (houses get hot; the outside gets cold), and keeping your charged phone close to you at all times. Band-aids, hair ties, and bottle openers are good ideas. It’s never a bad idea to bring cash—cash for t-shirts, cash for refreshments/snacks on your way to your next venue, cash for taxis, etc. And if you can fit all that stuff into a small backpack or fanny pack, that’s even better.

Is the festival BYOB?
That actually depends on the venue you’re visiting. Glorp Studios, for instance, will not allow drinking at their shows. If you’re unsure whether you’re allowed to drink at a given venue, find a BTD volunteer or venue host and ask them if it’s okay. It’s always a good idea to be polite when you’re inside someone else’s house. Which reminds us…

How should I conduct myself at BTD?
You're inside someone else's house, so try to be on your best behavior. Don’t forget that you’re inside a home that’s being offered up to hundreds of people for two nights of unadulterated DIY bliss. That’s pretty awesome. Let’s all pay it forward and be solid guests.

Which acts should I check out?
There’s a good chance you’ve already heard most (or even all) of the acts on Band Together’s bill. If you haven’t, take a moment to acquaint yourself with the lineup and schedule. There isn’t a bad group on there, and so many genres will be represented: comedy, metal, folk, post-rock, all manner of psychedelia, hip hop, noise, funk, rap, and more. Never heard of one of the groups? Look for their music on Facebook, SoundCloud, or Bandcamp. Super into acts with interactive shows or acts who are fond of crowd participation? Check their pages for videos of past gigs. Getting super pumped for one of the last bands of the night? Give yourself some extra time to get to the venue and secure a good spot. There’s no way to lose here.

Don't believe us? Take it from fest co-founder Tiffany Youngblood: "If I could give one suggestion on how to make the most of Band Together Denton it would be this: don't just go and see the bands you know or that you've heard of. Make an effort to see some you don't know," she suggests. "Yes, this is a festival, but it's also house shows, and house shows are nothing if not a great way to check out some up-and-coming talent and introduce yourself to your next favorite band. Take advantage of the opportunity that Band Together Denton is giving you and check out the range of talent it's offering up."

We’re excited for everything Band Together Denton has to offer. If you’ve got questions or concerns, consult one of the lovely fest volunteers. Be safe, be courteous, don’t drive drunk, and drink in all the Denton DIY you can.

 Header image design by Brittany Keeton