Brown Commons Hosts Colgate’s First Fall Music Festival

On Saturday, Sept. 4, Brown Commons hosted the Fall Music Festival on the Burke-Pinchin Quad, featuring ten artists during the day-long live music event. The festival boasted free temporary tattoos, a fully equipped stage at the center of the quad and two food trucks with lines snaking around the quad as eager students queued to fill up on nearly three hundred meals of Indian and Greek food. Attendees washed all this down with gallons of Gilligan’s ice cream and cases of Fanta, Sprite and Coca-Cola. Students and faculty spread out across the quad, lounging on blankets, playing lawn games and gathering around picnic tables to soak up the afternoon sun and stream of music. 

The festival’s lineup of artists was an exciting mix of students, faculty and outside performers, including: Dangerboy (comprised of Professors Kraly, Frey and Robertson), sophomore Charlotte Lawson, Esther and Astrid (with Esther Rosbrook, Director of the ALANA Cultural Center), senior Colin Jones, senior Davi Bendavid, The Hamilton Ramblers, junior Daniel Espinosa, Reyna Stagnaro, Albert Moon and lastly Brooklyn-based band Andy Suzuki and The Method. The finale took place with the stunning backdrop of the sun setting behind the roofline of Pinchin Hall, casting the quad and its inhabitants in swathes of twilight hues. The raw, exciting energy they brought to the stage was a fitting close to such a lively event. 

The musicians came together to create a spectrum of performances, ranging from intense sets utilizing multiple musicians, guitars, bass and drum kits, to more modest performances with simply a keyboard or acoustic guitar and the singer’s voice through the microphone. The festival was an exciting way for students and faculty to connect over their shared love of music and performing, bringing together individuals who would not have otherwise have had the opportunity to meet. This festival thus functioned as not just a musical event, but also as a way of knitting our campus community even tighter together.  

This series of performances was spearheaded by Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy and Director of Brown Commons, Jeff Bary, along with senior Cassie Ferrante and the Brown Commons Coffeehouse team. The Fall Festival was intended to take place last spring, but due to safety concerns surrounding the coronavirus and the weather the event was unfortunately postponed. 

“Last spring, we hatched the idea of having a full day-long festival featuring student and faculty/staff bands. Given the Brown Commons with Burke and Andrews are situated directly adjacent to the Burke-Pinchin Quad and it is a beautiful space, we decided to hold the festival there. We had everything ready to go for the spring, but both our original date and the rain date were terrible weather days,” Bary said. 

Bary and his team dove into the fall semester determined to bring this live music festival to fruition at last, and he began preparing as far back as July. He was able to secure a favorite from among the Brown Commons Coffeehouse artists as the closing act: Andy Suzuki and The Method. The high-energy band ensured an exciting end to the festival. This festival is part of a larger goal of Brown Commons to expand the scope of live music on campus and bring together student performers. Providing a space like the Fall Festival creates a supportive, low-pressure and fun environment in which student performers can showcase their skills, encourage fellow artists and forge connections with students and faculty that share their passion. Bary hopes that this event can become an annual fixture on campus to foster a sense of community and promote students’ musical endeavors.