The Dallas Art Fair Adds Free Outdoor Concerts: Major Music Coup Ensures Plenty of BuzzBY Matthew Ramirez // 03.15.17
Headlining hip-hop force Sam Lao. (Photo Jeremy Biggers)
Picnictyme in the studio. (Photo courtesy Facebook)
Electronic musician Cygnus mans the boards. (Photo courtesy Facebook)
Party Static. (Photo courtesy Facebook)
Dallas’s signature art event, Dallas Art Fair, has crossed another threshold – they’re adding music programming to the Fair weekend, which opens Thursday, April 6 and runs through Sunday, April 9. Focusing on local, homegrown talent, art critic Lee Escobedo (of Nasher Sculpture Center Magazine, Berlin Art Link, and Art Desk) has curated an eclectic and exciting lineup of performers that will grace the Fashion Industry Gallery (f.i.g.) lawn and entertain its audience of 12,000 international Fair visitors.
Dubbed The Dallas Music Experience and presented by Artist Uprising, where Escobedo works as editor in chief, the happy hour musical programming goes down Friday, April 7, from 4 to 7 pm and will be hosted by contemporary artist Randy Guthmiller.
Headliner Sam Lao is a fierce hip-hop emcee, whose fiery lyrics and vibrant “Pineapple” video were featured in Paper magazine – and she’s picked up a clutch of Dallas Observer music awards too. Other artists include Sealion, a surf-punk band with a devoted Dallas following; Bobby Sessions, a socially conscious lyricist; Party Static, a raucous five-piece punk outfit; electronic and techno producer Cygnus (who’s toured with Autechre, R&B legend Egyptian Lover, Deltron, and RJD2); and producer Picnictyme, who also moonlights as a member of Dallas legend Erykah Badu‘s backing band.
As Escobedo claims, “This event started by asking myself, ‘Why not?'” He goes on: “The Dallas Art Fair brings taste makers from across the globe to Dallas and this event provides the intersectionality between our local art and music communities. I wanted to present the best in Dallas hip-hop, punk, and electronic to a new audience, showcasing Dallas as a premier marketplace for emerging sounds.”
Assisting behind the scenes with booking and sponsors is Dallas music PR maven Amber LaFrance, whose family just acquired the historic Longhorn Ballroom.
Best of all? The outdoors concert experience will be free.
The Fashion Industry Gallery is located at 1807 Ross Ave., in the heart of the Dallas Arts District.
Below: Sam Lao’s eccentric anti-street harassment anthem “Pineapple.”