now you see it
Outdoorsy music festival near San Antonio to take place under total eclipse
Believe it or not, it's not too early to start planning for an epic eclipse this spring.
The annular eclipse of 2023 was interesting to see, but the upcoming celestial event on April 8 will be more dramatic: a full eclipse. The sky will darken and the sun will disappear except for a glowing backlight. San Antonio is on the edge of the eclipse's path, but Utopia, Texas (about 80 miles west), is more firmly in the middle. A music festival that originated there is returning to celebrate from April 5-9.
UtopiaFest released its lineup on January 5 — not just for the eclipse, but the final installment of the long-running festival — and Central Texas artists are all over it. Since the UtopiaFest team primarily operates in the Austin scene through its Buda venue, Meridian, artists from the capital dominate the lineup.
At least one artist is from the San Antonio area: Sid Fly, from Castroville, sings gentle, troubador-like songs while accompanying himself on guitar. From New Braunfels come Matt Kirk and The Güeyfarers, with a jaunty, bluesy Southern rock sound. Matthew Logan Vasquez, the lead singer and songwriter of Delta Spirit, has history in Wimberley and Austin, and has recently been operating out of the Hill Country. Finally, RF Shannon of Lockhart brings moody dream pop.
Some notable artists from Austin include Ghostland Observatory, Sir Woman, Madam Radar, Caramelo Haze, Riders Against the Storm, and Henry Invisible. Some artists join from elsewhere in Texas, while others hail from other states.
Audiences from past UtopiaFests and Meridian have likely noticed that this crew is not exactly conventional, and many of the names that appear on the lineup seem to be old friends who don't prioritize an online presence.
Aside from this in-the-know community involvement, one of the beauties of the festival is its expansiveness beyond just live music. It takes advantage of the country setting at Four Sisters Ranch for disc golf, yoga, hiking, biking, and camping. Friday will be the "pre-party" day, according to the announcements, and some traditions like the rave-like Space Prom will provide some variety amid all the concert-watching.
This was meant to be the festival's last year, now that the team has a permanent venue to work on, but the announcement hints that the camping festival may return. "We can't wait for one last Four Sisters Ranch party (for now)!" it says.
Passes for people, dogs, glampsites, RVs, and more are available via utopiafest.com. Some programs allow for financial aid or work exchange. Those who'd like to sponsor someone else's visit can reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. Don't forget to order eclipse glasses ahead of time.