The Double Decker Arts Festival has been rescheduled for Aug. 14-15 with Rainbow Kitten Surprise remaining the headlining act for Saturday night.
It will be the first time the popular event is not held in April. The 25th anniversary of the festival was forced to postpone to a later date due to the COVID-19 pandemic, like so many other popular spring social gatherings.
Double Decker Arts Festival, Visit Oxford, the city of Oxford and Oxford-Lafayette Chamber of Commerce were committed to moving the festival and spring run to a different date that will benefit the community rather than canceling the festival, altogether.
“It was a decision that was made after much consideration with local business owners, city officials, citizens, festival vendors, the Student Activities Association and music talent booked to play the 2020 festival. We want to be good stewards of the funds that had already been raised to put on this year’s festival. We also want to give the local and University communities something to look forward to when, hopefully, this is all over,” said Lee Ann Stubbs, festival coordinator.
Double Decker brings in over 65,000 attendees for a weekend celebrating food, music and the arts. Visit Oxford and the Double Decker Arts Festival team work together with many city departments to plan and execute the Double Decker Arts Festival each year.
“Double Decker Arts Festival is vitally important to the economy of our community; we are dedicated to doing all we can to promote Double Decker in August this year rather than April,” said Kinney Ferris, executive director of Visit Oxford. “We are concerned for our hospitality industry in Oxford and our primary focus will be promoting them as we come out of the COVID-19 crisis and it’s once again safe for visitors to travel to Oxford.”
The festival brings more than 160 art vendors to the event, spanning a variety of media including drawings, glass, jewelry, mixed media, painting, photography, print-making and sculpture.
“For the festival in April, we had 180 total art vendor booth spaces. We understand that the new date will not work for all of the art vendors that were originally planning to showcase in April, but we are hoping that this postponed date will work for the majority of them. If a vendor is not able to participate in the rescheduled date, we will work with them to get a refund and plan to replace their booth space with a vendor on our waitlist,” Stubbs said.
The weekend kicks off with music on the Ole Miss Student Activities Association stage on Friday, Aug. 14 at 5:30 p.m.
First up, Sweet Crude takes the stage, immediately followed by a special edition of the beloved Thacker Mountain Radio Hours. Originally announced for April’s Friday night line-up were the New Respects and Drew Holcomb and The Neighbors. While these two bands were not available for the postponed dates, they are likely to be booked for the 2021 Double Decker Arts Festival, set to resume the last weekend in April 2021.
To start off the main event Saturday morning, Oxford’s own Chadwick Band will perform as the first act of the day. The Sensational Barnes Brothers, Chris and Courtney Barnes, Memphians and fulltime musicians will perform throughout the day.
Following them, singer-songwriter Maggie Rose will take the stage. Country musician Chris Knight will follow.
For Saturday evening, St. Paul and the Broken Bones are still available to come back to the SAA Stage to perform for the first time since the 20th anniversary festival in 2015.
Rounding out the original line up, the Rainbow Kitten Surprise will remain as the headliner for the 25th anniversary of Double Decker.
“We are thrilled to announce these bands will be coming to Oxford for our rescheduled dates and headlining on August 15,” said Scott Caradine, festival talent booker.
While trying to reschedule the festival during a time that makes sense for the community and the health of local citizens and visitors, there are originally-announced bands that are unable to commit to the new dates due to scheduling issues including Toots and the Maytals and War and Treaty. Both the festival and the musicians hope to be able to come together in some capacity in the near future.
Stay tuned for updates on new bands to be added to the line-up.
Friday, Aug. 14
Thacker Mountain Radio Hour
Saturday, Aug. 15
Rainbow Kitten Surprise
St. Paul and The Broken Bones
The Sensational Barnes Brothers
The festival’s 2020 Presenting Sponsor is The University of Mississippi Museum gifted to them by Ole Miss Athletics. The Ole Miss Student Activities Association is sponsoring the stage, and Faulkner Sponsors include Specialty Orthopedic Group, Winchester and Nicholas Air.
“We wanted to make the 25th anniversary of the festival the biggest and best yet and we still plan to do this with our postponed date. When this time passes, we will be more excited than ever to see you in Oxford and celebrate. You may even see several new additions this year: such as a live painting on Friday, Aug. 14 by Tyler Key on North Lamar; a community stage; an interactive art installation brought to us by LOFT, McDonald’s and local sculpture Earl Dismuke; the Blue Delta Jean Co. blues alley; new games and rides for kids of all ages and all the anticipated events you look forward to each year,” Stubbs said.
Courtesy of Visit Oxford