Beautiful weather, live music from seven different bands, the enticing smell of barbeque wafting through the air, people dancing barefoot in the grass. If you attended Rollapalooza this past Saturday, May 3, these are a few of the things you may have experienced. Rollapalooza, the name being a play on the popular music festival Lollapalooza, was an all-day music festival featuring bands from all over the state of Missouri. The event, held at the Phelps County Fairgrounds, was put together by Missouri S&T’s own radio station KMNR 89.7 FM, and raised about $1,000 through admission tickets and merchandise for the charity Music Unites. With well over a few hundred people from all over Rolla, both students and residents, the festival was very successful for its first year.
However, it was not easy putting such a big event together- it took a herculean amount of effort from KMNR and friends. The main brain behind the event was Colin Croy, a junior in Electrical Engineering and a DJ at KMNR. He and the rest of his planning committee didn’t have much time to organize, he explained. “It was such a last minute process putting together a day long music festival with seven bands and food and drink vendors. I had essentially three weeks to organize it,” he said. “I called up all the bands I knew and was lucky enough to get into contact with Ha Ha Tonka and book a show before their European tour. I couldn’t have gotten it all done without the help of all the incredible friends and colleagues at the radio station- I was glad people were excited enough for the event to go the extra mile and help make this the amazing success it turned out to be. Seven incredible bands, perfect weather and a great crowd!”
The bands that played included Down Side Up; local Rolla band Moon Jr.; Chris Grabau of the band Magnolia Summers; Not A Planet; The Yowl; Sleepy Kitty (a favorite of KMNR); and headliner Ha Ha Tonka. Most of the bands performed indie-rock and alternative music that had people jumping around and dancing along to the beat. When the bands finished their sets, many of them came down to the crowd to dance around with everyone and enjoy the music. Aside from the music, local bar Public House provided a beer garden for those of drinking age, and the Missouri S&T Barbeque Club set up their barbeques and sold pulled pork sandwiches and brats for hungry concert-goers. Tri-Rivers Family Planning Center handed out free condoms, bubbles, candy, and temporary tattoos at their booth, so they could encourage attendees to have fun but to play it safe. The merchandise table sold Rollapalooza t-shirts, KMNR t-shirts, band merchandise, Rollapalooza posters, and other fun concert “merch”.
“Rollapalooza was so much fun,” said Engineering Management freshman and DJ Zac Harris. “The weather couldn’t have been more perfect, especially after those few cold days we’d had. The bands sounded amazing, the atmosphere was just so fun to be in, major props to the organizers of the event! I can’t wait for next year!”
Croy says there is definitely a next year in the works. He hopes to make Rollapalooza an annual event. “Be on the lookout for next year- I’ll have more time to plan and even more friends to help out. Rollapalooza is only going to get bigger and better!”