By: Erin Dyer
It’s that time of year again. Time to abandon your job, procrastinate your school work, forget all your worries, and join a crowd full of happy faces and mesmerizing music for a stress-free weekend in Utopia, TX. The 4th Annual family friendly UTOPiAfest is set to go down September 28-30 in Utopia, between Garner State Park and Lost Maples. Tickets are going fast and the festival is expected to sell out– there are currently less than 300 tickets out of 1800 available.
The lineup includes: Dr. Dog, Ben Kweller, Victor Wooten, Jimmy Herring of Widespread Panic, Charles Bradley, Mexican Institute Of Sound, Ray Wylie Hubbard, White Denim, Wheeler Brothers, Kaki King, Sorne, and many more. And get this– there will be NO overlapping musical performances. Huzzah! The musicians and bands will perform by day, and by night there will be an Austin Silent Disco for late night party-goers.
Free camping and free parking are offered. And yes, there are showers. There is even a RV area where you can park your house-on-wheels, if you have one. There will be plenty of family activities including disc golf and Black Swan Yoga in the morning to start your day off right. And the festival is BYOB, so you can bring your booze and not have to worry about shelling out for beer or liquor the whole weekend. Food vendors will be on site for your eating pleasures.
Jamie Brown, Executive Producer of UTOPiAfest, shared with me some of his personal accounts and memories of the festival:
“I remember the first time I went to UTOPiA. It was in 2010… the 2nd annual UTOPiAfest. The hillcountry drive was amazing through Bandera and the nolstalgic Garner State Park. When I arrived at the Four Sisters Ranch (festival site), I was surrounded by the most beautiful Texas Hills I had ever seen. The journey is, and will always be, a major part of this festival. There were about 200 to 300 people there… everyone met everyone and had an unexplainable time of their life. I consider a handful of these 2nd Annual Utopians to be my best friends today.
I go out to Utopia about once a month and never have slept in a bed. This is where I go to camp. The hills are huge, the sounds are peaceful, and the stars are BRIGHT. I remember sleeping in an open air teepee I had built the day before the upcoming UTOPiAfest 2011. I woke up to the head of a white stallion peeking inside my teepee to see if I was loving Utopia as much as she was. It was an experience to remember.
Another memory I have of UTOPiAfest 2011 was when the sun goes down, the vibe gets a little more intimate. Each year we plan to have UTOPiAfest fall on a full moon. We also designed the stage for the moon to rise behind the Arrowhead Stage. There is something about 1500 people howling at huge orange moon rising behind the stage of your favorite music festival.”