Almost everyone walks to the Jagoe house.
I parked at the visitor lot at Citi Park and met up with my friends, who are frequently on the house show scene. They’d invited me to Jagoe Fest telling me it was 30 bands over the course of 3 days. The Jagoe house often puts on shows during the year, but Jagoe Fest was like their ACL. A weekend full of local Dentonites playing music and selling art. I’d never gone to a show at Jagoe before, so I decided to join them in the hope of knocking something off my Denton bucket list.
On Friday night, my friends and I took the winding concrete walk from Citi Park to the Jagoe house. Situated across the street from Mr. Chopsticks, Jagoe is almost completely shut off from the road at first glance. Visitors are encouraged to park nearby in pre-picked spaces or to walk from campus. If you’re ever confused on how to get to Jagoe house, just stand in the Mr. Chopsticks/Howdy Doody parking lot and listen for the music. It’ll lead you there in no time.
When we got to the house, we entered through the back. On the ground, you could clearly see a faded dirt road where so many others had walked in order to make it to Jagoe. We checked in at the table, which was much more organized than I had expected. The hosts were working quickly and efficiently, but making small talk with the concert goers filing in, asking which acts they were excited about and whether or not it was their first time at the fest.
I made it past the table to the backyard of the house, and was instantly surprised by how massive it was. There were white lights strung around the trees and roof of the house, and scattered across the yard were gathered groups of people mingling, laughing and truly living the night.
And the thing is, I think that was the best part of the festival.
Yes, I got to listen to some incredible local music. Wesley Jensen played an intimate acoustic set outside, really bringing the magic of the night and white lights to life. Then there were bands with clever guitar riffs like Hikes, or Terra Collective who got the crowd dancing inside of the house with their jazzy spin on lo-fi rock. After their set, I can now say I’ve witnessed a mosh pit in a living room; yet another thing off my Denton bucket list.
And while all the musicians were unique in their own style of genre or mood, it was the crowd that stood out the most to me. Every single person had an air of freedom and acceptance about him or her. I talked to more strangers that night than I had at any other party in my college career. There wasn’t that heavy sense of awkwardness you feel when you walk into a place and don’t know anyone. At Jagoe, it was just pure excitement. Everyone was there because they had one thing in common- their love for music. And this love translated to the people around them.
On the hazy walk back to my car at Citi Park, I kept thinking about the interesting people I’d met. I thought, how amazing that music had the power to bring so many people together. Even though I may never see these people or bands again, I know that my memory of Jagoe itself will not quickly fade.
So if you’re in Denton and feel like catching some groovy music or meeting some fascinating characters then take a stroll by Scripture St. and listen for the music. Follow the dirt road and get ready for a night you won’t regret.