Twice a year, starting back in 2003, Fort Worth South has been putting on an arts festival in the Near Southside community. Businesses throw open their doors and block off their parking lots to host local art, music and sunburns.
No way was I going to miss it.
The party started at 4 pm, and I pulled up around 5. I snagged the last spot in the Chat Room pub parking lot, right in front of the ever-so-tempting Salsa Limon taco trailer. When I lived in this neighborhood it wasn’t even safe to walk here, but 25 years later, Magnolia Ave. had become a street full of music, sounds and art. If I wasn’t there for the music, I would have gone for the people watching – there was none better to be had anywhere in Funkytown. From infants in strollers to retirees every age group was represented, and everyone was having a good time.
But I was here for the music, and it was everywhere. Walking the street I saw KatsüK, Elle and Richard Hurley, Paul Dawson, Josh Irwin, and Scott Vernon. Bad Creek was performing in the Avoca parking lot, and with Fort Worth Sound running the PA they weren’t plagued by the issues they had when we last checked in with them. I enjoyed a few tunes before moving down the road.
At Sinaca (a school for glass blowers), we got to sit on bleachers and watch them make art from molten glass – while listening to Walker & the Texas Dangers play in the parking lot.
Keegan McInroe was playing underground at Hutson Creative down the street, and while I wanted to sit on the stairs and listen, I knew there was more happening further down.
Somewhere around the Yucatan Taco Stand I started hearing that distinctive voice of Hayden Miller of The Frisky Disco reverberating down the street. When I finally made it down to Shinjuku Station, where they were performing, it was quite the spectacle. They were set up behind a vintage iron fence, and it was like the rocker exhibit at the zoo. A crowd had formed along the outside of the fence with a few brave souls venturing inside. The band was tearing it up, and I found a seat on some bricks behind the band and watched as passersby stopped and stood transfixed by the music. People of all ages seemed stuck in the groove. Man, I love this band.
Back down the street I found that Keegan had managed to scam a second gig at Shaw's Hamburgers, and Sally Majestic was rocking it out back at Sinaca.
There is so much to love at Arts Goggle, and I wished I had mapped out my day a little better. I would have liked to hear a see a full show from every one of the musicians I heard.
There was a real sense of neighborhood and community here. This is due, in part, to the fact that real local artists can afford to display their wares, and real original local musicians can get a spot. Our other big “Arts Festival” could learn a thing or two. At the end of the night I didn’t want to go home, I felt I already was there.
Art’s Goggle is held twice a year, and the next one is Oct. 13th. For more information, check out http://www.fortworthsouth.org/community/events/arts-goggle/