The addition of a music festival to Thin Line 2014 and its five days of film screenings may inspire festivalgoers to give additional thought to parking and getting around downtown Denton — something festival organizers have done, too.
Event officials don’t think Denton will have any problems absorbing the 7,000 to 8,000 people they expect to attend Thin Line, a five-day documentary film and music festival that opens today in downtown Denton.
Festival director Joshua Butler said he expects the crowds to resemble “a good Saturday night” around the Square, where the music and film venues are concentrated.
The festival returns to the Campus Theatre and Fine Arts Theater on the Square and adds a number of popular night spots along with a music tent sponsored by Denton Municipal Electric. Those additional venues should help disperse the parking demand, too.
“People should be able to find a space close to the venue [they are attending],” Butler said.
Even though the festival has become increasingly popular since it launched in 2006, and has sold three times as many pre-passes this year as last year, Butler said he believes the large parking lots at Williams Square and the Civic Center should help meet additional demand.
The festival opens tonight with a documentary about the 1972 Denton High School Broncos, a football team that helped racially integrate the rest of the city. The film, When We Were All Broncos, screens at 6:30 p.m. and is followed by performances from the Denton High School Lab Band One and Brave Combo. All three events are in the heated music tent, located at the corner of Oak and Oakland streets.
Pre-passes for some events have sold out, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still plenty of tickets and seats for people who walk up to festival venues today through Sunday, Butler said.
Butler and his team of volunteers said the anticipated crowds didn’t warrant any street closures, but Thin Line has historically drawn visitors from out of town — hence the festival’s plan for patrons who will arrive in Denton in cars.
In addition, another festival sponsor, Bill Utter Ford, has made four cars available to organizers so that they can shuttle filmmakers and musicians from hotels to festival sites as well as provide rides to those festivalgoers holding passes.
During the day, two of the cars will help festival guests get around, but in the evening all four cars will circulate a route between the Euline Brock Downtown Denton Transit Center and the various venues.
Generally, the rides are available to pass holders, but at night’s end for each day of the festival, the rides will be available to other guests, if needed, Butler said.
“At the end of the night, it becomes a safety scenario,” he said.
Festivalgoers may find information online about the film and music schedule, along with a map of venues and nearby parking lots, both free and paid, at www.thinlinefilmfest.com.
Staff writer Lucinda Breeding contributed to this report.
PEGGY HEINKEL-WOLFE can be reached at 940-566-6881 and via Twitter at @phwolfeDRC.