51° San Marcos
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The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Martian Arts Fest invades San Marcos

martianartsfest
martianartsfest

Just on the outskirts of San Marcos, tucked away by a gravel path on Lime Kiln Road, the sounds of strumming guitars, funky beats and the roars and raves of festival-goers fill the air. It may seem out of the ordinary, but it is just another out-of-this-world experience at the Martian Arts Festival.
The Martian Arts Festival is an arts and entertainment event that takes place from April 15-16 at Thigh High Gardens, a permaculture design-based farm right outside of San Marcos. This is the festival’s fifth year returning and the first year at Thigh High Gardens.
“Thigh High Gardens has hosted many concerts and festivals over the year, including the Hill Country Folk Festival for the past seven years,” Michael Howard, a director for Apogee Presents, said. “So it’s a pretty ingrained, nice venue in town.”
Apogee Presents is a turnkey production and event coordinated company based in San Marcos and the masterminds behind the Martian Arts Festival. The team helps put on other events such as the Pecan Street Festival in Austin and SM Fest in San Marcos, festivals that involve all things music and art.
Apogee Presents has hosted the past five Martian Arts festivals. Howard said they’re excited about the expansion of the event, which will allow car canopies and parking.
“We’re now going from a six to eight-acre property to a 20-acre property. It will create a much more wholesome and inclusive experience,” Howard said.
The team at Apogee Presents expressed their joy for this year’s festival since two years ago the COVID-19 pandemic shook the world. More specifically, the creative scene of artists, vendors and musicians had to press pause on life.
“The 2020 Martian Arts Festival was all booked and ready to go for that year, and then it all shut down,” Jorge Dozal, a team member of Apogee Presents, said.
Apogee Presents had to recontact artists, musicians, staff and everyone involved for the 2020 festival, which was going to be a major event for the company. While they have their hopes high for 2022’s festival, they are aware not everyone feels ready to go back to normal.
“We are inclusive to those who may still be wary about their space, but we also want to reenergize San Marcos,” said Olivia Leopardi, a team member of Apogee Presents. “Having these events and having these moments where you get to see people with similar energy makes it a lot more easier and inviting.”
The Martian Arts Festival celebrates the community of San Marcos and highlights the talent of not just musicians, but artists of a variety of mediums as well. Dozal believes that’s what makes their festival unique.
“I feel like a lot of festivals are more focused on music, making it more of a concert than a festival,” Dozal said. “This festival is focused on everyone. You got people doing yoga, there’s people leading workshops, paint classes. Little things like that that get you going and get you submerged in what you can do here in town.”
Studio San Martian, a beloved live music venue and art boutique in San Marcos, will help festival attendees flex their creative muscles with its workshop, Puff N’ Paint. In addition, they will also have a free flow art station where painters can express themselves on canvas without any instructor guidance.
“I hope people gain a greater sense of community and make more connections with other like-minded people through our workshop,” Rami Dogic, the assistant event coordinator for Studio San Martian, said.
Dogic said the event will feature a traditional tea lounge with teas from places like China and Japan. Studio San Martian is looking forward to showing everyone why art is an important part of San Marcos culture.
“We’re so close to Austin, Texas, yet few people venture out here. San Marcos also has live music and is lively just like Austin,” Dogic said. “I haven’t been able to find places quite like Studio San Martian where there’s so many creative outlets going on in one room.”
In addition to the art scene, music will be another big component of the festival. The band The Deer is very familiar with San Marcos since the group is comprised of Texas State alumni. The bands’ members look forward to entertaining the crowd this weekend and their homecoming.
“San Marcos is just one of those spots where everyone meets you with their eyes, and they’re engaged in your performance,” Grace Rowlan, the frontwoman of The Deer, said. “It’s an amazing community where there’s music lovers and wonderful people.”
Rowland and Jesse Dalton, bass player for The Deer, are no strangers to the Martian Arts Festival. The transcendental folk band has performed for the event multiple times and enjoys the vibrant feel that the festival brings to San Marcos.
“We’ve been in orbit with the festival for a while,” Dalton said. “They’ve been making amazing things happen and we’re so excited to play in a town where we have both a rich and vibrant history.”
Martian Arts Festival is unlike any other, where attendees get to camp on-site to enjoy all that San Marcos has to offer. From silent disco to morning yoga, it will be a packed day for all who attend.
“There’s gonna be so many different people, so many different types of artists,” Leopardi said. “This festival is like a little hub for creatives. It inspires me because we all have so much to offer.”
The Martian Arts Festival will take place from April 15-16 at 2070 Lime Kiln Road in San Marcos. To purchase tickets and to learn more, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/martian-arts-festival-22-tickets-223525941107.

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