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Student Leaders Plan and Promote Revelry Music Festival


Students filled the Orpheum for the annual Revelry concert. Courtesy of the Wisconsin Union.

Determined student leaders brought annual music festival Revelry to life at the Orpheum Saturday, April 30, despite budget cuts, bad weather and competition with nearby venues. Revelry attracted more than 600 students and community members.

The Wisconsin Union Directorate Music Committee’s Revelry Music Festival is still in its formative years, having only begun in 2012. The mission of the festival is to bring an end-of-the-year music event to UW-Madison students and create a celebratory atmosphere as the semester comes to a close.

Through Revelry, students also have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience planning and programming a music festival.

Revelry has always been planned for students, by students. Ayla Kress, a UW-Madison senior and the executive director for Revelry 2016, reported that the planning committee found ways to combat the budget cuts.

“I’m proud that Revelry was able to come to fruition this year and continue to bring renowned artists from across the world to UW-Madison,” Kress said.

The committee chose fewer acts than in previous years, but still did so with students in mind. In an interview with the Badger Herald, Kress said that Revelry would be different in 2016 but assured that students would not be disappointed. This year’s lineup included Davilla, Hudson Mohawke, WebsterX, Finding Novyon and iLoveMakonnen.

To make up for low funds, the festival team devised creative solutions. They partnered with local restaurants to offer students meal deals with ticket purchases. The team even sponsored contests for chances to win meet-and-greet passes with the festival’s performers.

Last year, Revelry took place on the grounds across the street from Memorial Union. This year, construction and budget cuts caused student planners to move Revelry from its former location to the Orpheum Theater on State Street.

The 2016 Revelry fell on the same day as the famous Mifflin Street Block Party as well as many other concerts in downtown Madison. The planning team prepared for this competition with marketing strategies and a lineup that appealed to students.

“As the Revelry directors look toward next year, we’ll rely on campus support to grow the festival, bring larger acts, and get back to what it’s all about: a music festival for students, by students,” Kress said.

The 2016 planning team saw their hard work and creative problem-solving provide unforgettable experiences for UW-Madison students and the Madison community.

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