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The Scarlet & Black

Shovember promises good music, good food, good vibes

Photo contributed.
Photo contributed.

Nora Coghlan

Tomorrow night Freesound will host the long awaited Gardner music festival of the semester, Showvember, in collaboration with local foods, Bob’s Underground Café, Tiny Dorm, and Concerts Committee.

Over the course of five hours, attendees can expect to see 19 acts, composed of roughly 50 student musicians, with three rounds of food coming in throughout the event. The new programming is a huge expansion from Showevember in recent years.

“In the past it was like three hours long, and it was generally rock bands, so not that diverse of a selection, no food, no Bob’s participation,” said Freesound Manager Michael Owusu ’17.

“It was a pretty straightforward event, not that much programming went into it … it was very bare bones,” added fellow Freesound Manager Justin Leuba ’18.

Although Showvember has been relatively small in recent years, during the early years of its decade-long history the event took place over the course of several days, and included concerts in the loggia.

“It was a really different music community than we know today,” said Freesound Manager Noah Sebek ’17. “But we are trying to revamp everything and bring it back … to the glory days.”

And Saturday promises a return to Shovember’s former glory, with music from all genres, performers from all class years, seasoned Grinnell favorites, brand new acts and even an act with alumnus Austin McKinney ’15.

“In terms of raw numbers, and numbers of performers and time, this is by far the biggest music event of the year,” Sebek said.

The festival will kick off with lower energy acts at 6 p.m., with more upbeat genres and larger groups and DJs to come later in the evening.

“We picked the genres that make sense to follow each other and then we randomized [within those genres],” Sebek said

Despite the hype surrounding Showvember, all the Freesound managers promised a low-stakes, chill environment, where all students and performers will feel welcome and comfortable.

“There’s a lot of people who aren’t playing shows casually who will play like a 20 minute set amongst a group of other people. It’s low stakes, so it’s really good energy,” Owusu said.

Freesound Manager Jacob Getzoff ’18 cited this environment as a perfect time for first-year musicians to get involved with the music scene at Grinnell.

“I think it’s definitely important for first years to make their first Shovember experience memorable, because they’re the future … as far as the music scene goes. If you can make a positive impression now hopefully our efforts will carry on in Freesound,” he said.

“One thing about Shovember is that a lot of student bands get their start then,” Sebek added. “It … serves as a catalyst for new groups to form and it’s also a survey of the music scene at Grinnell.”

The event seems to encourage students to come for the music, stay for the food, and leave with good vibes.

“While it’s entertaining, the entertainment isn’t the focal point. It’s a community event,” Leuba said. “It’s about people coming together and using the music community as a crutch for personal and emotional support in a lot of ways. It’s just a lot of love and everyone is just kind of vibing with each other and a lot of positive energy. It’s much more about the creation of the positive community than it is about the people showing off their talent.”

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