UTOPIAfest VII Announces Schedule and Day Passes

Taking place over Labor Day Weekend, UTOPIAfest returns for its seventh annual festival in Utopia, TX!  Thoughtfully designed to allow creativity, music, and new friendships to flourish in a unique and intimate setting, UTOPiAfest is bringing back the basics by showing an unparalleled hospitality to both artists and music fans. Festival attendees can enjoy their free camping (cabin and RV lodging is also available), and while there are plenty of options for dining in their food forest, everyone is welcome to bring their own drinks and food under the festival’s open BYOB policy. Now does that sound like a good time or what??

Below you can find the official line-up for the festival (including performances by Explosions In The Sky, Wild Child, Holiday Mountain, Of Montreal and The Suffers, to name a few) and camping information! To purchase tickets, click here!

Official Lineup: Explosions in the Sky, Leftover Salmon (2 Nights), Tune-Yards, RJD2, Charles Bradley & his Extraordinaires, Of Montreal, Man Man, Wild Child, WhoMadeWho, Valerie June, The Suffers, Mikhael Paskalev, Holiday Mountain, The Sheepdogs, Monophonics, Calliope Musicals, Hard Proof, Sphynx, Vinyl Williams, Sip Sip, Les Hay Babies, Netherfriends, Chipper Jones, Sid Fly, Riders Against the Storm, The Deer, Transcontinental Trip, Dimitri’s Ascent, Bone Fur and Feathers, Kupira Marimba, and Blunt Force.

Main Festival Information: UTOPiAfest’s CEA (Chief Experiential Architect), Travis Sutherland says, “We think it should be more meaningful than just watching a show. It should be a place where individuals and communities grow and learn. Participants should feel free to be and express their truest selves, and contribute to the experience…The experience should be accessible to all ages, and enjoyed with your whole family. You should never have to feel crowded or wait unreasonably long in a line. We believe you should be able to bring your own beer and cook your own food. We believe a music festival should be seamless, effortless, and timeless.” The festival is also offering a limited number of Hassle Free Tent Rentals, which include a pre-set up tent, cots or air mattresses, chairs, coolers, and a lantern. 

Show Review:: Dinosaur Pile Up, Man Man, and Brand New 7/13

Dinosaur Pile Up, Man Man, and Brand New
The Fillmore – Silver Spring, MD
Sunday, July 13th 2014

I’ve loved Brand New for years now and for a while it seemed like I would never get the chance to see them live considering how quickly their shows sell out. Well, I finally had my opportunity to see them this past weekend and it did not disappoint. As a bonus, I also got to see them play at one of my favorite venues, The Fillmore in Silver Spring, MD.

To kick the night off, Dinosaur Pile-Up took the stage. The set-up for the band takes the shape of a triangle, with guitar, bass and drums on each of the pointy angles. This UK trio brought a ton of energy to the big room, and their blend of grunge and alt rock was plenty enjoyable. Their vibe was very reminiscent of The Smashing Pumpkins and Nirvana, which I was throughly excited about. The band made the most of their 30 minute time slot, and by the end of their set it seemed like they had won over more than a few new fans.

Next up was Man Man, whom I had not heard of before. Their stage set up was very unique, it placed the piano and drums in the center facing toward each other. On the right side of the stage there were keyboards, a bass and a saxophone and to the left side of the stage was a single drum, guitar and keyboard. Man Man crashed through its set, sweating, screaming, and costume changing, which included an oversized fur jacket. Lead vocalist/pianist, Honus Honus was hitting every odd accent and note of its complex throughout their set. Their performance was really fun and light-hearted and seemed to put the crowd in a god mood.

Now was the moment the audience had waited so long to see. The stage went completely black, and as the band walked out the place erupted with excitement and cheers. Brand New launched right into their fast and chaotic rendition of “Sink” to start things off. They followed it up with three more Daisy songs, each one receiving a very strong crowd response. The next part of the set was heavy with Deja Entendu tracks, and fan favorites like “Sic Transit Gloria” and “Okay I Believe You But My Tommy Gun Don’t” got the crowd especially pumped up.

As the last half of the set progressed things really got intense, as that’s when the Devil and God songs were brought out. When they played “Limousine,” Jesse stayed out on stage alone at the end with the distortion of his guitar cranked to full blast as he yelled the final bit of background vocals again and again (“I”ll never have to buy adjacent plots of earth/We’ll never have to rot together underneath the dirt/I’ll never have to lose my baby in the crowd/I should be laughing right now”). As if that wasn’t enough, they closed out the set with the one-two punch of “Degausser” and “You Won’t Know,” which probably couldn’t have closed their set off any better. Jesse thanked the crowd before the band disappeared off stage and that marked the end of a very eventful Sunday night.

Written by Caitlyn Willard