Austin, TX (Top40 Charts/ UTOPiAfest Official Website)
Fans of geocaching, a real-world game in which players search for "hidden treasure" using GPS coordinates, are being challenged to locate and announce the featured performers at UTOPiAfest, October 14-15, 2011, organizers say.
"UTOPiAfest offers a true alternative to the large, multiple stage music festivals that often favor quantity over a quality audience experience," said Travis Sutherland, who in 2009 originated the event on his family's 1,000-acre ranch in Utopia, Texas. The festival site, a secluded natural amphitheater with breathtaking Hill Country vistas, is near many local attractions including the Frio River, Medina River, Lost Maples, and Garner State Park. "We looked for a fun and unique way to announce our amazing third-year roster, and geocaching attracts adventurous people who love the outdoors."
In addition to "bragging rights," and the opportunity to reveal one of 13 featured bands on UTOPiAfest's Facebook page, enthusiasts who discover the geocached bottles concealed around Austin and central Texas receive complimentary passes to the festival.
Coordinates for the hidden containers may be found at utopiafest.com, as well as the UTOPiAfest Facebook page. Each bottle contains instructions for how winners may claim their prize.
Several containers have already been discovered, prior to the official release of their GPS coordinates. Three "early bird" winners announced on Facebook that Austin artists Suzanna Choffel and the Wheeler Brothers, along with Japanese punk band Peelander-Z, are part of the UTOPiAfest lineup.
"The performers this year all have devoted followings and appear at major festivals and venues around the world," said Aaron Brown, director of Onion Creek Productions, the Austin-based video production company that is joining forces with Sutherland and the Fisher Family to present UTOPiAfest 2011. "By focusing our energy on a single main stage, each member of the audience will enjoy full sets by every act. Friends and family members can stay together all weekend, without getting lost among thousands of people trying to figure out where their favorite band is playing."
Brown added that the concert site could accommodate up to 10,000 people, but ticket sales would be capped at 1,500 this year. "We are being as thoughtful as we can to present the best festival possible, where creativity, music, and new friendships can flourish in an intimate setting," he said. "The audience will have plenty of room to dance, camp, and enjoy musicians that regularly play to crowds of 30,000 or more."
In another break from festival tradition, UTOPiAfest will host a second stage, where talented audience members and special-guest bands may perform during breaks on the main stage. Other activities include morning yoga, hot air balloon rides, a disc golf course, displays of fine art and jewelry, and food and craft vendors.
Tickets for UTOPiAfest go on sale June 29 at utopiafest.com. Prices include on-site camping, with no extra charge for large vehicles including buses and RVs.
A portion of the proceeds from UTOPiAfest is being donated to Charity Water, Ducks Unlimited, Kiva, Utopia EMS & Fire Departments, and other charitable organizations.