We caught up with the guys that started Denton’s Oaktopia Fest last week since the first year that we had the pleasure of co-hosting. It’s been a while and we’re loving where they’ve taken the fest.
It’s been three years, what are the biggest changes people can expect for this year at Oaktopia?
Matt: Well iI mean we’ve always wanted to do a three day fest and we finally added that third day. We went from one day, to two days, and now three days. We also have two main stages. So those are both things we always wanted to do.
Preston: And obviously the level of headliners that we’re going to bring this year is a big jump from the last two years.
What has been your favorite part of this journey so far?
Matt: I think it’s always been seeing all the volunteers come together and the moment the headliners take the stage and you realize this is actually happening. For me at least.
Preston: Just the amount of help that we’ve gotten outside and people that are just amped to step in and help us put together what we’re doing. It’s really awesome.
Where did the name Oaktopia come from and the inspiration to do the festival in the first place?
Matt: Well originally we called up a bunch of venues and asked if they were available and they all happened to be on Oak street. We called the Labb, Banter, J&Js and Andys. They were all available on the same day so we decided to do it at all four venues and make a festival out of it and call it Oaktopia, from Oak street – as well as we have a lot of post-oak trees in Denton so it kind of was the “music under the post-oak trees” and it just kind of snowballed from there when we realized we could hit up some headliners and get a stage and stuff. So now we’ve kind of moved off from Oak street but a lot has happened over the years in Denton on Oak street so we still have a connection with it.
What was the thought process whenever you were selecting the kind of music or sounds you wanted for your headliners?
Matt: Well we’ve always wanted to be a multi-genre fest which is kind of difficult, niche-fests seem to be easier to be successful with; you pick that audience, you go after them. Multi-genre is a little more difficult because you got to please a lot of people but we decided to jump right into it this year and try to touch a lot of different genres. We got dance music more so this year with DJ Mom Jeans and DJ Chris Kennedy and then we got folk in there with Edward Sharpe and we have singer and songwriter with Sarah Jaffe. We got some soul-bluesy stuff with Ruby Amanfu and then of course we stuck to our experimental electronic with Shlohmo and hip-hop with Father and Allan Kingdom. So yeah, we love all types of music, we think our fans do too, so we just tried to get as many genres as we could with the programming.
Is there anything else you guys want to share with the guests?
Matt: Of course the skating is a big one, we also have double the live artists and art installations – maybe even triple. We’ve got like 10 or 12 this year. It’s bigger, better, same amount of bands. We’ve got Jason Lee on board, from My Name Is Earl who just moved to Denton – he likes what we’re doing so he’s helping us with the Skateboarding stuff. Eric Pulido from Midlake is taking a bigger role, he’s on our board of directors, he’s helped a lot. That’s pretty exciting stuff.
Preston: Obviously i’m excited to be able to bring all these headliners here. I think we’ve jumped from 6 last year to 19 this year. It’s pretty awesome that we’re able to take such a huge jump there and i’m excited to watch all those shows.
Single day or 3 day passes are still available. Get your tickets online or at the fest.