Thin Line Fest - A Music, Arts, & Film Festival in Denton
For the last 9 years, Denton has been the host for Thin Line Fest and this is the second year that Thin Line has been a three dimensional festival experience with film, music, and photography. This was our first time to attend Thin Line Fest and we loved it - the films are enlightening, entertaining, and educational; the music is a variety of genres from hip-hop to country; the photography is beautiful; the venues are excellent; and the Denton Town Square which surrounds a beautiful court house is alive with music, people, and restaurants. Thin Line is a 5 day event, which spans six different venues that are the host for over 45 different films; 31 bands, DJs, and singer songwriters; and hundreds of works of art. In addition to all of that, there are panels and workshops, special events and lots more.
"Thin Line" refers to the space between two opposites such as genius and crazy, fact and fiction, beauty and sadness, knowledge and apathy, right and wrong. There are two sides to every issue and the thin line represents the conflict between the two. Therein lies the drama. It can be seen in every documentary film. It can be heard in every musical performance. It can be studied in every photograph. Life is full of thin lines, and we celebrate them."
We thoroughly enjoyed the Thin Line Festival and definitely plan on attending next year. The hardest part of this Festival was studying the program and talking to other people about the films or music and then trying to decide what we wanted to see - or miss - to grab a beer or some food! And in the evening it was tougher because the films and 3 different music venues were happening at the same time. Tough choices! We would bounce from a film to a music venue and back to catch another film. Or we would watch a film and then rush to one or two music venues and one evening we listened to music at all three venues. The films started at various times during the festival and the music typically started around 8:30 and was still going strong at 1:00! By Sunday evening my eyeballs were red and blurry (not sure if it was from the films or late nights and too many beers); my back, neck, and buttocks were sore from sitting in theater seats of up to 10 hours a day; and my tummy was a few inches bigger due to all the great craft beer and burgers, fries, chicken fried steak, and other non healthy choices. But I had a blast.
The Festival is still relatively small and it was easy to find a good seat for any of the films and we were able to get close to the stage at each of the music venues. Ticket prices are reasonable and there are several options ranging from single tickets for a specific film or music venue to day passes to all access passes for film or music or all access passes for all 5 days of music and film. We may have gotten lucky but each day and each time we moved from event to event we had no trouble finding a parking spot within half a block of the venue. You should plan on staying for the entire festival and there are lots of reasonably priced lodging options - we stayed in our motorhome in an RV park about 5 minutes away from the Denton Square.
Here are some of the reason why we loved this Festival and can't wait to attend again next year:
All of the films during Thin Line are at the Campus Theatre which is a half a block off the Denton Town Square. This grand movie house was built in 1949 and seats around 300 people. Every seat in the house has a good view and the acoustics are pretty good.
The music is held at five different venues:
The photography was on display at the Pattereson-Appleton Arts Center and the Golden Triangle Mall.
Thin Line Film is all about documentaries because "real life is indeed more interesting (and more powerful) than fiction; and because the documentary genre has much more depth." The firm part of the festival is broken into feature films that run from sixty minutes to over two hours in length and short films that ran from two minutes to over thirty minutes. The feature films covered everything from investigating climate change (from Oscar nominated Josh Fox)) to exploring the life of an amnesic fantasist to living on Bitcoin currency for over three months to the fight to keep a Texas town alive against the significant decline in the life giving aquifer to a busker fighting to retain his position on his street corner to a trip across country in converted Greyhound bus to attend 11 music festivals and lots more. The topics ranged from educational to inspiring to depressing and from sad to funny creating some laughs and tears, The vast majority of the films were outstanding and a small handful were ho-hum.
I was going to describe each of the fantastic full feature films that we saw but it would have been a 20 page document and you would have been bored within minutes. Over the five days I think I spent over 28 hours watching movies! My bottom and neck and eyeballs were a tad tired by late Sunday evening - but I thoroughly enjoyed almost every minute of it. And can't wait to do it again.
There were over 25 short films that were broken into categories that included films on:
The vast majority of the films were excellent and very enjoyable or enlightening. The good news on the short films is that if we didn't like it, it didn't last that long! And if we didn't like a feature film, we would slip out and enjoy a cold beer or Bloody Mary. After most of the feature films a director, actor, producer or some one closely tied to the film would come on stage for a question and answer session with the audience.
The music at Thin LIne crossed a variety of genres and typically started around 9 or so each evening at one or all four of the music venues. Some of the musicians who played at Dan's Silverleaf included: Bri Bagwell, The BoomBachs,. Micky and the Motorcars, Alejandro Escovedo, Isaac Hoskins & the Glass Mountain Orchestra, and more.
Harvest House had a good mix of rock to funk to reggae with The Effinays, Sonar Light, Heavy Glow, and Poppy Xander.
The music at Andy's and Rubber Gloves was a mix of DJs, MCs, and bands playing rap and hip hop from Your Old Droog, 88 Killa, Fab Deuce, DJ Bubba, Durty Chin and more!
Plus there were a variety of street musicians playing as well as some bands at the local restaurants around the square.
Beautiful photography was on display during the Festival at the Patterson-Appleton Arts Center and the Golden Triangle Mall. The Thin Line Photography Gallery Experience showcased some of the best and most promising local, regional, and national photography talent. There were scores of curated print and digitally-exhibited photographs on display.
Throughout the Festival there were
Thin Line Fest attracts a very diverse fan base and here's a sampling of some of them at the music venue:
Since the Oscars are about to take over the TV, I thought that it was appropriate for us to have our own Thin Line Academy Awards, and the winners are::
If you like a lot of interesting films, a variety of music, and some beautiful photography then you should attend Thin Line Fest next year.
Our thanks go out to the hundreds of volunteers, to Joshua Butler the President and Festival Director, to Mindy Arendt the creative and marketing director, and to all of the Thin Line Festival staff who work very hard to make the festival fun for all of us.
See you next year.