Oaktopia Festival Recap

As promised, Oaktopia Fest 2016 was rowdy, artistic, and a constant adventure. We previewed some of the experiences prior to the event and left naming it one of our top festival experiences. As we could tell from the vibe of Denton locals, Dallas commuters, and visiting artists, downtown Denton has an infectious energy that compliments its artistic nature. From projections dancing on the buildings to local bars filled with exceptional acts, Oaktopia was quite a memorable weekend.

As Crate Diggers explored the town we came across some talented musicians, inspiring art, and unique venues. Here’s a few of our favorite moments:

Petty Fest
Arguably the best event of the weekend, Petty Fest kicked off Oaktopia Thursday night with an all-star lineup of musicians, actors, and legends. To name a few, Jason Lee, Danny Masterson, Jakob Dylan, and Norah Jones sang tribute to Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers with hosts and backing band, The Cabin Down Below Band who carried the tunes all night long. Emily Armstrong of Dead Sara stole the show with her high-energy performance, bellowing Petty’s song Here Comes My Girl as she walked onto the amps, singing to the crowd. Members from The Whigs, Grandaddy, and Nicole Atkins, as well as local Dallas musicians Jonathan Tyler and Nikki Lane celebrated Tom Petty’s classics with their musical talent and personal touch.

88 Killa
Hands down the funniest acts of the weekend, 88 Killa’s sense of humor rivals his talent and showmanship. Sporting a long white mink coat (per usual for any of his performances), Killa entered the stage cracking jokes and bringing fire to the mic with his rhymes. If you missed his performance at The Labb on Saturday, then catch his next show at Three Links on September 28 (we promise you don’t have something better to do than catching this show).

Jonathan Tyler / Texas Gentlemen
Performing at Dan’s SilverLeaf Sunday night, Jonathan Tyler, backed by the Texas Gentlemen rocked the stage with  an electric performance. After Tyler’s progressive southern rock and soul, the Gents closed the festival out, sharing the stage with some noteworthy names like Nikki Lane, Shelly Colvin, Eric Pulido of Midlake, and Parker Gispert of The Whigs. Playing classics, like Rocky Raccoon, Angel from Montgomery, The Games People Play, and Dixie Chickens, the Texas Gentlemen always get the crowd singing or dancing along with their Texan-rock tunes.

Oaktopia offered so many other great performances and experiences that we’re counting down the days til next year! What was your favorite part of the weekend? Check out our media page for our full recap of photos.

Amy Johnson