This story has been updated to include a corrected festival schedule.
Geezerpalooza — aka the Industrial Street Pop Fest — isn’t the biggest festival in Denton.
But it’s gathered steam over the last seven years, thanks to its simple formula — celebrate the music of the 1960s and ’70s in an approachable, free street fest. Last year, a few hundred came to the festival that sets up shop on Industrial Street in front of Dan’s Silverleaf.
Scott Campbell, one of the event organizers, said the fall music festival started as a way to remember the Texas International Pop Festival, the 1969 Lewisville concert that followed Woodstock by a few weeks. Lewisville just hosted the 50th Anniversary International Pop Festival on Aug. 31-Sept. 1
“We were kind of leeching off of the Lewisville pop fest,” Campbell said. “A group of us were hanging out at Dan’s for happy hour and we got to talking about how the pop festival was a big deal here 50 years ago, and we should do something to connect to that.”
Campbell said the group asked Angus Wynne III, the investor behind the Texas International Pop Festival, if the Denton group could stage a small festival commemorating the event that brought the likes of Janis Joplin, Grand Funk Railroad and Led Zeppelin to North Texas.
Campbell remembered loading into a 1968 Camaro with some friends and riding out to the 1969 festival.
“We just pulled over on the highway and watched,” he said. “Janis Joplin was playing. We sat there for an hour, listening to her. She was just a speck on the stage, but we could hear her just fine.”
Wynne gave his blessing for the Denton festival, and Campbell said he attended one of the Industrial Street Pop Fests.
Geezerpalooza — an affectionate name that earned organizers a letter from AARP requesting that the event be renamed — stacks the stage with tribute bands that riff on musical juggernauts of the ‘60s and ‘70s. This year honors the 50th anniversary of the International Pop Festival, with performers who pay tribute to Janis Joplin and Santana topping the bill.
“We try to pick bands who are tribute bands for the groups from the ‘60s and ‘70s,” Campbell said. “The Allmost Brothers are coming back this year — a lot of people like them, they’re a tribute band for the Allman Brothers. We try to bring new bands in every year.”
Organizers work with Dan Mojica, the owner of Dan’s Silverleaf, to bring in tribute bands that specialize in the era of free love, psychedelics and protest.
“We tell him what we’re looking for, and he’s like, ‘Yep, I can help you with that,’” Campbell said.
The fest is a come-and-go event for some folks, but some attendees stake out their spots early. The music won’t start until 1 p.m., but Campbell said that by 10 a.m., attendees can claim a spot in front of the stage.
The festival schedule includes tribute bands covering:
1 p.m. - Santana
2:30 p.m. - Janis Joplin
4 p.m. - The Allman Brothers Band
5:30 p.m. - Sam & Dave/Sly & The Family Stone/B. B. King/Freddie King