Utopia Fest Announces 2019 Music Roster
Mikaela Davis, Brownout, and Toubab Krewe highlight lineup
By Kevin Curtin,
2:00PM, Tue. May 21, 2019
Utopia Fest is different this year in that it’s the same as it always was. The 2018 hierarchy of headliners proved an aberration, so now the gathering again focuses on emerging and cult talent – with a hefty dose of Austin favorites.
Harp-plucking songwriter Mikaela Davis, sure to be an NPR darling in no time flat, makes her pre-breakout Utopia Fest debut at the campout, running Nov. 14-16 at Reveille Peak Ranch in Burnet – about an hour from Austin proper. Also on deck are Fruition, a Portland-based acoustic folk act with endearing songs, Afro-groove unit Toubab Krewe, urban soul rockers Nth Power, and North Carolina progressive stringband the Jon Stickley Trio, led by their namesake flat-picking badass. Memphis soulsters Southern Avenue and Houston’s electric post-punk outfit Swimwear Department are also booked for the family friendly blowout.
Festival favorites Brownout unpack their hard Latin funk, while burgeoning soul/pop/blues wonder Jackie Venson makes her first appearance at the 11th annual get-down. The event’s loyal Austin roster continues with the Loulou Ghelichkhani-fronted Night Glitter, Americana rock songster Israel Nash, Heartless Bastards leader Erika Wennerstrom, transcendental folk crew the Deer, funky jammers Mamafesta, and shoegazey indie-rockers Good Field. Also appearing at the hiking and biking-friendly festival grounds are Donovan Keith, Mixer Rogers, Henry & the Invisibles, Shane Cooley & the Midnight Girls, Sterling Steffen’s new Guesthouse project, Sid Fly, and the Utopia Players.
The two most prominent acts stepping onto the festival’s pair of never-overlapping stages can’t be announced yet, but suffice to say they’re both beloved in Austin and beyond.
Meantime, Utopia’s return to roots is evidenced by a non-musical headliner: reimplementation of the BYOB policy, a fan-favorite sorely missed last year. Per usual, camping, parking, and a multitude of workshops and activities are free. As the festival draws near, keep an eye out for information on whose playing the Goodtimes Grove, a late-night, unamplified stage that’s magic every year. Rumor has it Mikaela Davis will be the first harpist featured at the beloved pop-up venue.
Utopia Fest passes can be purchased here.
Kevin Curtin, March 27, 2019
Sept. 28, 2020
Sept. 26, 2020
Utopia Fest 2019, Mikaela Davis, Jon Stickley Trio, Brownout, Jackie Venson, Toubab Krewe, Loulou Ghelichkhani, Night Glitter, Israel Nash, Erika Wennerstrom, Mamafesta, Donovan Keith, Mixer Rogers, Henry & the Invisibles, Shane Cooley & the Midnight Girls, Sterling Steffen, Guesthouse