Double Decker and The Grove

As I’ve mentioned before Oxford has a thriving art scene.  The music there is a blogger’s dream.  Imagine my level of excitement when I found out (aka carefully manipulated my schedule) so that I would be back in my homegrown nook of the south for one of the biggest weekends of the year, Double Decker Arts Festival.  Needless to say my excitement was through the roof and after some careful packing (shoving every summer dress and maxi I own into a bag along with some sunscreen) my bestie and I started our road trip back to The Sip!

After powering through our 24 hour drive and catching a quick nap we were ready to go.  We caught up with some friends on Friday night and took it easy getting ready for next two busy days.  We got dinner downtown and it was already buzzing with the amount of people visiting for the festival.  The square was gridlocked with traffic.  People were flowing into the streets and the festival was already in the air.

On Saturday we hit up the festival downtown along with everyone in the greater Lafeyette County area.  It was absolutely beautiful weather and we couldn’t have been more excited to visit the different vendors.  There is a little bit of something for everyone:  artists, food, musicians, and more….FYI there is the BEST lemonade you will ever get in your life at one of the booths each year (I consider myself quite the lemonade connoisseur so don’t take this statement lightly folks).

After grabbing some wings at our favorite spot, Frank & Marlee’s, we made our way over to the stage to check out the music action.   The stage is set up on a side road of the square that gets completely shut down.  The tall buildings surrounding the street have people on every terrace, balcony and roof top soaking in the free day-long outdoor concert series.  They also provide an acoustic bubble that just bellows throughout the entire town.

Double Decker

Images: Double Decker Arts Festival

There were so many amazing performers and because if I focused on each artist I saw we would be here until next years festival I’m going to focus just on one.  As the sun started to set I saw one of the best, most moving live performances of my life by St. Paul & The Broken Bones.  This band straight up took it to church!  This Birmingham, Alabama rooted seven piece soul band absolutely brought it down.  Lead singer Paul Janeway can convey such emotion and soul through his vocals that he had the grandfathers and drunken frat brothers  joining in embrace while reveling in the beauty of the music.  It is the kind of music that you just can’t find anywhere other than the South.

After dancing the night away at the stage we headed to bed and got ready for the excitement of Sunday…that’s right, the weekend was not over yet!  Sunday there was a free, yes FREE, concert in the Grove on the Ole Miss campus.  Who might you ask?  Love and Theft, Iron & Wine and Thomas Rhett.  It was absolutely perfect weather that day, sunny and hot.  Thomas Rhett brought his A-game singing a Garth Brook’s cover as well as prompting the Hotty Toddy chant while bringing the new Ole Miss quarterback and Egg Bowl trophy on stage.  By the time the show was over we were all exhausted.  We grabbed some ice cream downtown and headed back to our house.  Needless to say I got a good night’s sleep on Sunday!  I can’t wait to go back next year to see who they have lined up for the festival and free show.  Be sure to listen to my favorite songs from each artist of the weekend on the playlist below!

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