The Fork Fest music and arts festival Saturday at Art Dye Park in American Fork was nostalgic for several local bands and musicians who performed at the original event in 2010.
“What a trip it is to have Fork Fest happen another year nine years later. It’s really amazing,” headliner and Fork Fest co-founder Joshua James said during his set. “It’s been really nice seeing all of my old friends.”
Thousands spent the brisk June day at the festival, which featured 28 local bands — including James, Fictionist, Desert Noises, Book on Tape Worm, Sego, The Strike, Foreign Figures, The Backseat Lovers, Ryan Innes and more — on three stages throughout the day, along with food trucks, vendors, and activities including bounce houses and a foam machine.
James thanked Summerisa and Spencer Stevens, president and vice president of the Harrington Center of the Arts, and others who helped Fork Fest come back and “did the proper things that we should’ve done the first time, so that it could continue.” Plans are already in place for a Fork Fest 2020.
The American Fork folk artist closed the event from the main festival area comprising the first and second stages while Provo indie band Book on Tape Worm serenaded a separate crowd from a cozy acoustic third stage decorated with shelves and lamp shades, designed by Jake Buntjer of Boxcar Studios.
“It’s funny because I’ll be singing and then Joshua will kind of creep over my shoulder a little bit, and I hear him and I’m like, ‘Hello, Josh,’ and then I remember that I’m playing,” frontman Scott Shepard said during Book on Tape Worm’s set. “It’s kind of interesting. I don’t hate it.”
Shepard thanked Buntjer for creating the “unbelievable” third stage setting and Corey Fox, Fork Fest’s other original co-founder and Velour Live Music Gallery owner, “for always making places for people to play music.”
“I’ve been lucky enough to play a lot of shows that Jake Buntjer and Corey Fox have put on, but I mean, Fork Fest, this has such a nostalgic feeling for the one that happened almost 10 years ago and then also the Sego Festivals before that that were so amazing,” Shepard said. “This has that same feeling.”
The event also brought back memories for original Fork Fest headliners Provo rock band Fictionist and Provo indie rock group Desert Noises, which returned to Utah for the 2019 festival after relocating to Nashville, Tennessee, in 2015.
“We’re so pleased to be a part of this,” Fictionist frontman Stuart Maxfield said from the stage. “This is very nostalgic.”
“It’s been a while,” Desert Noises frontman Kyle Henderson said during his band’s set. “Thanks so much, Fork Fest and Velour and everybody, for putting this on. It’s really nice to be back in Utah.”