Peace, love, music: Newstock

Newstock, New College’s annual salute to Woodstock, took place this past Saturday on Z-Green. The groups that performed covered everything from rock to jazz to alternative electronic music.

Newstock is an Resident Advisor (RA) sponsored event, overseen this year by Residence Hall Director Lauren Burr. As an RA event Newstock was designed to be substance free and a way to foster community.

“It is a longstanding event and institutional memory that may foster connections between upper years and first-years,” thesis student and RA Amanda Bragg said. “It draws out a lot of different kinds of people, who can then interact with people that they don’t know in a non-stressful environment.”

The event ran from 1 p.m. until 11 p.m. and was comprised of both student and outside acts. Musicians alternatively occupied one of two stages and performed for slots that lasted between 15 minutes and an hour.

Z-Green was lined with personal blankets as the primarily student audience took advantage of the blue skies and warm weather to listen. A few clubs, such as VOX: Voices for Planned Parenthood and Students Targeting Oppressive Powers, set up tables, and RAs ran stations for arts and crafts. The Grill TA was also called in and provided free food for the opening hours of Newstock.

“Different committees have been formed for advertisement, creating a menu for the food, creating craft ideas and getting bands that derive from students,” RA and third-year Destinee Aponte said in an e-mail interview.

According to Aponte roughly $840 was spent on Newstock this year. This includes the cost of bands, food and crafts.

A variety of experiences were showcased during Newstock. Student solo acts performed throughout the day on the same stages as professional bands such as Good Graeff, a pure indie-folk sister-act with a US tour under their belts. Throughout the day, musicians were well-received by the crowd but Good Graeff was an instant audience favorite. The band is based out of Sarasota and originally comprised of Brooke Graeff on guitar and vocals and Brittany Graeff on cello.

“We’d love to play more New College shows and house parties,” the Graeffs said.

Also from Southwestern Florida and incorporating a twin-act was Mason Jars, a student group based out of Tampa, though one of their own, Emma Barbato, is a first-year at New College. Newstock was the group’s first experience playing together in four months, an experience they said was positive.

“The people at New College make some of the best audience we’ve played in front of,” Mason Jars said.

New College’s a capella and jazz groups also performed. Both groups put their own flair into their songs, while also incorporating the traditional elements of their respective ensembles.

“We look at artists that have a history of performing for New College students like Physical Plant or Buffalo Wizards,” Aponte said. “We look for current talented students that are in their own band or groups like New Cats and Acapellago. Then in order to mix things up, we ask for bands from out of town.”

According to Aponte, Newstock is the most highly attended RA event. The audience fluctuated throughout the day, starting off at about 30 members and growing to over 100 at the height of the afternoon. The crowd dwindled around dinner, though a small group of students were present until the event ended.

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