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35 Denton

Another music festival this weekend? Only in Denton!

By Zoe Cordes Selbin, 5:02PM, Fri. Mar. 9, 2012

35 Denton

“The cool thing about using social media is that it gives artists an opportunity to brand themselves and get really innovative with their image,” says Tyler Dunson, part of the 35 Denton social media team. “Don’t be boring – get creative and use social media to convey who you are as a band.”

It’s great advice for the current musical climate, where bands often just use social media to pump out basic info. People quickly tire of only getting updates about where to buy CDs, or where the latest tour is routed, and it’s important to have that information out there, but to build a sustainable fan base online, you have to have some fun with your social networks.

And 35 Denton has been great about that.

Long regarded as Austin’s younger sibling, Denton is a wacky little music town in North Texas. Home to UNT and a surprisingly hip main square, Denton has been making a national niche for itself. That’s in large part thanks to the city's music festival, 35 Denton.

Although it’s only been around a few years, every year 35 Denton gets bigger and better lineups. This year headliners include the Jesus & Mary Chain, Built to Spill, Best Coast, Bun B, Dum Dum Girls, and the Mountain Goats.

I’m headed down to 35 Denton this weekend to see what it’s all about. They’ve been building great buzz via social media, utilizing it for fun games and contests.

“We’ve been working really hard the past few months pushing lots of content that's relevant to the festival,” says Dunson. “We use Foursquare, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to promote. We love doing Instagram contests. We did one where we asked fans to post their favorite 35 Denton themed picture, and people made things out of glitter and pancakes and posted all kinds of stuff.

“We really try to engage our followers and get people to put things out there themselves.”

It’s great to work within your fanbase, but Denton isn’t exactly known as a cultural capitol. How does one reach people who aren’t familiar?

“We want to reach people outside the Metroplex,” explains Dunson. “So we try to write a lot about what Denton has to offer, what’s different about us, and how exciting it is to have a fest here. Lodging, transportation, and food are all conveniently located within or right by the festival. We even wrote a guide to Denton and detailed instructions on how to get here from the airport. We want to make it as easy as possible for everyone.”

Making it easy for people to access your festival, or even just shows, is definitely important. What other advice does Dunson have for artists who are looking to boost their social media presence?

“I’m all about splash pages right now!” exclaims Dunson. “Things like flavors.me, well-designed websites that really present essential ‘about me’ info that you can plug in, are fantastic. Having something that someone can visit where everything is pulled together is way more convenient than asking your fans to travel website to website, often for the same content.”

So take advice from our hip neighbors to the north and get on those splash pages before you head out to the fest. See you there!

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