Rocking on Oya hill

Rocktoberfest returns to Keene State College

Gwen Phillips / Equinox Staff

Erin McNemar

Arts & Entertainment

Music could be heard all over campus on Sunday October 14, as Keene State College’s Social Activities Council [SAC] held its annual Rocktoberfest Battle of The Bands.

SAC began the Rocktoberfest tradition in 2017. Due to the event’s popularity, SAC has been able to continue putting on the concert every October.

The event began at 1 p.m. at Oya Hill and concluded at 4 p.m. later that day. Rocktoberfest highlighted seven bands, all of which were required to have one KSC student. Lilly Okker, bassist and featured vocalists for the newly created band Jailbait, expressed her thoughts on playing Rocktoberfest.“I’m pretty freaking exciting to play. I’m nervous but excited at the same time,” Okker said. “The bands that have played are pretty good so far.” Okker explained Rocktoberfest will only be the band’s second show, after playing their first the night before.

This year, Rocktoberfest featured more bands than it had in past years. Rocktoberfest veterans, Afterimage, were also among the bands playing the event. Junior Casey Daron, bassist for Afterimage, said this is the band’s third year playing Rocktoberfest and he has loved seeing the event grow in size every year. “I think there is a huge turn out of bands this year, and every year that we have done it, more and more people get interested in it. It keeps getting bigger, and it’s really cool,” Daron said.

While Afterimage plays shows all around New Hampshire according to Daron, Rocktoberfest is one of his favorites to play each year. “It’s a lot of fun. Afterimage plays all over the place, but it’s always cool to do those Keene State shows. It’s where we started and it’s kind of a nice hometown show. Support local music,” Daron said.

Attending Rocktoberfest along with some of her friends was sophomore Claire Neily. Neily had never been to Rocktoberfest, but went as a way to get out of her dorm. “My friends are up her visiting and we were looking for something fun to do,” Neily said. Neily explained when she heard the music coming from outside her dorm, her and her friends decided to check it out. Overall, Neily said she was having a good time at the event. “We’re enjoying it. We like the bands a lot, and there is a lot of good food and free t-shirts.”

Neily said her favorite part of the event was getting some fresh air, while listening to the music around her. “I like just being outside and listening to bands,” Neily said.

When asked if she would come again, Neily said, “definitely.”

This year Afterimage won the judge’s vote, while Jailbait won the people’s choice vote.

Sophomore lead singer and guitarist of Jailbait Alyssa Taylor said, “I didn’t expect it to win to be honest, but I really thankful,” she continued. “Winning just encourages us to keep trying to get more shows and get our name out there.”

Rocktoberfest also featured free food, face painting and other activities.

Erin McNemar can be contacted at

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