As the brisk days of autumn roll in, Stony Brook University students were able to appreciate a day of warmth with a one-day, music mini-festival presented on the Staller Steps.
The student-run event, known as “The Bash,” is quickly gaining a reputation as one of the most unique and lively events on campus, and the positive feedback it has received could place it among well-known campus traditions like the Roth Regatta and Brookfest.
Five bands performed: Strange Neighbors, Crooked Arrows, Shining Hours, Big Stuff, and Arahmus Brown. Alongside the main performances, there were also tables set up to advertise the SB Press and sell merchandise from the featured performers.
The well-attended event on October 15, held for just the second time, was hosted by WUSB-FM, which is both the campus radio station and the largest commercial free radio station on Long Island. Last spring, in an effort to bring an element of live performance to campus, students within WUSB decided to host the first-ever Bash on the Staller Steps. WUSB often helps provide up-and-coming musical artists with a platform on the radio, so the transition to organizing a live sequence of performances was natural.
Lauren Canavan, one of the event coordinators, said, “Something that we value a lot at the station is elevating music that might not be known, like up-and-coming artists. We really want to elevate their voices and elevate the work they put into their music, so we were kind of thinking how can we take this to the next level beyond having them on rotation at the station.”
Canavan added, “There aren’t many other activities or events on campus where you can see a band perform and then they can get off stage and interact with you, and I think that’s a really cool element that the Bash provides for the campus community.”
While Brookfest generally features famous musical artists with a large following, there is a certain level of separation between the artists and the audience at an event of that scale. The Bash generated a relaxed, interactive atmosphere for students — and was completely free.
“It’s great — great energy, great people,” said student Peter Meshkov. “It’s my first time at The Bash, and I definitely will be back.”
Another student, Wiam Homir, said, “It’s not as sunny and lively every day, so getting everyone to come out here to Staller made it very fun and a worthwhile experience.”
With all of the support from the campus community, students can expect the Bash to become a recurring event each semester. With every iteration, the event coordinators learn new lessons and work to apply them in the future. Event coordinator Nadia Kuban, secretary of WUSB, is actively working to optimize the event for sustainability. As a student studying sustainability, Nadia said, “I’ve had the opportunity to volunteer with other companies and organizations at bigger festivals that have a very sustainable, environmental [approach] towards festivals and concerts, so implementing water jugs and food in order to cut down on the amount of garbage we’re throwing away… My goal is to just keep implementing those small tasks.”
Bash event coordinators have a plethora of ideas to stimulate interaction and engagement with students at the music festival, with plans to bring an assortment of lawn games to the Staller Steps for students to enjoy with their friends alongside the live music.
— Boaz Abramson