Sound on Sound Fest Ready For Round 2 in Sherwood Forest
Last year around this time festival goers were freaking out after months of anticipation only to learn that their beloved FunFunFun Music Festival wasn’t going to happen any longer. Just when all hope was lost, the team that made FFF one of the best music festivals in Texas, announced that they were creating a new renaissance-themed music festival called Sound on Sound Fest. Located outside of Austin in the magical Sherwood Forest, SOS Fest provided everything we loved about FFF and more.
Now in year two, Sound on Sound is better prepared and excited to show festival goers how they can improve on their year-one success. Some changes are already noticeable like a bigger emphasis on camping, shuttles from most major cities in Texas, and greater depth to the music lineup. Anxious to learn more about what fans can expect this year, we caught up with the SOS founder Graham Williams and Creative Director Ian Orth to talk everything Sound on Sound 2017.
What did you learn in year one that will help improve the festival experience in year two?
Ian: We knew right away on the first night that we needed to adjust our lighting plan and we did as much as we could to correct in the moment, but this year we'll have more lighting throughout the entire expanse of the site, including parking, and camping. We also have a really in-depth plan for signage this year naming pathways to stages this year and breaking the fest site into zones to help make navigation much easier this year.
Graham: Shuttles were new to us in 2016. We'd not done them to that magnitude so this year we're letting some shuttle pros take over who handle festival shuttles at festivals all over the country. We will have shuttles from downtown Austin, but also offer shuttles from Dallas, San Antonio, and Houston.
What new features can festival goers expect this year? What elements will be back for year two?
Ian: Not to be too vague, but I'll put it this way: last year we decided to create Sound On Sound and throw it at Sherwood Forest very quickly. It all came together at the last moment and even though our team had over two decades combined of festival experience, we didn't get the chance to give our new fest the full treatment that our team is known for. This time around, we've had an entire year to plan out not only this year, but how we hope to evolve the onsite experiences for the next few years. A lot has to stay a mystery, but I can say that you can expect more involvement from the Sherwood Forest community and more activities and rides throughout the day if you need a break from music.
This festival started as a sort of replacement for Fun Fun Fun Fest. Going forward is the goal to carry over elements that made FFF Fest a fan favorite or create something entirely different?
Ian: There's a lot about FFF that was really special and unique and while we're incredibly proud of that moment in time, we're excited for the future. A few things have come along for the ride, a few things will be getting a slight twist, but we also have a ton of new ideas, and a new story to tell. We're really embracing a 70's DnD and 80's skateboard cultural ethos into the backbone of what we're hoping SOS will develop into. We worked closely with the legendary fantasy artist Arik Roper on our lineup poster and a few other things that we'll be rolling out throughout the summer and fall which are going to work as the foundation for what the theme of the festival is all about.
Graham: I think the main elements from FFF Fest that have remained have been both the booking and their quirkiness for lack of a better term. Our lineup is still a pretty even mix of punk, indie rock, electronic, hip hop, and comedy with a focus on having a lineup that doesn't look too much like the other festivals happening in 2017. That's been the case since FFF Fest 2006 and the general look and feel, in terms of unique, weird, funny, fun, you name it...that's being reimagined in the Ren Faire setting by the creative team over here, but still in the same voice and mindset.