By Alyssa Schnugg
Rock band The Revivalists will be this year’s headliner at the 25th Annual Double Decker Arts Festival.
Oxford’s biggest art and music festival returns this April after being canceled for the last two years due to the pandemic.
Taking its name from the town’s authentic double-decker bus imported from England in 1994, the two-day festival has become a regional tourist attraction that brings in visitors from hundreds of miles away. Yet, it has also managed to retain the local festival vibe, and it’s still a place where people come each year to see familiar friendly faces, listen to great music, buy some one-of-a-kind art and sample Oxford’s well-known food offerings.
On Tuesday, Visit Oxford revealed the musical lineup for the festival during a press conference at the Oxford Conference Center, as well as the festival artwork created by Oxford resident Hannah McCormick. It’s a colorful piece of artwork that features several iconic Oxford buildings sitting on top of a double-decker bus.
Standing on the ground looking at the bus is another Oxford icon – the late Ron Shapiro.
McCormick’s work was selected for the 2020 festival. Since it was canceled, festival organizers decided to finally allow her artwork to be shown off at the 2022 festival.
“I’m so excited to be a part of this year’s festival,” McCormick said Tuesday.
The festival’s 2020 Presenting Sponsor is the University Museum that was gifted to them by Ole Miss Athletics. It’s the fourth year Ole Miss Athletics has “purchased” the presenting sponsorship on behalf of the museum.
UM Vice Chancellor for Intercollegiate Athletics Keith Carter said the relationship between the university, athletics and the city of Oxford is important and being a partner with Double Decker helps to foster the important relationship between the university and Oxford.
“We get pulled in a lot of different ways for donations but this is something we’ll be doing for a long time,” Carter said. “It’s very important to us and very important to our city.”
Mayor Robyn Tannehill thanked Visit Oxford and its staff, including Director Kinney Ferris and Double Decker Coordinator Lee Ann Stubbs for their hard work in putting on the festival. Tannehill started the first Double Decker Arts Festival 25 years ago.
The Ole Miss Student Activities Association is sponsoring the stage and the headline act this year.
The weekend kicks off with music on the Ole Miss Student Activities Association stage on Friday, April 22 at 6:15 p.m. with The Wilkins Sisters. At 7:45 p.m., alt-country soul band 49 Winchester takes the stage.
The headliner for Friday night is country crooner, and former Ole Miss baseball pitcher, Brett Young.
After racking seven consecutive No. 1 hits, Rolling Stone deemed Young “one of country’s most consistent radio stars.”
To start off the main event Saturday morning, Oxford’s own Happy Landing, an alternative folk band, will perform at 11 a.m. Blues artist Buffalo Nichols will perform at 12:30 p.m. Singer-songwriter Maggie Rose will take the stage at 2 p.m. At 3:30 p.m., singer-songwriter/guitarist Samantha Fish takes the stage.
Going into the night portion of the acts, legendary R&B and gospel singer Mavis Staples takes the stage at 5 p.m.
Performing at 6:30 p.m. will be New Orleans jazz and funk sensation Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, which includes brass band blare and deep-groove funk, bluesy beauty and hip hop/pop swagger.
The final performance of the evening is The Revivalists, taking the stage at 8:30 p.m. The chart-topping rock band has been nominated for a Billboard award, two iHeartRadio Music Awards and were named Billboard’s Top New Rock Artists of 2017. Renowned for powerful live performances, soulful alt-rock anthems and a distinct mix of many of the classic styles of American music, the 8-piece ensemble of pedal steel guitar, unique two-drummer set-up, horns and more are led by the incredible voice of frontman, David Shaw.
CLICK HERE to read bios on all of the bands and performers.
In addition to music, there will be more than 140 art vendors from around the region selling creative wares for the anticipated 60,000-plus festival attendees. Selected by Oxford’s Yoknapatawpha Arts Council, the vendors include drawings, glass, jewelry, mixed media, painting, photography, printmaking and sculptures.
Dozens of food vendors will also be set up around the Square offering favorites and new, specialty dishes that are only served at the festival.
But before food, music and art on Saturday, visitors can get a healthy start to their Double Decker day with the annual Spring Run 5K and 10K runs and the Kids Fun Run, presented by Oxford Orthopedics Sports Medicine and the Oxford-Lafayette Chamber of Commerce.
Organizer and Chamber of Commerce Vice President Pam Swain said she expects this year’s number to climb past 1,700.
“We’re excited to welcome them all to our community,” Swain said.
People can register for the races at www.doubledeckerspringrun.com.
For more information about Double Decker, visit https://doubledeckerfestival.com/.
Catch all the bands as they perform throughout the weekend:
Friday April 22:
9:00 PM – Brett Young
7:45 PM – 49 Winchester
6:15 PM – The Wilkins Sisters
Saturday April 23:
8:30 PM – The Revivalists
6:30 PM – Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue
5:00 PM – Mavis Staples
3:30 PM – Samantha Fish
2:00 PM – Maggie Rose
12:30 PM – Buffalo Nichols
11:00 AM – Happy Landing