In the summer of 1969, 32 artists performed for three days at Woodstock in Bethel, New York; on September 26, Colgate had its own version of this music festival on Whitnall Field with “Gatestock: The Redemption.” Founded last year by Broad Street Records, a recently formed organization dedicated to promoting student music, Gatestock celebrates the spirit of the original Woodstock with free student bands and singers all day long. The core members of Broad Street Records, juniors Max Miller and Andy Peng and sophomores David Case and Caitlin Grossjung organized the event this year, dubbing it “The Redemption” because as Miller explains, during the previous Gatestock, “Unexpectedly, it was 40 degrees outside and hailing and sleeting sporadically.” Since the first Gatestock, plagued by poor weather, had only about 400 students come, Miller says they felt it “had not yet met its potential.” The sleet and hail respectfully stayed away this time, permitting the sun to shine through and help make this Gatestock even more of a success.
Students played music from noon to 6 p.m., with artists on two separate stages and participants ranging from the a capella group The Resolutions and the quartet The Testostertones to soloists Andrew Wylie, Mclain Roth and Broad Street Records member Caitlin Grossjung. The other main members of Broad Street Records were involved in the music as well; Miller is in Ed Vollmer and Friends, the Bloody Nips – a Tim and Eric Awesome Show Great Job! cover band – and the Colgate Rock and Roll Association for Brothers and Sisters (CRRABS) along with Peng, who is in Khan and Quinn & Blake with Grossjung. The band Indecisive started the event, and other performances included Yung Fresh, Textbook Granalloonery and Aquapod.
Although Gatestock focused on student music, it aims to bring together multiple aspects of Colgate culture and involves several student groups, such as Blue Diamond Society, Hunger Outreach Program and the Hawaii Club. In addition to music, Gatestock offered students the chance to tie-dye a free t-shirt in true hippie fashion and partake in jousting, carnival games, a karate-chopping contest, a hookah tent and an obstacle course for entertainment.
With Italian, Middle Eastern, Caribbean, Hawaiian and Holy Smokes food provided, students could choose their meal from a vast selection while they listened to the bands or took a break from the activities.
Gatestock gave students the opportunity to perform in front of a crowd, which acted as a showcase for Colgate talents.
“It was impressive to see the variety of styles and talent among the Colgate student body,” junior and Aquapod band member Chris Dixon said.
The participants of Woodstock aspired for three days of peace and music and they pulled it off despite rain, mud and an extensive crowd. Gatestock may have less of an ambitious goal, but it does aim for collaboration between various Colgate musical groups and between Colgate organizations from different areas, and in this, it, like the original, achieved its purpose. While last year’s sleet and hail did recreate a similar experience as those who stood in the rain at Woodstock, this year’s warm weather, though perhaps slightly less authentic, contributed to Gatestock’s appeal. If the hippies at Woodstock could have attended Gatestock, they would have certainly approved – and they would have created some great t-shirts.