Anyone noticing loud sounds or impromptu dancing in Lerner Hall this week during a routine trip for lunch or mail will be faced with a dilemma: to continue the routine and go to class or listen to an hour of free, energetic live rock music.
The weeklong campus music festival “Symposium” kicked off yesterday, with free music and food from 12-1 p.m. every day leading up to this weekend’s Bacchanal and Postcrypt Folk Fest concert and starting with a showcase of several young New York bands in the Lerner Piano Lounge.
Kicking off the festival with Monday’s first performance, the Miracles of Modern Science singer Evan Younger eagerly declared Lerner Hall “no longer a place of study.”
Complementing Bacchanal’s electronic and hip-hop selections of Curren$y and Big Gigantic, Live at Lerner’s selections for Symposium integrate more independent New York acts such as Beast Make Bomb and Tall Tall Trees, a Postcrypt regular, in a more rock-based setting indoors.
Simply put, “Rock in the daytime is better than electronic in the daytime,” said Live at Lerner coordinator and next year’s CCSC vice president of campus life Yanyi Luo, CC ’13.
Interested in “melding the two identities” of Live at Lerner and Postcrypt in tandem with Bacchanal, Luo hopes staging the event with several local bands will set a precedent for a collaboration to evolve.
By trying to keep it as local as possible, Luo said she hopes that their selection of bands demonstrates the talent available in New York.
“So many types of music get played in the city and I really want to exploit that,” Luo added.
Though the settings and music genres of the three components of Symposium vary, “All of these events are great ways for students to discover new bands and music,” said Postcrypt head manager Annika Christensen, BC ’13.
Despite the differences in performances, Christensen said that she thinks the concerts will lift morale among students.
“Maybe there will be some Bacchanal burnout, and we can capitalize on that,” she added, encouraging students to “just come out on the lawn and listen to good folk music.”
As one of the only student-run coffee houses in the country, Postcrypt features weekly music shows at night in the dark cozy basement of St. Paul’s Chapel, but its Folk Fest this Sunday will operate in a more expansive venue: out in the sunlight grass of Van Am quad with free food, amplified tunes, and a larger expected audience.
Sunday’s Folk Fest will feature a mixture of Postcrypt regulars, bands with Columbia and New York ties, and touring bands. “The idea is getting a bigger audience outdoors, combining music with food and art,” Christensen said.
Compared with the typically more isolated Postcrypt show, “the idea of having an entire music festival is a really great draw,” she added, hoping the collaboration with Bacchanal and Live at Lerner will foster mutual publicity and discovery for each group.
More than just listening to and discovering new bands, by combining three events into one, Symposium is “an opportunity for people to come together because of music,” Luo said.