Last Saturday, Mercer’s Quadworks organization hosted its fifth annual free Bearstock music festival at Tatnall Square Park across from Mercer’s campus.
The show featured 14 bands on two stages, beginning at 1 p.m. and closing the festival with headliners Yellowcard and Far East Movement at around 11 p.m. Mercer students and Macon locals occupied the park with lawn chairs, blankets and coolers to listen to the bands and watch the third annual Macon Cycling Classic, whose route circled the park.
The cycling race rescheduled its May date to coincide with Bearstock in efforts to increase attendance at both events and to increase involvement between Mercer and the Macon community.
The festival was open to the public, and included such local and regional acts as Argonauts, Woolfolk, Young Benjamin, The Silver Comet, The Levee, Bottle Up and Explode, Emily Hearn, Josh Foster and Saint Francis. Headlining Cherry Blossom Festival act, Jubee and the Morning After, took the stage before Bearstock veterans the Key and Ocean is Theory finished off the day portion of the festival.
The main stage then welcomed the pop-alternative band Yellowcard and the electro-dance group Far East Movement to close the event.
While this was QuadWork’s fifth year of hosting the festival, it is the second time Bearstock has been held in Tatnall Square Park as an open event.
Mercer Live, the committee that oversees the coordination of Bearstock, found a lot of success with the large, open venue and wanted to continue after getting such positive results.
Annie Biggs, a junior at Mercer and a member of Quadworks, was the co-coordinator of Mercer Live with John Jenkins this year. This was her first year in the position. “I really had a wonderful time planning and executing the event,” Biggs said.
Many Mercer students also enjoyed themselves at the event. Dana Nicolazzi, a junior, said that while last year’s bands were better, she had more fun at the festival this year.
“We got some blankets and a cooler full of drinks, and we had an awesome time just hanging out,” said Nicolazzi. “It’s hard to compete with 3oh!3, but these headliners did a good job.”
Jay Bayless, a sophomore at Mercer, liked the diversity of the event.
“The bands were all pretty different, and it was a really open environment, not like most campus events,” said Bayless. “And it was awesome to see Yellowcard play.”
Many students, faculty members, and Macon locals enjoyed the event and nearly filled the park. Attendance estimates may have increased since last year.
“Last year, estimates were around 3,000 to 3,500 people, and I believe numbers were around the same, if not more, this year,” said Biggs. “It’s difficult to estimate numbers since it’s a free event and in a large, open area.”
Quadworks sold t-shirts and sunglasses at the event, and passed out glowsticks during the evening portion of the festival.
The equipment for the bands was time-consuming to take down, but overall, the only problem Quadworks faced was clearing and containing the trash that accumulated in the park, but they will formulate a plan regarding this issue for the next event. Biggs remarked that other than that, everything ran smoothly and Quadworks is excited to plan the event for next year.
For more Bearstock photos, visit www.mercercluster.com