WIUX will broadcast a virtual Culture Shock festival on April 17. The broadcast is free and will start at 1:30 p.m. at CultureShock.WIUX.org.
Culture Shock is WIUX’s annual music festival featuring local artists and larger regional or national artists, senior and WIUX President Hannah Cougill said. This year, the local artists will be GraceKellie, Rosegirl, Manic Pixie, Herzing Teacher Band, Troll and Russian Cowboy. Cougill said WIUX will announce the national artists Wednesday on its social media.
“Our goal is to provide some cool entertainment for the community, especially because no one's been able to have big music concert events,” Cougill said. “So I feel like this is a fun way to adapt our usual Culture Shock and hopefully still bring some of the same joy to the community.”
The broadcast will feature pre-recorded sets from all the artists. The local artists recorded their sets at the WIUX studio in Franklin Hall and the national artists sent in their set recordings to WIUX, Cougill said.
While there is no in-person festival this year, Cougill said WIUX members will be in the open air venue in Dunn Meadow on Saturday selling WIUX and Culture Shock merchandise. Cougill said the maximum capacity is 50 people, so WIUX will provide a pre-register link, but students can also register at the door.
Cougill also said WIUX will also display art from its WIUX Merch Culture Shock Competition. Participants were given bags of WIUX and Culture Shock T-shirts and told to make some sort of work of art.
“We're not going to have people hanging out and lingering around too much,” Cougill said. “It'll pretty much just come in, check stuff out and leave.”
For GraceKellie members, Grace Leckey and senior Kellie McGrew, this is their first time performing at Culture Shock. Leckey said performing at this event is something they dreamed about when they first formed their band two years prior.
“We were pretty excited,” Leckey said. “I barged into Kellie’'s room and I was like ‘Kellie, do you want to play Culture Shock on Saturday? Like I hope you do because I already said yes.’”
GraceKellie prepared five songs to play and record for their set on March 20. They will premiere two brand new songs from their upcoming album, Leckey said.
Leckey said despite being separated due to the pandemic, the local music scene feels like a community again. She said everyone has been reposting each other’s announcements and are excited to watch each other perform. The virtual format also has the perk of being accessible to anyone, McGrew said.
“Anybody can see the performances,” McGrew said. “So you don't have to just be in Bloomington to watch, and that really opens it up to anyone.”
Last year, Culture Shock was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Cougill said she is excited to present this year’s festival because WIUX has put in a lot of work of preparing and making sure the festival can happen.
“I feel like our team has done such a great job of adapting all of their roles, and we have so many people on our board and members in general just who have put a lot of work into it so far,” Cougill said. “I think it's gonna end up being a really cool event overall, and I'm super excited to just see how it turns out.”