People lay on their blankets in the center of Dunn Meadow as they listened to music and enjoyed the sun. A few young women set up a slackline between two trees near the Jordan River. Kids of all ages were bouncing in the bouncy house.
This was the scene at this year’s Culture Shock, an annual outdoor music festival put on by IU student radio station WIUX. Every year, local and touring bands come to Dunn Meadow for an end-of-the-year music bash with food trucks and merchandise. This year’s festival was headlined by Chicago rapper Noname.
Hundreds of people, including college students, locals and people from out of town, came out to enjoy the vendors, bouncy house and music. Bill Boyles, a semi-retired Bloomington resident, said he had been to every single Culture Shock for the past 30 years, even if he didn’t know who was playing.
Around 1 p.m., High Fiber, a local band, kicked off the festival. Its set was followed by other locals House Olympics and Amy O.
“I’m not originally from Bloomington, but I like the area,” Amy O vocalist Amy Oelsner said. “Culture Shock is a great opportunity to get your name out there to college kids and do something with buzz around it, but is still a local show.”
Those bands were followed by rappers Draco McCoy, Mathaius Young and FLACO and local indie songwriter Kevin Krauter, who also plays bass for Hoops, before the first headliner, Post Animal.
“I am most excited to see Post Animal,” said Maddie Holmes, a senior from Purdue University. “When I saw the lineup for Culture Shock, I was happy to see them on it.”
Post Animal is a six-member band based in Chicago. It’s been together since 2014.
“My favorite thing about performing is seeing all the guys in front of me and seeing them bobbing their heads,” drummer Wesley Toledo said. “It’s a beautiful picture.”
After the band’s set, a crowd of people went behind the stage for selfies with Post Animal frontman Joe Keery, who is known for playing Steve Harrington in Netflix’s hit series “Stranger Things.”
He and other Post Animal band member Dalton Allison talked about the importance of the arts. They both participated student radio in college, and Keery said he thinks fests like Culture Shock help spark interest in the arts.
“Events like this are important to the community because it’s free, inspiring and open to the public,” Allison said.
After Post Animal was the band Flasher, a punk band from Washington, D.C., followed by SALES, a guitar-based pop band from Florida.
SALES members Lauren Morgan and Jordan Shih have been working on music since 2007, but didn’t have a working band name and recorded music until 2013, lead singer and guitarist Morgan said. Morgan said she considers the arts an important aspect of communities.
“It reflects the feeling of the time,” Morgan said. “It is really hard to say things with words, and art can help people interpret that.”
During SALES set, the final song was fully improvised, which Morgan said is her favorite part about performing.
“I get so much energy working off the drummer and throwing people curve balls,” Morgan said.
To end the night, the top headliner, Noname, performed for the biggest crowd of the day.
Her first mixtape, “Telefone,” came out last year. She’s also been featured on tracks by fellow Chicagoan Chance the Rapper.
Cole Daly, freshman interior design major at IU, said seeing Noname was thrilling.
“The crowd had so much energy because of Noname’s stage presence,” Daly said. “She did not disappoint with her classic smooth rhythm to a crowd of ecstatic fans. She was the perfect way to end the night.”