The Austin Chronicle

Snapshot: UtopiaFest

The music festival may have bounced around locations, but at last weekend's tenth-anniversary celebration, it still felt like home

By David Brendan Hall, November 9, 2018, Arts

When it was announced in April that UtopiaFest would move to new grounds in Burnet County after nine years in its namesake town at the serenely secluded Four Sisters Ranch, there was worry among its devout fans that the three-day musical campout might feel less like home. Yet, ultimately, even with an 11th-hour decision on Oct. 1 spurred by local protests to move again to a different Burnet locale – this time to Reveille Peak Ranch – invested parties retained faith because of two unwavering figureheads: fest founder/Four Sisters family heir Travis Sutherland and longtime creative collaborator Wayne Dalchau of Township Productions.

"The cards were stacked against them," says Cody Johnson, organizer of the fest's all-acoustic, torch-lit, late-night oasis Tank Goodtimes since 2014. "And through it all, I knew we were gonna be okay because I believe in Travis Sutherland and Wayne Dalchau, and I believe in UtopiaFest ... with all my heart."

Throughout the 10th anniversary celebration last weekend, "Snapshot" witnessed many veteran acts echoing such sentiments with added emphasis on the idea that the fest's identity is immortalized not by its location, but by its resilient tribe.

To see a gallery of this year's UtopiaFest, go to Find more "Snapshot" online at Want to pitch an event, happening, idea, or person for "Snapshot"? Email the author/photog:

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