Our Recap of UTOPiAfest
UTOPiAfest was a wonderful multiple day festival which was located in a beautiful ranch in Burnet, Texas about an hour away from Austin. This secluded location allowed festival goers to freely express themselves, relax, and enjoy both the music & art. I personally arrived Friday evening, but some festival goers got there as early as Wednesday. UTOPiAfest was truly such a welcoming and family friendly festival. All ages were welcome and had the opportunity to have a fun experience. The different options of activities, workshops, vendors, and artists allowed people to create the best possible schedule for their needs and once. It was an experience that was incredibly customizable, yet also fostered community building.
I arrived to UTOPiAfest around 6:45 on Friday evening. This timing allowed me to have a scenic drive through the Texas hill country. The sunset was absolutely beautiful and really got me into the festival spirit. From the second I arrived at UTOPiAfest everyone was extremely welcoming, helpful, and genuine. Th people working the festival helped me to sort out parking and guided me to the Sterling VIP campsite. Once I parked, I got together my essentials (phone, water, wallet, & snacks) and began my festival experience.
The first vendor I interacted with at UTOPiAfest was the lovely Caitlan – owner of the shop To The Moon which she sets up in a renovated white school bus. Caitlan helped me get into the music festival groove by generously offering to add glitter to my face. Once I got my glitter I was truly ready to embrace and make the most of my time at UTOPiAfest. Next to Caitlan there was also a jewelry vendor and a CBD vendor.
Next, I continued to explore the other vendors which were in separated by categories. The artists were in once section, the food in another, and then the vintage clothing and one massage vendor were grouped together. Additionally, there was a meditation tent, sculptures / interactive art, and a yurt which help UTOPiAfest’s workshops.
After familiarizing myself with the vendors, I made my way over the the VIP tent. At this tent there was an enormous ice chest filled with free water and alcoholic beverages. There were also inflated couches for lounging. Outside of the tent there was a cowboy pool to cool off in and designated porta potties only for people with VIP wristbands.
For a late dinner I decided to grab a Pizza from the wood fired pizza vendo which were super friendly guys. I got a half pepperoni and half garlic arugula pizza which came with a delicious balsamic glaze. The crust on this pizza was perfectly crispy and the sauce complimented the toppings nicely. I would 100% order this tasty pizza again as it had a great flavor and the vendors were genuinely nice people who prioritize the quality of their pizza.
For my first night at UTOPiAfest, Caitlan kindly let me put my air mattress in her us so I could sleep in there for the night. I met someone who works at REI which let me borrow their battery powered air pump which was super useful and easy to use. Sleeping in the bus was nice as it gave me protection from the dust and I did not have to worry about setting up my tent at night.
Coffee + Breakfast Tacos
To start my second day at UTOPiAfest I got an iced cold brew coffee which I added oat milk and cherry + vanilla syrup. After I drank most of my coffee I got in line to order breakfast tacos from the vendors next to the coffee vendor. I ordered two tacos with bean, bacon, potato, and cheese with one on a flour tortilla and the other on a corn tortilla. The tacos were tasty and gave me fuel to start my day.
Natural Dye Workshop
The first activity I attended on day two was a workshop about how to use natural dyes. This was a super informative and fun workshop which brought a full crowd of festival goers. Together we learned about the different local plants (and insect) which you can use to dye natural fabrics. After an overview of the dyes and techniques, we were all given a bandanna and different flowers, plants , and a crushed insect to dye with . I really enjoyed this as I liked seeing everyone go through their own process and then seeing all of the unique results.
After the workshop, I shifted my focus to horseback riding. One thing I forgot to bring with me was close toed shoes which were recommended for horseback riding. Luckily, there were multiple vintage vendors selling boots. At Disco Moon Vintage I found the perfect white fringe boots. These are the first pair of cowboy boots I own and I fell in love with them as soon as I put them on. They fit perfectly and made for the perfect horseback riding shoe.
At 4:30pm I was scheduled for horseback riding with Thunder Horse Outfitters. Originally, there were supposed to be others participating in this riding, but they ended up having to cancel. This gave me a truly VIP experience as I was on a ride exclusively with the people running the horseback riding. The horse they let me ride was an extremely chill sweetheart. This scenic horseback ride was definitely one of my favorite memories from the festivals and I am very grateful that I added it to my schedule.
Lastly, I ended my night on the second day in the mediation tent…where I accidentally fell asleep. The meditation tent was a space where festival goers were encouraged to leave behind their belongings and truly relax. Before entering the tent there was the option of picking up some free ear plugs in case festival goers wanted more silence in the tent. Inside of the meditation tent there was a speaker playing healing frequencies surrounded by pillows, blankets, and a few sound bowls. I was truly able to decompress in this tent which was a nice break from this stressful semester.
After my first experience attending UTOPiAfest, I would definitely be interested in attending again. I met a decent number of people who were also attending for the first time, more people attending for the second time, and a good amount of people who have made UTOPiAfest a tradition in their lives. From the music to horseback riding I thoroughly enjoyed my time at this festival and I created memories that will last a lifetime. Please feel free to reach out to us or the UTOPiAfest team if you have any further questions. I would be happy to chat with you about this amazing festival! Thank you so much to the team at UTOPiAfest for making this VIP experience a possibility.