Crosstalk: Urban Cultural Fest Returns, Oblivion Access Retreats

And Guy Fieri comes to (Flavor)town


LilUglyMane at Oblivion Access 2022 (photo by John Anderson)

Urban Cultural Fest touched down at Auditorium Shores last weekend. Renamed from Urban Music Fest in 2023, the two-day event featured oldie favorites like human beatbox Doug E. Fresh and funk-gospel singer Bigg Robb – who donned a sparkling blue-and-gold suit while alternating between sexual serenades and prayer songs – while also emphasizing Afrocentric food and accessories. Most notable? Certified Country Lemonade, which served Arnold Palmers in pails; Ashy Legs BBQ, which topped mac & cheese with crushed sausage and brisket; and Mr. Catfish, whose proprietor Homer Hill co-founded the festival. Sponsor AIDS Healthcare Foundation added a community focus with free, on-site HIV tests.

Oblivion Access 2024 is canceled. Founded in 2017 by bookers Dusty Brooks and Dorian Domi, the music festival – first known as Austin Terror Fest – highlighted metal before expanding to include hip-hop, ambient, and experimental. Following a 2022 appearance by newly-local rapper Danny Brown, last summer’s incarnation marked the organizers’ biggest run to date, booking Krautrock veterans Faust, industrial metalheads Godflesh, and slowcore godfathers Duster across several Red River venues. The founders didn’t provide a reason for the festival’s cancellation, but axed their last event, a Mohawk booking for experimental act Oxbow, in November, citing low ticket sales.

Guy Fieri popped up at the Hancock Center Twin Liquors last Thursday to promote Santo Tequila, his collaboration with Sammy Hagar. The spiky-haired TV chef spent an hour signing bottles of the 2019-launched spirit and taking photos with fans who, based on images published by the Austin American-Statesman, went all out to imitate the infinitely memeable personality with wigs, sunglasses, and his iconic flame-adorned black button-up. 

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Crosstalk, Urban Cultural Fest, Oblivion Access, Guy Fieri

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