Festival life is coming back to Rollins with WPRK’s annual Fox Fest. There will be musical artists, local art vendors, a beer garden, and much more.
Drew DeVito ’16, the WPRK Station Manager, said that the purpose of Fox Fest is “to give Rollins students something that they haven’t gotten before, which is an event with super talented musicians, a great time, a chance to literally just walk out of the door of your dorm and see music. In past Rollins years that’s just something you haven’t been able to do.”
The lineup for this year includes talented Rollins artists, local performers, and undergound artists. So who are the Rollins students performing Foxfest? DJ & SJ (David Simoneau ’14 and SJ Renfroe ’17), Tim Ajayi (“Menace”), and Elie Gottlieb ’15, notoriously known as VIVIDO will all appear at the event.
From the local music scene there will be The Groove Orient, a Fox Fest staple. Self-proclaimed music enthusiast, avid festival-goer, and one of the core event coordinators of Fox Fest, Jonny Scoblionko ’16 states that “booking the Groove Orient was kind of a no-brainer. In past years we have had nationally renowned acts such as The London Souls, Hundred Waters, and Bright Light Social Hour, so we wanted to find acts that would be able to put on a killer show,”
On handling the musical magic behind the scenes, such as compiling the lineup, making contracts with the artist, and heading the Artist Outreach is very important.
Scoblionko shares that the team “wanted to be sure that we booked a multidimensional lineup. As a team, we agreed that we did not want the event to be around one band or one sound, so we went out and booked acts spanning all genres. We wanted to be sure that the lineup was the right representation of the event, as well as the Rollins community. We chose to book a diverse lineup that features everything from electronic music to rock and roll to experimental psychedelic jazz and funk.”
The nationally touring acts are Eliot Lipp, the co-headliner, and Marco Benevento, the headliner.
Co-headliner Eliot Lipp was “the first act we locked in” remarks Scobionko.
Marco Benevento, the headliner, is also in high demand.
“All you have to do to understand how fantastic Marco Benevento is, is listen to the song ‘At the Show.’ It’s kind of like the perfect indie-catchy, pop-catchy ballad. He is a baffling good musician with these really catchy songs that almost anyone would love but also he will put effects on his grand piano [WPRK snagged a really nice piano for Benevento also],” said DeVito.
Having seen Benevento at AURA Music Festival in 2014, Scoblionko knew this was an act to go after.
Being able to book Benevento was “a dream come true,” said Scoblionko.
Catering to Rollins students and WPRK listeners, and Winter Park and Orlando residents, the music lineup for Fox Fest clearly pulls from a variety of genres, but the diversity extends beyond the music.
Fox Fest coordinators have invested time and energy throughout the semester to ensure that a variety of activites and vendors will be available throughout the festival. These activities and vendors appeal to a wide array of interests and are guaranteed to draw students from all over campus.
Just a few of the activities include: free yoga led by local instructor Lindsay Graham on the lawn starting at 2 p.m.; an exciting display of live art at 4 p.m; and when the music starts, beer from Will’s Pub. Food will also be available as students browse through the mutliplem vendors. A majority of the vendors are locally based, have Etsy shops, and are even Rollins alumni.
Tierney Torchin ’16, said “the products range from geode rings to vinyl record butterflies. The diversity at the event this year through the music and vendor community is going to make it bigger and more interactive than ever before.”
Scoblionko said, “We want Fox Fest to be something that unites everyone in attendance and allows people to abandon social inhibition. We chose to create an interactive music and arts festival to help bring Rollins together as a community. We want to help provide an authentic college experience for Rollins students. I for one am tired of all social events taking place off campus, and I want to use Fox Fest as a means of strengthening our communal bonds and bettering the college experience on the Rollins Campus. My goal is for Fox Fest to be a stepping stone and a catalyst for change regarding on-campus life.”
And Scoblionko’s vision for Fox Fest is coming true, with a much bigger venue on Mills Lawn (instead of last years Mary Jean Plaza), the festival promises to host more students and draw attention from around campus. The artist pull extends into the community and outside of the Winter Park area, boasting headliners from across the country instead of only local bands. Weaving together the Rolins arts community with global performances and local vendors promises that Fox Fest 2015 will deliever performances far beyond expectations.
So don’t miss it and mark your calendars. Festival life at Rollins kicks off on Saturday April 11 on Mills Lawn. The music starts at 4 p.m. and goes until 10 p.m.