If you missed out on the local summer music festival of your choice or are already getting nostalgic for Bacchanal, Columbia may have the perfect offering for you this Sunday, Oct. 7.
Lowlapalooza, cleverly named after the famous Chicago festival Lollapalooza, aims to bring Columbia students together, make them forget about upcoming midterms, and simply help them enjoy music for an afternoon.
Beginning at noon and running for eight hours, the student-run music festival features 15 student performers, from singer-songwriters to rappers to R&B vocalists to rock bands, each playing 20-minute sets.
Lowlapalooza organizer Julian Haimovich, SEAS ’13, said, “I think everyone will find something that they will like there, especially because the committee choosing the performers all came from different backgrounds with different tastes.”
Haimovich said that he dreamed up the concept of the festival after performing on Low Steps with his band Ace of Cake for a promotional election event last spring, which prompted him to think of ways to recreate the experience for other students.
R&B/Soul vocalist Taylor Simone Harvey, CC ’14, became interested in Lowlapalooza after performing as part of the opening act for Snoop Dogg at Bacchanal in 2011. “It was absolutely mind-blowingly amazing. For me, it really solidified that I wanted to be a musician. There was no other feeling like being on stage,” Simone said. Though illness prevented her from singing last year, she is welcoming her voice back through her performance on Sunday. “Now that I am better and can sing again, what better way than to sing at Lowlapalooza so I can celebrate having my voice back!” Simone said.
After forming their group and performing together at open mics in Paris last semester, band Chateau Rouge will be bringing its “indie-folk-blues” to this side of the Atlantic on Sunday. Though the band performed at Postcrypt Coffeehouse’s opening weekend three weeks ago, vocalist Dominique Star, CC ’13, described Lowlapalooza as “a good way to dip our toes into Columbia’s music scene.”
The Morningsiders, a five-person band that describes their style as “indie-Americana,” discussed the benefits of performing. Trumpet player Ben Kreitman, CC ’14, said “Doing a big show like this is a good way to learn how to play shows—there’s a lot to learn both when we rehearse and when we’re on stage. I learn something new every time we play.” Reid Jenkins, CC ’14 and fiddle player, added, “As a full band, this is the first time we’ve done something this big.”
A full list of the bands performing is available on the Lowlapalooza Facebook event page. As admissions officers like to brag, all the members of Vampire Weekend came out of Columbia—who knows where some of these bands may be in a few years? Perhaps one of the bands you rock out to on Sunday will one day boast chart-topping albums and a presence on Obama’s campaign playlist as well.