North Texas Daily

Denton needs a larger, stronger concert venue

Denton needs a larger, stronger concert venue

Denton needs a larger, stronger concert venue
February 02
23:38 2015

The Editorial Board

Denton city planners should develop the city in such a way that a larger music venue can be built. Lil’ D is branding itself as a Texas attraction. To accommodate that image, steps should be made to attract more widely known performers by creating a larger arena, staffed with marketing and other business teams to ensure shows and festivals are consistently booked.

Large audience opportunities are what bring in the biggest names. Imagine Denton with a stage like House of Blues Dallas or the South Side Ballroom. Denton’s already robust musical scene would likely expand, attracting new audiences and increasing the potential revenue for the town.

Denton bands and venues do create a fly atmosphere, and some are regarded among the best spots in the state. BuzzFeed recently published “14 Texas music venues that put life into live music.” Rubber Gloves was No. 1 on that list, and Dan’s Silverleaf was No. 9.

Denton will gain more media attention with larger venues, attracting bigger-name artists with a larger fan-following, not just those that got their start in Denton and stop back home for a show.

UNT needs to continue to explore partnerships with the city to make things like this easier. Plans to construct a new hotel and convention center were developed by the city and UNT. However, President Neal Smatresk told editors during an interview circumstances changed when UNT questioned the monetary return on the land it would provide, which was to be across Interstate 35 from the main campus, on the hill behind Apogee Stadium.

The Super Pit is not ideal for an alternative venue because of its obvious space and aging flaws. Smatresk said the arena could use a face-lift in the future, but did not detail a timeline. That face-lift for the Super Pit could benefit the city in attracting more artists to a growing student population.

The construction of such a location could coexist with the city’s 2030 growth plan. Denton residents are feeling the effects of the plan with road improvements currently underway.

In the plan, city officials identify its failure to keep up with the rapid growth. As the city now catches up, why not take a more proactive step and build a top-notch performance venue?

Lil’ D could be something more. The brand is something people enjoy, and it’s an effective way to sell the city. A large venue would push the Lil’ D message, cultivating a respectable relationship between big business money and small town soul and creativity on which Denton thrives. Maybe we don’t want to be a smaller Dallas or a smaller Austin, but a regular-sized Denton.

What happens when crowds let out of shows? People head to the bar and surrounding restaurants. If larger names and more exciting shows could be held in Denton, the town would be developing new markets, welcoming travelers to spend in the city. Newer, more niche business may have a fighting chance in such a competitive market when artists and fans from all over come see what Denton is about.

What makes Denton special is not its cozy, small-town vibe; it’s the creativity that people find alluring. People should not fear market growth. Small businesses can remain and keep to their core values, but with more revenue.

We don’t want to taint the local music scene, only allow it to continue to grow. With more artists coming through, talent may be scouted on the regular.

So, the fans, musicians, business owners and residents all benefit? Let’s find the monetary value sooner than later because this is a priority.

Featured Image: The prime location for a music venue would be next to the Square, blending itself into Denton’s music culture. Joining the likes of Dan’s Silverleaf and Rubber Gloves, this new venue would host acts from all over. Photo by Edward Balusek – Visuals Editor

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