On Sunday, October 6, Keene State College Social Activities Council hosted its annual Rocktoberfest celebration. Hosted on the green by Oya Hill from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Keene State students gathered to enjoy live music presented by student bands. However, music was not all that Rocktoberfest had to offer—food, drinks and activities were provided to students as well. Tables with hot cider and coffee were set up along the green for students to enjoy, along with a variety of food. All of this was organized by concert coordinator Jenae Graham.
“Planning and executing Rocktoberfest was honestly much easier than it’s been in past years,” declared Graham, “Usually Rocktoberfest is a competition based event where students and a group of judges vote on the band they’d like to receive a cash prize. However, this year SAC decided to have four bands perform– two student, two non-student– along with fun activities from different clubs, and fall themed food. I think the event went very well in spite of the cold weather!”
Along the green were Keene State clubs, who set up tables students could enjoy as well as learn more about the organizations. Among the clubs present at Rocktoberfest were Mentors in Violence Protection (MVP), Campus Ecology, Keene State Sign Language Club, Student Government and Habitat for Humanity. MVP’s table featured a spinning wheel that asked students what they would do in specific peer violence scenarios, and gave participants a prize if they answered correctly. The Sign Language Club played the game “Hearing Things” at their table, where students had to put on headphones and try to read lips to experience how difficult it can be for those who are hard of hearing. In fact, many students were brought to the event through their clubs. Among these students was first-year Sarah Ruest, who attended the event while helping run the table for MVP.
“I’m a member of MVP Club, and I also enjoy music,” said Ruest when asked what brought her to Rocktoberfest. “I think that MVP’s message is very important, and this was a way I could support and share it.”
Other students were brought to the event with the promise of music, either invited by friends or made aware by the advertising put on by the Social Activities Council. With the featured musicians being Keene State students, many even came to support friends or family who were playing in bands and hear their music. This included sophomore Kirsten Luba, who attended the event this year for the first time.
“I came to support one of my friends, who is a singer in the band Jailbait,” said Luba. “I really loved Rocktoberfest! I’ve never been before and I’m really impressed with it. It was so awesome seeing my friend perform!”
With performances from both student and non- student bands, Rocktoberfest brought Keene State and music together.
“The goal of this event was to bring a different type of musical event to Keene State,” says coordinator Jenae Graham, “A lot of people think Keene State only focuses on rap artists, but we aim to please all students. Also, incorporating the bands from the town of Keene helps connect the school to the community. A lot of students fail to realize that Keene holds an awesome musical culture that should be embraced.”
Kathryn Spadafora can be contacted at