SuperTalk Mississippi

Double Decker Arts Festival in Oxford kicks off on Friday

Double Decker attracted a crowd of more than 75,000 in 2023 (Photo courtesy of Double Decker Arts Festival/Facebook)

The 26th annual Double Decker Arts Festival returns to Oxford this weekend with the two-day event scheduled to take place on Friday, April 28, and Saturday, April 29.

The red double-decker bus, which was imported from England in 1994, serves as the centerpiece of the festival that takes place in the historic Courthouse Square.

Double Decker is now 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.

Each year, the Double Decker Festival brings in over 75,000 attendees for a weekend celebrating local food, music, and the arts.

The festival’s downtown square will be decorated with artwork by Blake Gore, who has been named this year’s featured artist. Gore, a native of north Mississippi, is known for drawing miniature artwork using a .15mm pen and his work as a career coach and instructor for universities.

In addition to viewing Gore’s works, the artist showcase will feature over 140 art vendors that use 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.

Numerous musical performances will also be showcased over the two-day event, with The Stews set to kick off the festival’s lineup on Friday at 6:15 p.m. The band, which first formed at Auburn University, has had sellout crowds across the nation after releasing their debut album What Was in April of 2022.

Another notable act includes Poplarville natives and America’s Got Talent contestants Chapel Hart, who have received the title of “International Group of the Year” as well as “International Song of the Year” for the single, “You Can Have Him Jolene” in Scotland.

Friday night’s final performance is set to be country superstar and Grand Ole Opry member, Ashley McBryde, who has been nominated for a Grammy award six times and has received two Country Music Association awards and three Academy of Country Music awards.

Grammy award-nominated artist, performer, and songwriter, Marcus King, is set to wrap up the weekend of musical acts on Saturday night. King, who grew up in Greenville, South Carolina, received a nomination for Best Americana Album at the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards for his debut solo album, El Dorado. In 2022, King released his second album, Young Blood, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Blues Albums Chart.

Here’s the entire schedule for the two-day festival:

Friday, April 28
  • 6:15 p.m. — The Stews (Main Stage on North Lamar)
  • 7:45 p.m. — Chapel Hart (Main State on North Lamar)
  • 9:15 p.m. — Ashely McBryde (Main Stage on North Lamar)
Saturday, April 29
  • 7:30 a.m. — Double Decker Spring Run/Walk 5K and 10K Start
  • 9:00 a.m. — Double Decker Spring Run Kids Fun Run Start
  • 10:00 a.m. — Festival opens; Art vendors open; Food vendors open; Shuttle services begin; Graduate Oxford Kid Zone opens
  • 11:00 a.m. — Mississippian Jazz Ensemble (Main Stage on North Lamar)
  • 12:30 p.m. — Vieux Farka Touré (Main Stage on North Lamar)
  • 2:00 p.m. — Sensational Barnes Brothers (Main Stage on North Lamar)
  • 3:30 p.m. — Southern Avenue (Main Stage on North Lamar)
  • 5:00 p.m. — Lissie (Main Stage on North Lamar)
  • 5:30 p.m. — Art vendors close; Food vendors close
  • 6:30 p.m. — Blackberry Smoke (Main Stage on North Lamar)
  • 8:30 p.m. — Marcus King (Main Stage on North Lamar)
  • 10:00 p.m. — Festival closes

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