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Site and sound changes for Fort Worth Music Festival

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Fort Worth Music Festival

4 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday

Panther Island Pavilion, Fort Worth

$20-$95; prekindle.com


Posted 10:56am on Thursday, May. 16, 2013

The Fort Worth Music Festival continues its evolution this year, moving to a new location, adding a third stage and, for the first time, taking place in May rather than September.

It has been a gradual shift for the two-day event formerly known as Jazz by the Boulevard, which was rebranded as the Fort Worth Music Festival in 2011.

For festival co-producer Marsha Milam, the relocation from the Will Rogers Auditorium lawn to just outside downtown Fort Worth served two purposes.

“As much as we loved the lawn at Will Rogers and how charming and wonderful and kind of a definitive Fort Worth place it was, being on the river with the city skyline in the background — it’s perfect,” Milam says. “Part of [the move] was financial, and part of it was just it’s such a stunning location. As much as we loved Will Rogers, this really created a different avenue for us, especially as we became a broader, more inclusive festival.”

The most significant change to the festival, apart from its physical location, has been its creative focus, which has effectively eliminated jazz from its bookings (although there are still traces evident: Galactic, Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band are influenced by the genre) and instead focused on Fort Worth’s fertile local scene along with national rising stars with roots in country and rock.

Some of the can’t-miss acts taking the stage at this year’s FWMF include buzzy rap-pop troubadour ZZ Ward, soulful singer Allen Stone and moody New York rockers the Walkmen. Area bands to check out include elder statesmen Old 97’s, the Orbans, the Longshots, Quaker City Night Hawks and the Will Callers.

Attendees can bring canned food — for people or pets — to donate (cash donations will also be accepted).

“The Fort Worth Community Food Bank feeds people, but they also feed pets,” Milam says. “We were looking for a charity or an organization … and also wanted to do something with animals, and we found out the Fort Worth Community Food Bank did that, so that’s our beneficiary.”

For a full schedule and complete ticket information, visit www.fwfest.com.

— Preston Jones

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