UTOPiAfest is held on the 1000 acre Four Sister’s Ranch in the heart of the Texas Hill country. The fest is 8 miles from small town Utopia, which was to be a Fourierist community of “utopian socialism” but failed. Since Uvalde county is dry, there are no alcohol sales and the fest allows attendees to bring their own drinks, making it more of an “unfestival” (no lines for $9 beer).
The remoteness of the location made most cell phones only useful as clocks and cameras. No hashtag is needed when no one can reach their favorite social media platform. This left time for fans to talk to each other about the awesomeness they were experiencing instead of staring at their mobile screens.
UTOPiAfest is a unique family friendly music festival that limits ticket sales to 2000. This keeps the performances intimate and lines short. Utopians are some of the friendliest people on earth. People help each other if something is needed and always greet each other with a smile. Even friendlier and more helpful is the UTOPiAfest staff.
Unfortunately, the company that was hosting the children’s activities had to back out at the last moment. The UTOPiAfest folks stepped up and created new activities that the kids loved. There was face painting, games and lots of fun for families.
Keeping Utopians in a greatmood was not difficult with the stellar line-up. The fest started with a pre-party Friday night that included Austin locals, Sip Sip and Syphx followed by the jam band Leftover Salmon who also played an intimate acoustic set backstage late in the evening.
Saturday, the main festival began in the early afternoon and ended near 2 a.m. with Explosions in the Sky on stage and fireworks bursting above. Twelve bands performed each of the days on two stages with no overlap in music. Sunday included a surprise set from Shakey Graves!
There were after hours acoustic sets at the Good Times Tank stage that ran well into the morning on Saturday and Sunday. UTOPiAfest was a magical weekend surrounded by beautiful music, people and scenery! The bands gave great performances despite the heat. Utopians danced and sang along. A couple even got married.
Not many sights are grander than looking into the stars deep in the heart of Texas at UTOPiAfest!