A music festival organizer came to the White Rock Lake Task Force meeting with an idea to host a music festival at Winfrey Point at White Rock Lake.
Brandt Wood, an M Streets neighbor and co-founder of the Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival in Franklin, Tennessee, pitched the idea to the task force, saying he had submitted a permit application with the City of Dallas. As of this morning, that application has been withdrawn, and Wood is no longer considering Winfrey Point as a potential festival site.
Wood, the principal of Woodhouse, shared his vision with the task force, emphasizing that his proposal was really just an idea.
His presentation at the meeting came months after Wood approached Dallas Park and Recreation with the idea to put on an event at Winfrey Point, and the park department had already said no to the idea.
“This is a fantastic site for a proper music festival,” Wood told the task force. “A proper music festival is one that is very well-run, that partners with the stakeholders, that puts public safety first, and it has a great eye for music, for food, for beverage, for craft-makers.”
From the start, Wood acknowledged that there are some “disruptive elements” that go along with a music festival — traffic, noise, etc. — but that through partnerships with the community, these issues can be dealt with.
Wood said it took over a year of meetings with stakeholders in Tennessee to get permission to use The Park at Harlinsdale, a century-old horse farm with natural amphitheaters and scenic views, as the festival site.
And that’s the kind of process he said would happen in Dallas, with White Rock Lake neighborhoods, stakeholders, city leaders and others.
“I don’t think this happens without people having some serious concerns and questions,” he said. “Then I think you go and address those, and you try to build comfort.”
He also stressed how vendors and musical acts would be carefully curated, and how the size of the festival would be controlled. Festivals can boost the local economy, he said, adding that Pilgrimage festival has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the nonprofit Friends of Franklin Parks, as well as other charitable groups. A festival at White Rock Lake could benefit local nonprofit groups, Wood said.
After Wood explained his idea, the task force members, who represent neighborhoods and organizations around the lake, started asking questions. Where would everyone park? What would prevent noise from disturbing nearby residents? What would protect the Blackland prairie grasses that surround Winfrey Point?
Wood responded to the questions, but no task force members expressed excitement about having a festival at Winfrey Point. In the end, since the permit application has been withdrawn, the issues the task force members brought up won’t need to be addressed.