Fork Fest• June 11, 2022• Art Dye Park, American Fork
Reviewed and Photographed by Molly McCoy
Fork Fest is one of the summer music festivals I most look forward to. I love this festival because it highlights all of the amazing local artists that Utah has to offer and this summer’s lineup was no exception. Returning for its fourth year, Fork Fest was the perfect combination of music, art, and good family fun.
The crowd was forced to part as a casket was brought into the room. Its pallbearers strained under the weight before laying it down next to Kilby Court’s stage. The wildly unexpected sound of an industrial saw ripped through idle chatter—somethingwas breaking free from within the casket. Emerged a figure with dark hair, a blue bandana around his neck, and a face painted ghostly white. Branson Anderson was back from the dead.
Branson Anderson is an Americana singer-songwriter based in Ogden, Utah. It’s been said that he’s a mix between Devendra Banhart meets Shakey Graves meets Bob Dylan meets Jack White. As I did my own studying up on Branson leading up to this interview I found his lyrics and vocals to be infectious. The longer I listened, the more I was hooked.
Back in 2010 Corey Fox, owner of Velour Live Music Gallery and singer-songwriter, Joshua James put together the first Fork Fest. It’s an event that is still talked about to this day. Now in 2019, the Harrington Center for the Arts got involved and brought back this amazing festival that spotlights the best local talent in Utah.
This event could easily, and perhaps should be called Velour Fest because these bands have all graced the stage at one point or another of the iconic Utah County venue and champion for musicians in the area. There were 28 bands on the lineup, each of them at varying stages of their musical career. I’ve seen local music all over this great nation of ours. I’m continually in awe of the talent pool here in Utah. If you heard that any one of these bands were signed (whatever that means nowadays) and were heading on a nationwide headlining tour you wouldn’t be surprised. There is not only an embarrassment of riches when it comes to music talent here in Utah, but there is real professionalism in their approach to their music. Many of them started at an open mic night or a battle of the bands. But when they stepped on to one of the three Fork Fest stages they looked like seasoned veterans.