The Easterner

Eagle Entertainment hosts inaugural music festival, Swoopalooza

By Erik Rötness, Contributor

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EWU held its first music festival, Swoopalooza, on The Inferno Friday, June 1 from noon-4 p.m. Breaking from the traditional spring concert, Swoopalooza featured three bands playing different genres of music.

Frank Ray, a country artist based out of Las Cruces, New Mexico, opened the festival. The Icarus Account, a Floridian acoustic-pop duo, played second. And Night Argent, an alternative pop-rock band from Washington state, closed the show.

Eagle Entertainment concert coordinator Shelby Sherman, a junior at EWU, said that planning for the event had been a long process starting back in November.

“Beginning winter quarter, we started planning who we’d bring for artists,” Sherman said. “We wanted to have a wide variety of music to appeal to a wide group of people.”

In the past, EWU held a spring concert featuring fewer musicians. Andy Grammar played in 2015, Allen Stone and Parmalee co-headlined in 2016 and Borgore performed last year.

“We wanted to move away from the spring concert idea and more toward music that more people could enjoy,” Sundi Musnicki, the associate director of SAIL said.

Students enjoyed the idea.

“Usually Eastern does one big concert,” Jayden Mckean said. “It was fun to see them do a music festival with more than one band.”

The Icarus Account was freshman Kalen Shinagawa’s favorite band of the afternoon.

“I don’t like country and they were more chill and relaxing,” Shinagawa said. “They really interacted with the crowd a lot.”

The bands played on the 20-yard line of The Inferno and were surrounded by outdoor games, food and vendor booths.

“The fun thing about planning a festival instead of a concert is that you’re not there just for the music,” said Sherman. “You can play some games, eat some food and feel comfortable.”

Students played inflatable Twister, bucketball, giant Jenga and more along the track around the field. BeYOUtiful bath bombs and Bench Love decorative signs were for sale as well as EWU merchandise from the bookstore. A flower-crown station and photo booth also added to the festival activities.

Students enjoying a giant game of Jenga on The Inferno. There was also inflatable Twister, bucketball and giant chess along the field | Erik Rötness for The Easterner

Admission was free with an EWU ID and an all-access food pass cost $6.50. The spread included corn on the cob, saucy chicken drumsticks, caesar salad and strawberry shortcake.

Overall attendance for the new music festival was 350 students. Eagle Entertainment’s goal for the event was to have 1,000 students attend.

Both Mckean and Shinagawa mentioned that they expected to see more people.

“Attendance was a major goal that we did not reach, whether that was the time of day or the weather,” Sherman said.

The cooler weather particularly affected the bands.

“The Icarus Account is from Florida and Frank Ray is from Texas,” said Sherman. “Frank Ray’s entire band asked us where they could buy sweatshirts and I told them to go to the bookstore.”

According to EWU senior Sonja Kriewald, many students she knew did not attend either because of classes or because they had already taken off for the summer.

Throughout the event randomly drawn students received giveaways like wind pouch chairs, $50 bookstore gift cards, cases of Monster and two $150 gift cards to Ticketmaster donated by ASEWU.

Eagle Entertainment, in association with SAIL, ran and programmed the event. ASEWU funded the music entertainment and co-sponsored the event.

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Eagle Entertainment hosts inaugural music festival, Swoopalooza