The American Budget Motel is a beautiful thing. There is undeniable beauty in the worn out carpets, the lifeless pastel landscapes, and the creak of broken springs; there is something strangely addictive about the mediocrity of dreams better realized 40 years ago – and the eternal chance to relive one’s own version of Fear & Loathing in the quest for knowledge and experience. Yes, the American Motel is a core part of our national identity – a core component of collective consciousness. It is this dirt and desperation that faithfully served musicians and fans in their nomadic ways – and the source of inspiration for our Utopiafest 2018 installation.

Over the course of months, our team designed, sourced and constructed a surrealist motel in the woods of the Texas Hill Country. Featuring a “Continental Breakfast” of (acoustic) jams and Texas Coffee Trader’s coffee, the Motel’s courtyard - a clearing in the woods punctuated by the lampshades suspended on gathered hardwood - featured performances from Austin-based musicians Pierce Saxon and Shane Cooley in the mornings of the festival. The expansive installation provided concert attendees with a serene daytime hideaway - and a surrealist nighttime retreat!