Location: Utopia, Texas. (2 hours outside Austin)
The UTOPIAfest lineup was super well done for such a small festival. Personal highlights were Dan Deacon, Father John Misty, Wild Child, and Calliope Musicals.
Stages/Sound: The Utopia producers did a great job with their stages. The two main stages featured perfect sound and a solid light shows. Their after-hours acoustic stage, located up the hill from the rest of the festival, provided a level of festival magic that’s hard to achieve. Overall, I was impressed, big time.
(Photo by www.rohophoto.com)
Greening: Utopia’s commitment to being green was obvious. Trash and recycling bins were easy to find on the property. But Utopia took it to the next level by providing bins for cigarette butts. This was the first time (in 63 festivals!) I have ever seen this. Bravo, Utopia!
Crowd: Utopia’s crowd consisted of 2,000 of Austin’s happiest people. Every age group, from infants to the elderly, were in attendance. Everyone had a great time.
Camping: Camping at Utopia was easy. There was plenty of room for everyone, and no worries about having neighbors piled on top of you.
Organization: This was a very well-run festival. Everything was on time, volunteers knew what they were doing, and they dealt with the rain on Friday better than any festival I’ve seen. These guys know what they’re doing.
Food: The food vendors were wonderful. The highlights for me included a pizza company that made a 100+ slice pizzas (eight feet wide!) that contained four different types of pizza. The hit of the weekend was the Avocado French Fry stand. This is now pretty much my favorite food.
Art: Even though Utopia was only 2,000 people, the organizers still committed to bringing in cool interactive art installations to the festival. Each installation was designed to allow festivalgoers to contribute to the piece, making each installation a true group effort.
Overall: Utopia was a total blast. The crowd, venue, and music all translated into three fun-filled days. I’m going to give it a 4.5 out of five stars. I highly recommend you make it here next year. If you do, make sure you check out the pre-party on Thursday night. It was a great way to start the weekend, and gives you first shot at finding the perfect camping spot.
See you next year!