by Jeff Milo
"Here's what you feel: the love."
That's festival co-chair Jen David's diagnosis. She's a local musician/songwriter/Dally-proponent and this is her second year serving as a chair for the festival overseers.
"All the musicians are playing for free. They donate their performances. It's not for the money, it's for the community. There's no giant banner behind them screaming at you to drink a certain beer or liquor. We all work for free...for the greater Dally-good."
There's also something to be said for the time of year. The leaves will start changing their colors any second now. The morning air is crisper. Sunset comes earlier and earlier by the passing day.
"People start feeling more nostalgic and romantic this time of year...I know a lot of good make-out stories from Dally."
Autumn's in the air, Dally is it's bugle-call. The festival offers 10'-14' sized spaces for various creative collectives, solo artists and community-centric organizations, from crafters, to designers to activists and community-outreach efforts, along with four stages packed with 8-10 bands (each) throughout the day.
Full Line Up HERE
SEPTEMBER 7TH - 11am to 11pm - Forest / Hancock / 2nd / 3rd - Detroit
Dally is sponsored by the North Cass Community Union, whose projects are funded by Dally's proceeds to improve the quality of life for people who live and work in the area (i.e. music scholarships for neighborhood kids, soup kitchen support, garden park maintenance and much more).
And the music?
I could name drop a ton of names, but it goes against the uniqueness of Dally. This isn't a festival to set your watch-by, to bring your punch card of your favorite must-see acts, it's too groovy for that... It's better to just show up (preferably early) and set your feet to a slowly-ambling cruise control. Explore each vendors space, float over to one stage, then float to another...There will be music in your ear no matter where you stand, because as soon as you're fifty feet away from one stage then you're just as likely forty to fifty feet away from the next stage. And one band's set bleeds into the next. It's a certain sonic intoxication - a cocktail of genres swilled together, ranging from surf-sludge, to throwback soul, from pure pop/rock to acerbic psychedelic freekouts...
Just click the line up link above^
"Living in this area," says David, who moved nearby in 2009, "you start to wonder: how the hell does this whole show run? Who are these wizards, 'cuz I knew it was put on by volunteers, but... Jenny Calhoun and Cass Higden asked me to join the music committee and it was so fucking fun. Each submitting band gets a fair vote. That's how we get exposed to so much diverse music."
And there's lots of ways YOU can get involved. Find out here. One way to contribute is to just be sure to find the recycling bins, when you're bandying about. "We only had six cubic yards of trash last year," David reports. "That's NUTS for how many people came out. Patience, our Recycling Chair, is an amazing woman to work with... We need more people to get involved to keep Dally going."
So why, in particular, is Dally so special? Why is it so special, at least, to Ms. David?
"I hate corporations," she says, for starters. "I hate ugly logos. Dally...is pure. No bullshit. The crew that puts on Dally, we all love the history of this beast, we love changing and adding and putting on a festival each year. A basement full of weirdos putting on a festival that 20,000 people attend...it's amazing."
There's fulfillment found at Dally that you just can't get any other time of year. There's electricity in the air and it seems to hang like a happy fog for the days that follow it. "I remember the morning after, 2011," says David, "I'm picking up garbage after people I don't know. Somehow this was fun. I'm not sure why."
I'm not sure why, either.
"I also liked 2012, the morning after, brunch with the crew, when we found some Dally underwear left over. 'Let's put it on and go to the Bronx!'"
"Wearing underwear in public feels amazing..."
Something about that final proclamation seems to properly capture the feeling of Dally. Guards are down and freak flags are flown and there's just an overall grooviness. I've never done it, but...I imagine it's something close to wearing one's underwear out in public, at a pizza parlor, or over in Eastern Market, or maybe while picking up someone else's garbage.
"Love..." David says.