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UTOPiAfest attracts camping folks

Preview of an upcoming hippie-friendly music festival

Published: Sunday, October 2, 2011

Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 23:07

Celebrating its third year of existence, the appropriately named "UTOPiAfest" (in Utopia, Texas) will take place on the fast approaching weekend of Oct. 14and 15.

Now, keep in mind that this is in no way a music festival designed for people who demand the fancies of the modern age (like bathrooms and electricity).

UTOPiAfest requires a little more work from attendees than a traditional inner-city festival such as Austin City Limits. Utopia is smack dab in the middle of hill country, y'all (right around Garner State Park). This is exactly why I think that UTOPiAfest will be the next big music festival in Texas. It takes you back to a simpler — and arguably better — time where going to a music festival meant putting in the necessary extra work to transform your average music festival into an incredible experience.

That's right, we're talking about camping, folks.

Now that I have the hippies' attention….

According to UTOPiAfest's website, there will be two stages throughout both days of the festival. By the looks of the schedule, attendees are in for quite a treat.

Friday: UTOPiAfest will be starting off the festivities with an open-mic. I have honestly never heard of a music festival starting out in this manner, so I really look forward to seeing how well this turns out. After that madness, the first act that I really look forward to is the Austin indie-rock group Holiday. Their debut album Things Can Be Different was a fun listen with its simple rock progressions contrasted with the smooth, sensual vocals. 

A band to check out come Friday night is Dawes. I saw these guys at SXSW a few years ago, and they completely blew me away with their loud, almost anthemic strain of folkish-rock. Their song, "When My Time Comes," has been exploding in popularity, landing a spot in a Chevrolet commercial. Don't miss them!

Closing out the night will be the legendary experimental alternative/folk/rock group Blitzen Trapper. The fact that their 2008 album Furr was ranked 13th on Rolling Stone's Best Albums of the Year chart, should be more than enough evidence for you to buy a ticket.

Saturday: Charged with getting the festival up and running again on Sunday, Susana Choffel, (who I wrote about in my ACL review) will be waking the hippies up with her hard to categorize, groovy and punchy sound.

After Susana, be sure to get your groove on with Austin dance rockers Black & White Years. If you've ever been to one of their shows, you know that they put on a hell of a performance. Also, these guys come to College Station frequently, so if you miss watching them at UTOPiAfest, be sure to keep a look out for their show flyers around town.

Closing out the two day hippie fest will be three-piece Australian dance band Art vs. Science. Their new album The Experiment is quite an auditory adventure. I can only image what kind of trippy dance grooves these guys are going to pump out. I hear that there is going to be quite an amazing light show to go with their performance.

UTOPiAfest is shaping up to be one of the coolest new music festivals in Texas, sporting some of the best dance, country, folk and rock artists from all over the world.

If camping with your friends in the cool climate of the Texas Hill Country sounds appealing, then doing just that while some great bands perform should make your head explode with awesomeness.

Discounted tickets are still available to UTOPiAfest over at their website, but they are selling out fast. Go get one before the price goes up.

Steve Wells is a senior marketing major at Texas A&M University's Mays Business School. In addition to being a student, he is also a local musician and promoter.

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