Festival showcases musical talent using sustainable practices
This weekend brought more than just a change in temperatures and seasons—the Campus Ecology organized this year’s Harvest Festival around the idea of making changes towards sustainability.
The event, which is powered by a traveling bus called Sunweaver that provides power for speakers and musicians, featured nine local artists.
Velvet Young, vice president of Campus Ecology, said that this year Harvest Fest has more sponsors and donations, which helps draw in a larger crowd.
This year, there have been more donators and sponsors, according to Molly Alderman-Person, public relations for Campus Ecology.
Local stores such as Prime Roast, The Works Bakery Café and Life is Sweet provided all of the food donated to the event.
Young said that having food that is local and made in Keene helps promote businesses in the community.
Harvest Fest, which is made up of all solar powered electricity, recycled materials helps show the importance of sustainability and how easy it is to make choices that lead to a more sustainable future.
Alderman-Person said, “All of the activities are sustainable in some way.”
The event, which was planned two months ago according to Young, featured the talent of local musicians Jake McKelvie and The Countertops, TheColorOrange, and Courtney Thorpe—however, out-of-state bands such a Jatoba, Midnight Snack, and Quiet Hours also performed. The Campus Ecology club spent a total of 1,000 dollars on headliner band Jatoba, according to Alexi Lovechio, co-president of the club.
Other bands ranged from 150 dollars to 600 dollars, Lovechio said.
But for this year, Lovechio wanted to ensure that all the performers differed in some way.
“We never have any female singers,” Lovechio said.
In order to change this, Alderman-Person said that Campus Ecology tried to even out the genders of the performers—and local singer Courtney Thorpe and the Midnight Snack helped to do that.
Midnight Snack, led by Jack Johnson on vocals and piano, Mike Johnson on guitar, Peter Brownlee on bass, Brad Bahner on drums, Zack Kardon on guitar, Brian Phillips on trumpet and vocals, Devin D’Amato on saxophone and vocals, and Zoe Gelinas on vocals, brought their eclectic music stylings to Keene State College all the way from Boston, Mass.
In addition to Midnight Snack, Primate Fiasco also performed at the festival. Primate Fiasco, which is composed of members Dave Russo, Steve Yarbro, Chris Trevethan, J Whitebeck and Jeff Fennell, brought their Dixie Jazz music to the college campus all the way from North Hampton, Mass.
However, it wasn’t just out-of-state bands that helped bring the spirit of Harvest Fest to the KSC campus, Lovechio said that it was important for the event to feature local talent. Bands such as Jake McKelvie and The Countertops—made up of Jake McKelvie on guitar and vocals and Nick Votruba on bass—Thorpe, who plays ukulele and guitar—and TheColorOrange, led by John Remmetter on vocals and guitar, Eric Walker on bass, and Zac Johnson on drums, all performed at Harvest Fest using solar powered energy.
“All the bands this year haven’t played at Harvest Fest [before],” Young said.
Young said that Campus Ecology chose bands that hadn’t played at the event before to give other musicians a chance at performing.
This was done in an effort to get more people involved with creating a more sustainable environment and to promote community businesses, Lovechio said. Alderman-Person said that all the clubs at Harvest Fest this year all relate to the idea of sustainability in some way.
However, this is not the only environmentally friendly event that Campus Ecology puts on—in the springtime the Sunweaver travels back to the KSC campus to help put on another solar-powered show.
Lovechio said that the only difference between Harvest Fest and Solar Fest is that Solar Fest is bigger because it has more vendors, donors, and sponsors—but no matter what the size of the festival, their message is clear—creating an environment that is sustainable is a practice that can be applied to every aspect.
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