SF State will host its sixth-annual “Rhythms Music Festival” – where students will get a thrilling insight to the music industry with one music symposium, two music competitions, a live concert featuring American R&B singer Kehlani and a free casino night – from Monday, April 11 through Friday, April 15.
“I hope to inspire a bigger culture of stress relief for our students and for us (SF State) to finally realize that this is an important aspect of college and we need to start investing in it,” said Horace Montgomery, the Associated Students, Inc. director of programs and services.
The first event will be a music symposium at the J. Paul Leonard Library in Room 121 from 4-6 p.m. The symposium moderator, Kerry Fiero, is an adjunct professor from the music and recording industry program at SF State.
The symposium’s panelists will include Bryan Matheson, owner of Skyline Studios, Danielle Burnstein, business development member at INgrooves Music group, Julie Zielinski, director of operations and associate producer at Noise Pop Industry, music artist Erk Tha Jerk and artist manager and producer Joe Barham, also known as “Joe Rock.”
In between the hours of the symposium, a meet and greet will take place at The Depot, where students will get lunch and have the chance to network with music professionals.
“The whole point is for these students to leave with a good assessment of either, ‘How can I get to this point,’ or, ‘Who can I contact, and how did they get there, and how can I mimic it?'” Montgomery said.
The second event, “Battle of the Bands,” will take place Tuesday, April 12 at The Depot from 5-9 p.m. The competition will feature five bands: 3rd & Army, The Den Brothers, White Skies, Faux Foe Fox, and My Evergreen Soul.
“What we hope to inspire from this competition is to have fun,” said Don Miralles, a third-year kinesiology major and guitarist in 3rd & Army. “Like I always say, ‘If we don’t really try and we happened to win, is that really a win?’ No, but if we were to lose to these great bands and we tried our hardest, that’s an actual win.”
The competition will consist of two rounds, with the first featuring 15 minutes of freestyle. The judges will then judge each band based on the song quality, crowd interaction and other requirements to decide which two bands to eliminate. The second round will give the remaining three bands only 10 minutes of playing time to vie to be crowned champion.
First place receives $500 and will be the opening act for R&B artist Kehlani on Thursday night. Second place will win $300 and third $200, according to Montgomery.
“Wow, if we were to win we would be very ecstatic,” said Kendric Ganeko, a 21-year-old broadcast and electronic communication arts major and guitarist in White Skies. “Opening up for Kehlani would be a great opportunity for us to test ourselves. If we can put on a good show with a small crowd, I’m sure we can put on a better show in front a larger crowd.”
The DJ competition, which will take place Wednesday at The Depot, will showcase six DJs battling it out by spinning their way to the top. The competition will feature DJ Sparky, DJ G.A., DJ Aguros, IZ, Beach Master and Ryan Pau.
The DJ Competition will have the same structure as the Battle of the Bands with the same prizes for first, second and third, except the winning DJ will not be opening act.
“If I won the competition I would be totally stoked,” said Elias Georgopoulos, a second-year cinema major, also known by his stage name Beach Master. “I would be really grateful, and if it didn’t happen that would be okay also. I wouldn’t be disappointed as long as I know I went out there and put on a good performance.”
For the Battle of the Bands, at least one band member has to be an SF State student, and for the DJ competition, all participants have to be students. Applications are open to anyone, and usually five to six contestants are chosen in each competition, according to Montgomery.
The fourth event of the festival is the Rhythms Concert on April 14, which will feature an all-female line-up with Grammy-nominated local artist Kehlani as the headliner at the Annex 1 from 7-11:30 p.m. Also performing will be K. Flay, Moxie – who has opened for Justin Bieber – and the winner of Battle of the Bands.
Ticket options available are a VIP package that costs $29.99 and includes an exclusive Kehlani t-shirt, bracelet and an early bird 45-minute entrance prior to the show. General admission tickets are $20.
Casino Night, the last event, will be held at the Seven Hills Conference Center from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. This event occurs twice a year and is a stress relief from the week-long excitement, according to Montgomery.
The event will have professional casino dealers to teach the guests how to play card games, and $250 fake dollars will be given to each attendee that can be used to gamble, Montgomery said. As the night unfolds, a guest can total up their winnings and buy an item at Montgomery’s “adult Chuck E. Cheese,” which includes Bose headphones, portal speakers and SF State apparel.
According to Montgomery, it’s imperative for the campus to value extra curricular activities, and his department needs bigger venues to provide more events to serve the entire student body.
“I think this event is the best one we host each year,” said Ganeko, who works as a photographer for ASI at SF State. “I think student life is very important and shows like this enhance it. I’m very excited for it, and now that (White Skies is) a part of it makes it more exciting.”