Rock the Vote

Musicians and politicians unite for downtown Dallas festival and rally

Musicians and politicians unite for downtown Dallas festival and rally

Beto O'Rourke for Senate
Democratic Senate candidate Beto O'Rourke was himself once in a band. Courtesy photo

Texas musicians are coming together with Texas Democratic politicians to play music and get out the vote at an event called the Buffalo Tree Festival, taking place at Main Street Garden in downtown Dallas on October 7.

The festival, which is in partnership with the Dallas County Democratic Party, is a spinoff of the annual Homegrown Festival, which since 2010 has become one of the biggest outdoor music festivals in Dallas-Fort Worth.

But the real driver is musician Dylan Silvers, a member of The Polyphonic Spree, who became determined earlier this year to launch what he calls "one of the biggest Democratic rallies Dallas has ever had downtown."

"We want to inspire people to take action all the way to election day on November 6," he says.

Silvers managed to recruit a wide range of performers including his own band The Polyphonic Spree, Dallas rock star Sarah Jaffe, Austin band Spoon, Bobby Sessions, and more.

He's also attracted appearances from a broad roster of Democratic candidates that include Beto O’Rourke, Colin Allred, Lupe Valdez, and Kim Olson. O'Rourke was in a band back in his high school days in El Paso called Foss.

Other attendees include affiliated nonprofits and causes such as Moms Demand Action, Coalition of Black Democrats, Next Generation League of Progressive Voters, Angie's List, Human Rights Campaign, and more.

Festival-goers can register to vote, enjoy music from roaming mariachi bands, and munch on local food while learning about Texas Democrats. The festival serves as a voter drive since it takes place two days before the last day to register to vote in Texas, which is Tuesday, October 9.

Tickets are $10 or free for anyone 17 and under, and are now on sale. The festival will take place from 12-10 pm.

The Homegrown Festival has attracted up to 6,000 concert goers to its annual shows, and since 2016 has also produced the successful Old 97's County Fair in downtown Dallas.