One student’s quest to make something big happen at Castleton has led to the hooking of Reel Big Fish, the band that will headline the first ever Castlefest.Andy McQuerrey, the vice president of the Student Activities Board (SAAB), has been working passionately toward putting on a large concert at Castleton, and his efforts will soon pay off.
“I’ve been working on Castlefest for two years now, mostly in the last 11 months,” McQuerrey said.
On Sunday, April 29, Castlefest is going to rock out the Glennbrook Gymnasium with artists Shute Furmunde, local band Duane Carleton and the Backwoods, Revision and headliner Reel Big Fish.
“It started out as Blues Travelers, then it was Cake followed by Guster and now Reel Big Fish, which is awesome ska, just makes you want to get up and move,” said McQuerrey.
To the dismay of many Castleton students, tickets for Castlefest are going to cost $20. Tickets can be purchased beginning April 24 at the Fine Arts Center Box Office.
“I wish people didn’t have to pay anything, but the SAAB budget can’t afford to put on a show like this,” said McQuerrey.
The Student Activities Board’s annual budget is just about $98,000. The SAAB spends the majority of the budget on Fall Festival, Winter Weekend, Spring Weekend and numerous events throughout the year, said McQuerrey.
“The estimated budget for Castlefest is between $38,000 and $40,000. The SA Activities Board has approximately $30,000 they can afford to spend,” said Victoria Angis, assistant dean of campus life.
McQuerry hopes that people can look past the cover charge for the show. As he described it, he wishes to pass something onto the Castleton community and he believes this show will do that.
“We needed something that was going to bring people together. Yes, we have shows every week, but people don’t go to them,” he said. “We need to have something permanent that is going to bring people together to have fun.”
McQuerrey plans to make Castlefest an annual event. He has one year left and he plans to make next year’s show even bigger, whether that means spending less on bands throughout the year that get little turn out or having people purchase tickets.
Chances of SAAB spending less money on small acts in the future to afford the whole amount for Castlefest, probably will not become a reality.
“I feel that it is better to have lots of smaller shows featuring a wide variety of musical styles and genres spread throughout the year,” said Angis.
A Rutland resident, Lucas Ahbleza, was excited to learn of the show and mentioned that it has changed his opinion of Castleton.
“It gives Castleton a new view. Now when people look at Castleton, they don’t just learn about the academics, but that the college is able to bring a sick show every year,” said Ahbleza. “Hell, it’s bringing me to Castleton and I’m not going to be the only one.”
Junior Adrian Hill, one of the 600+ students that signed a petition for Castlefest, feared that the sets would be too short.
“With that many bands, the sets are going to be like 45 minutes, I’d rather watch a two hour set,” said Hill.
Hill’s dream will come true. Each of the opening bands are set to play for about an hour and Reel Big Fish will play a two-hour set, said McQuerrey.
Adam Howland, the production manager at WIUV and the producer of Castlefest’s PSA, anxiously awaits Castlefest.
“It’s sick. We haven’t had a big show like this on campus since my freshmen year when JAM brought Against Me, Planes Mistaken for Stars and some other sick punk and emo acts,” said Howland.
McQuerrey, excited about the upcoming Castlefest, may have said it best.
“Look out, this year we’re poppin’ the musical cherry, next year we’re going all out,” said McQuerrey.