Photos: Local music festival Dogma Dance Off hosts third annual weekend

Photos and story by Karly Cordell / Contributing Writer

The third annual Dogma Dance Off Music Festival was held at the Murfreesboro Little Theatre on Saturday.

Created and hosted by Ethan Boyd, Dogma Dance Off originated as a small festival with close friends in his parents’ backyard.

The free festival has since grown and hosted a wide array of bands, musicians and genres as well as various local art and clothing vendors from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Although free, attendees are encouraged to give donations to The Journey Home, a nonprofit Christian organization in Murfreesboro dedicated to serving the homeless in Rutherford County.

“Last year was when we hosted Dogma Dance Off at the Murfreesboro Little Theatre for the first time, and that’s when I shifted the goals of the festival,” Boyd said. “I not only wanted to celebrate my friend’s band and talents, but I also wanted it to have a big charity element as well. So I chose The Journey Home.”

One hundred percent of the proceeds raised at the festival are donated to The Journey Home.

In addition to donating to a local charity, another main goal for Boyd was to keep the festival local by hosting both local vendors and musicians.

The festival hosted headliners such as Superbody, Nordista Freeze, Gorilla Shack and Lava Gulls.

“I like to think we’re helping the artists out by giving them this platform and opportunity to get their music out there,” Boyd said. “I think it’s just so much richer to pull from the grounds that you’re standing on.”

A benefit show was held beforehand at Waxface Records in Murfreesboro and raised enough revenue to fund this year’s T-shirts. The shirts were sold at the festival for $15, and all proceeds were donated to The Journey Home.

“The benefit show both generated hype and raised extra money for needed funds,” Boyd said. “It was a smaller, concentrated version of what Dogma Dance Off was going to be so people had an idea of what to expect.”

Being a big proponent for local businesses, Boyd was more than happy to keep the sponsors local as well. Sponsors for this year’s show included Waxface Records, Forrest York Guitars and Sugaree’s.

Being all volunteer-based, Boyd and his team do not see any sort of profit from Dogma Dance Off.

“The $15 fee from the vendors and artists, as well as 100 percent of all proceeds, goes into The Journey Home and the greater fight of our neighbors experiencing homelessness,” Boyd said.

“For me, Dogma Dance Off means to shake off all of our preconceived ideas and sort of leave any political, religious or personal thoughts behind for a day and just come out and revel with each other,” Boyd said.

Although small now, Boyd sees great future potential in the music festival.

“We’re still in the infant stages of what I imagine and hope for Dogma to eventually become,” Boyd said. “As more of a business structure organically comes to what we’re doing, I think the more we’ll start to give ourselves the ability to afford getting bigger.”

To contact Lifestyles Editor Sydney Wagner, email

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