Irving’s Pavilion can seat up to 8,000.

I don’t know much about Irving, except that it lies somewhere between here and Big D and that other than maybe having a place to sleep and park your car, why would anyone want to go there?

Now there’s an infinite number of reasons, starting on Sep 1 with comedian Dave Chappelle and continuing the next night with Brad Paisley, followed by The Goo Goo Dolls (Sep 6), Young the Giant with Cold War Kids and Joywave (Sep 29), Matchbox Twenty and Counting Crows (Oct 1), Scorpions and Megadeth (Oct 12), and comedian Trevor Noah (Nov 11).

These acts are just some of the mid-to-major names slated to play Irving’s new Pavilion. A 250,000-square-foot venue that’s part of The Music Factory, a 17-acre $173 million mixed use development, the Pavilion will not only be “stealing” hard-earned American dollars from Fort Worthians (and presumably Dallasites and other out-of-towners) but also stealing (actually) Fort Worth’s thunder.


For decades, we’ve been told that a mid-sized venue would never work in Fort Worth. “Big bands will always choose Dallas over us!” “If a band plays here, then they can’t play Dallas because of radius clauses, and no band is going to do that!” “There’s no room to build a mid-sized venue!” You’ve probably heard the excuses, too. You also probably want to ask every person who’s used them, “Where the heck did this Irving Music Factory and Pavilion come from then?!”

We can’t say we didn’t see it coming. Irving bought the land in 2001. And the path from that purchase to the finish out has been a slog of newsy, Moncrief-ian proportions. After a deal between the original developer, Las Colinas Group, and Irving soured, Las Colinas Group sued the city for $39 million, and some Irving councilmembers had the temerity to ask the current developer, North Carolina-based ARK Group, to pay the Las Colinas Group to drop its case. (A judge eventually dismissed it.) Not long after ARK got started, it was stopped by its lender, which brought up the problem with earthquakes (undoubtedly caused by hydraulic fracking). ARK asked Irving to change their agreement to please the lender, but the city balked, forcing ARK to halt construction for months. (The issue was eventually resolved in 2015.)

Even Irvingians – “Irvingers”? “Irvingites”? – can agree that when it comes to big-city living, they’ve got nothing on us. Any world-class museums, Irving? We have three. How about a Division I football program? A symphony orchestra? A ballet company? An opera company? No? That’s too bad. We’ve got all four, and they’re all yoooge. And don’t even get started on music. As Fort Worth’s scene is equal to or beyond Dallas’ or even Houston’s, I can’t recall ever seeing a non-nu-metal, non-metalcore band list Irving as its hometown. Cliché lovers joke that Fort Worth is just a big suburb of Big D. But for Irvingians/Irvingers, it’s not funny. They actually live in Dallas County. They are a living, breathing suburb of a bigger city.

Being outdone by a lousy suburb. How’s that feel, Fort Worth? It’s got to sting a little bit. I know it hurts me.

One of the coolest things about the Pavilion is the complex itself. It can be either indoors or out- and can change capacity, from 2,500 to 4,000 and 8,000.

One of the coolest things about the entire factory is that it’s part of a larger effort to not only attract out-of-towners to Irving but keep them there. Along with dozens of shops and chain restaurants, several hotels will also be popping up nearby, all accompanying the newish (2011) Irving Convention Center right across Highway 114. A McDevelopment? So what. Would you rather have what Irving has now or our major project, the Trinity River Vision, a $909.9 million series of riverside improvements which, to me, sounds suspiciously like a bunch of nice things for fitness goofs and nature buffs. That’s why God created Inursha and Insanity, people. That’s why God created BRIT and the Fort Worth Nature Center & Reserve.

“Irving,” said ARK president Noah Lazes, “needs a project like this to compete with Uptown, Frisco, and Fort Worth.”

You mean “to blow Fort Worth out of the water,” dude. Literally.


  1. If you are going to reference the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge in a fashion that is derogatory to the fine city of Fort Worth, you could at least get the name right.

    In addition, you are defining culture in a very limited sense. Culture is much more than entertainment. Fort Worth, thanks to BRIT, the FWNC&R, and so many attributes, is all about culture. The culture of Texas, the US and North America!

  2. I friggin hate FW and Dallas and Texas. I’m one of those dickheads that doesn’t care about you, people in general and fuck all. I just want to die a respectful and peaceful death and leave me the fuck alone in the meantime. So I hope this new venue causes you pain. I live in Irving. it will cause me pain for sure. I drive by it every day. the construction sucks now. i can only imagine what it will be like when it opens. Screw you all. I just would love all of you who care about places like this to be unhappy. and all your family. That’s all. Not to big of request? Thanks for caring….about those that just want a quite life…..

    • That is, indeed, quite a life you are leading. But hardly quiet from the sounds of the demons in your head – please do us all a favor and keep them to yourself. And may the wish in your 3rd sentence be granted soon and before your malevolence contaminates anyone else. Now go to work, probably in customer service.

  3. Fart Worthless is fine, just not as good as Irving. You guys will get there one day. People will still have to come to FW if they want to see some cows walk around or whatever, so you got that going for you.

  4. And Irving’s Lyric Stage is some of the best theater around (premiering Broadway-bound shows…if that makes you feel any worse. Hope so.

  5. Ok you have all these things in Ft Worth….then why are you so threatened that our small suburb as you call it gets a little bit of income to help our smaller city thrive just a bit more? Get over yourself you jealous hack! Because you sure as hell aren’t a journalist with this extremely biased peice!

  6. Funny how when you see things about Dallas its in FW/817 boots, jeans, stockyards, cowgirls and cowboys, EVEN THE FOOTBALL TEAM IS IN 817. They have Oak cliff, Deep elm, fair park and there newest park is built over the freeway and 2 pretty new bridges to connect trash to trash if they only knew good luck Dallas, live proud 817~FORT WORTH WE REALLY KNOW THE TRUTH !!


  7. Don’t forget, Irving also has more office space (occupied) by the way and office workers than downtown Fart Worth. You have a cute downtown, but few companies want to be there. And comparing your music scene to Dallas, Houston’s and Austin’s is reaching to an extraordinary level.