Utopiafest 2011 [part 3]

[The Black and White Years. Good set, very David Byrne-esque]

[Avi Buffalo. The crowd loved these guys and they were quite kind in person as well.]

[The Wheeler Brothers. Perhaps the best set of the festival, tons of energy both on stage and off; solid set from beginning to end.]

[Keller Williams. Through a bit of technical difficulties, this one man-band kept a very attentive crowd.]

Utopiafest 2011 [part 2]

[The Giving Tree Band. The crowd begged for them to continue playing by the end of their set, does anything else need to be said?]

[Peelander-Z. Not exactly my kind of music but they sure were entertainers. The massive crowd loved their antics set to a Japanese punk soundtrack. And I'm not sure it was entirely an act--behind the scenes, they were just as wacky and brightly dressed.]

Utopiafest 2011 [part 1]

Utopia. Oh, what can I say about you?

You were a dream. You almost have me convinced to throw aside my Montana fantasies to live among your desert foothills instead. Endless blue skies by day, innumerable stars by night, and the perfect silence of wilderness...

Except for the music coming from that neat little music festival in the valley. Utopia Fest, you were perfectly inline with your beautiful surroundings. Clean, well organized, great line up, and food for all (seriously, who would have thought that both vegan options AND ice coffee would be found in such an isolated Texas locale?). Everyone seemed to be in a peaceful and sharing mood; a girl visiting the Giving Tree Band merch table even went back to her tent to bring me a very generous sample of a delicious vegan quinoa dish she had made (and if you're reading this--THANK YOU!). Even the drunkest of drunk never stepped out of line or caused any commotion. Folks, these things are as much as unheard of at any other festival.

As far as the musicians that performed... I don't even know where to begin. I didn't get a chance to catch any of Friday's artists though between the work I had to do on Saturday, I was able to catch a number of sets. I could write on all day about the great people I saw and met that day, but I will let the photos speak for themselves.

Music photos to come... :)

The In-between Day

We drove to Austin. We conquered Austin. By conquer, I clearly mean we wandered in and out of vintages shops and ate great vegan tamales...

...and had amazing smoothies (some of the smoothies enjoyed include a banana, chocolate chip, pecan, rice milk, & vanilla smoothie; a mango, blueberry & pineapple juice smoothie; and a blueberry, banana, & coconut milk smoothie; among others). We also helped a girl at gas station who had locked her keys in her car, sat in traffic for several hours, and picked up provisions at Whole Foods for our stay in Utopia.

The Giving Tree Band bus left Austin around 5PM and arrive in Utopia around 10:30. It's not really supposed to be a five and a half hour drive, but between the Austin traffic and our scenic route, it was. We went to the festival before looking for our lodging for the night and we briefly hopped out of the bus to check the grounds out. A short twenty-minutes later, the whole gang loaded back onto the bus and headed to find our sleeping spot for the evening, which had been generously arranged by the festival. The directions provided did not include street names or an actual address, rather landmarks to turn between and blocks to count, and we found the place without problem. We were expecting hostel-esque provisions; we pulled up to a Texas-style ranch home.

The space was to be shared with another band, Digital Antique, but there was ample space for both bands. After everyone had showered, for the first time in a few days, we all quickly headed off to our respective beds, also a first in a few days, and silence fell upon the house. The next day was sure to be a busy one.