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2023 Double Decker Arts Festival Artwork, Musical Lineup Revealed

By Alyssa Schnugg

News editor


Artist Blake Gore and the official Double Decker artwork. Photo by Alyssa Schnugg

Grammy award-nominated artist, performer and songwriter, Marcus King, will be this year’s headliner at the 26th Annual Double Decker Arts Festival on April 28 and 29.

Taking its name from the town’s authentic double-decker bus imported from England in 1994, the two-day festival is the recipient of more than 25 awards, including the 2022 Best Large Festival by the Mississippi Tourism Association, Best Festival by Mississippi Magazine and a Top 20 event by the Southeast Tourism Society, Double Decker brings in over 75,000 attendees for a weekend celebrating food, music and the arts.

On Thursday, Visit Oxford revealed the musical lineup for the festival during a press conference at the University of Mississippi Museum, as well as the festival artwork created by Blake Gore.

Marcus King will be this year’s headliner. Photo provided

Gore, known for his miniature artwork, first submitted a tiny Double Decker drawing. Later, after being selected as the Double Decker artist, he recreated the artwork in a poster-sized drawing. The poster includes the iconic double decker bus in front of the Lafayette County Courthouse, all drawn in a mosaic pattern.

Although Gore hasn’t considered himself an artist for very long, he first exhibited at the Double Decker Arts Festival in 2019. Since that time, Gore has grown his business to 20-30 shows per year across the country but still considers Double Decker as his favorite show.

The festival’s 2023 Presenting Sponsor is the University Museum which was gifted to them by Ole Miss Athletics. It’s the fifth year Ole Miss Athletics has “purchased” the presenting sponsorship on behalf of the museum.

UM Vice Chancellor for Intercollegiate Athletics Keith Carter. Photo by Alyssa Schnugg

UM Vice Chancellor for Intercollegiate Athletics Keith Carter said the town-and-gown relationship between the city of Oxford and UM is rare.

“We walk about our town-and-gown relationship when I go around the SEC and there isn’t another one like it,” Carter said. “We are happy and honored to gift this to the museum. Being an Oxonian, there is a lot of pride to be a part of this.”

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 more than 26 years ago.

“I am so blessed to work with people who are amazing and care about each other and care about this community,” she said. “I also want to thank our sponsors … This is just another example of how the university partners with us  to push our entire community forward.”

Other sponsors include Nicholas Air, Hybrid CBD, the Graduate Hotel and more. Click here to view all the Double Decker sponsors.

Oxford Mayor Robyn Tannehill. Photo by Alyssa Schnugg

Like any respected Southern tradition, the festival has grown while preserving its original integrity and charm. Food vendors offer tried and true Southern sensations, from snow cones to freshly fried fish to pizza by the slice, all from local vendors – many offering a specialty item that can only be found during the event.

Juried by a panel of local artists, the artist showcase brings more than 140 arts vendors to the event, spanning a variety of media including drawings, glass, jewelry, mixed media, painting, photography, print-making and sculpture.

The art vendor showcase is only on Saturday, but the Oxford Artist Guild will be set up on Friday in the Boles Wiley Alley on the Square for a preview.

On Saturday, April 29, The Graduate Oxford Kid Zone will be located in the Lafayette County Chancery Building parking lot from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday.

Local bespoke denim outfitter Blue Delta Jeans Company will host their “Blues Delta Blues Alley” in the alley located beside The Lyric from 12-4 p.m. This year, featured artists will include Mac and Lucy, Joe Austin and the Tallahatchies, Honey Island Swamp Band and Mr. Sipp.

Catch all the bands as they perform throughout the weekend:

Friday, April 28

  • 9:00 p.m. – Ashley McBryde
  • 7:45 p.m. – Chapel Hart
  • 6:15 p.m. – The Stews

Saturday, April 29

  • 8:30 p.m. – Marcus King
  • 6:30 p.m.  – Blackberry Smoke
  • 5:00 p.m. – Lissie
  • 3:30 p.m.  – Southern Avenue
  • 2:00 p.m.  – Sensational Barnes Brothers
  • 12:30 p.m.  – Vieux Farka Touré
  • 11:00 a.m. – The Mississippians Jazz Ensemble
Click here to read bios of the bands performing at the festival.

Before the 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 1,600.

“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/.

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