The University radio station, 88.9 FM WMCX, hosted their 5th annual, “12 Hour Music Fest,” featuring 12 bands performing live and students who currently radio hosts conducting interviews with the bands, from 9 am – 9 pm on Friday, Feb. 28.
According to Dr. Aaron Furgason, advisor of WMCX, the event is a celebration of college radio. It gives people a chance to hear music they don’t normally hear with a clean unproduced sound. It amalgamates what college radio does best: new music and new styles.
The theme of the day was “Anti-Valentines Day.” Katherine Wight, senior and General Manager of WMCX, said that the “12 Hour Music Fest” was supposed to be right after Valentines Day but it had to be pushed back. “By this time of the month everyone is tired of love songs, so we needed to change it up. WMCX is ‘Modern Rock with an Edge,’ not ‘lovey dovey’ stuff.”
“Each band performed an Anti-Love song and then told us about it,” said Amanda Messenger, Music Director of the station. Messenger was responsible for booking musical talent for the event.
According to Messenger, the event featured a combination of mostly local bands and artists. “To choose the bands to contact, I pulled from ones that have been to past WMCX events and have been featured on the air before,” she said.
Guests of the event included, The Battery Electric, The Dazzling Dooms, Natalie Zeller, Wild Rompit and Colton Kayser.
Kayser, who earned his MBA and Music Industry Undergraduate degree at Monmouth, used to host a show at WMCX. Kayser said, “ I chose to be a part of this event because I’ve done a number of interviews with the X before. When Amanda asked me to perform, I agreed, because I love the station and I’ve always had a good time when I’ve been there.”
According to Wight, all of the artists performing during the event are all volunteering, and chose to partake in the event. “Even though the artists are not being paid monetarily to participate, they are being paid with promotion. The whole point of this is to get bands that have a lot of potential some airtime. Promotion is important for them and is ultimately the key to our success,” Wight said.
Kayser said that he used the event to promote himself as well as his self-titled debut record. “It’s a great opportunity to publicize my new record and not to mention, I know 12 hour fest is usually catered.”
“Its important to promote the bands. This event is all about the bands. We could have the next Led Zepplin here, you never know; and it would be great to say that they were here first,” said Wight.
Furgason said, “The camaraderie between students is one of the greatest aspects of 12 ‘Hour Music Fest.’ Radio is such a solo thing; you’re in the studio alone a lot of the time, so this event brings the staff together.” Furgason continued, “These are the events that show if the students actually like each other.”
The event started off with an acoustic version from 9 am – 4 pm. After 4 pm, the interviewers were able to accommodate more metallic bands. Wight said that because of classes in the morning and early afternoon on Fridays, they weren’t able to have the heavier bands perform because they didn’t want to disrupt the classes that were in session.
The “12 Hour Music Fest” was originally a 24-hour music festival. “After three years of host a 24-hour event, the station decided to consolidate the event into 12 hours because it was hard for students to stay awake during the whole event, so I found that I was the only one conducting interviews at three in the morning,” said Furgason.
WMCX advertised the event by hanging fliers around the University, writing Facebook posts and using word-of-mouth. Wight also said that a graphic designer created a logo for the event that they used on their fliers.
WMCX is also currently planning their 40th anniversary celebration that will be taking place on May 1 and May 2. Wight said that she plans on having alum from the station come on air and do a show.
Wight said, “Since 1974, when the station started, we have had a lot of people who started at WMCX become successful and it would be great to have them here to network, do a show and have a good time.”