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Good news, nature has rescheduled early fall’s mild enjoyable weather to this week. September and October saw sweltering heat on rotation with rain, rain, and more rain. It was just too much to enjoy the outdoors. Now we’re in the clear, with sunny days in the 70s, just in time to enjoy UTOPiAfest, one of Texas’s premier music festivals. In years past the festival was a good three-hour drive south of Austin. The new location an hour from Austin makes it more accessible for more music lovers to get in on this hidden gem of a music festival.

Music wise, UTOPiAfest is a genre-less festival, unless music that makes you wanna dance outdoors is a genre. The UTOPiAfest lineup reads like a greatest hits mixtape of their fellow great music festivals, pulling choice cuts from SXSW, ACL Fest, Old Settlers Music Festival, and New Orleans’s Jazz Fest. Austinites are known to go to all four of those festivals, and that’s why we like finding ourselves at UTOPiAfest.

This year’s UTOPiAfest features Austin City Limits veterans Patty Griffin and Lukas Nelson & Promise of The Real. For energetic indie music a la SXSW, rock out at UTOPiAfest with Rubblebucket or Calliope Musicals. If you ever go to Old Settler’s to get your bluegrass boogie on, take note that Keller Williams brings his Pettygrass tribute to UTOPiAfest. The late night New Orleans Jazz Fest vibe is a UTOPiAfest highlight, with The Big Ol’ Nasty Getdown (a large cast featuring Cyril Neville and Leo Nocentelli of The Meters) and John Medeski’s Mad Skillet (featuring Dirty Dozen Brass Band founder Kirk Joseph). Want some indie folk like a Valerie June? Check! Want a cultural icon like Grandmaster Flash? Check! Want to join one of those viral video events where Choir! Choir! Choir! gets a crowd of thousands to participate in a choral rendition of a song? Check! Want local favorites like Hard Proof, Kalu & The Electric Joint, The Deer, or Hikes? Check, Check, Check, Check!

In years past, the music took equal billing with the festival setting. This year’s festival looks to be another prime location, nestled in the hill country trees of the Reveille Peak Ranch. The property features plenty of camping spots, disc golf, and miles of mountain bike trails. And did we mention it looks to be sunny and mild this weekend? The festival has even partnered with Zilker Brewing to make the Utopian Festival Ale, a drinkable Citra-hop hazy pale ale that sounds delicious. Party people and carousers take note, for effortless travel the festival offers shuttle rides daily. Come on out to UTOPiAfest, enjoy the outdoors, and discover your next new favorite band.

For tickets, set times, and shuttle info head over to https://www.utopiafest.com

Patty Griffin
Grandmaster Flash
Lukas Nelson by Myriam Santos
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