For the first time since 2004, Colorado College students won’t gather around Tutt Science for an afternoon of horse shoes and bluegrass.
Instead of Blues and Shoes — CC’s bluegrass music festival from years past — students are encouraged to attend a new event this year called LoCCal: a daytime music and arts festival.
In the spring of last year after news broke that Blues and Shoes would no longer take place, a group of CC students came together to plan and organize a new event. Olivia Martinez ’20 is one of the five main students who spent the summer planning and organizing LoCCal.
“I loved Blues and Shoes; I loved the event and especially the time at which it happened,” Martinez said. “And I do like bluegrass music, but I understood that at this point in time, CC needed to start a new tradition and something that was a lot more reflective of the student body.”
Zac Schulman ’19, current student body president, emphasized the importance of students’ taking charge of this new event rather than faculty or staff.
“LoCCal is the brainchild of the CC community,” Schulman said. “After it became clear that Blues and Shoes would no longer happen, members of our community came together to reflect on a replacement.The group of students who took initiative for LoCCal … did so because they had an idea of what would be best for our community. They have been amazingly intentional in crafting an element of place into this event. The first campus-wide event of the year should be both welcoming and exciting, and I think LoCCal will turn out to be just that.”
To ensure this year’s event is both reflective and inclusive, Martinez worked closely with Colorado College Student Government Association’s Vice President of Inclusion and visited Black Student Union, SOMOS and Native American Student Union, acting as a “liaison,” in her words.
“We’d heard before that people wanted change, and we were a group of people who were so excited to provide that,” Martinez said. “[But] we realized early on that we needed to connect with more people and involve them in making it a more inclusive event . . . Having their input was really crucial.”
In addition to making the event more inclusive, Martinez and the other student organizers also wanted to distinguish LoCCal from both its predecessor and its spring rival, Llamapalooza. Thus, they made the event “more than just a music festival.”
In addition to its three headliners “The Other Black” (funk), “The Reminders” (hip hop), “Rajdulari” (R&B), LoCCal will also have dancers, spoken word poetry, and an interactive art installation with prompts like: “What does home mean to you?”
“We’re trying to focus on LoCCal — because this is so early in the year — as a way for first-year students to get a sense of what CC is and a chance for people coming back to have an opportunity to connect with their friends [and] people they haven’t seen in a while,” Martinez said. “We also want to drive home sense of place. Our headliners are from Colorado, and all the food is local, coming from Colorado Springs.”
Saturday will feature a wide variety of cuisines from chicken, pork and vegan tacos from El Chapin, to free food trucks later that night offering Caribbean-Iranian fusion from Tito’s Burritos and Jamaican food from High Grade.
If this year’s LoCCal is a success, Martinez hopes to recruit some underclassmen to help make the event an annual tradition for years to come, like Blues and Shoes for so many previous CC students.
“Based off how this event goes, we’ll know what we need to change and what we need to improve, and hopefully we’ll get feedback from the student body,” Martinez said. “[Then] the next step is how do we make LoCCal sustainable. We hope to get some first years and sophomores involved.”
Martinez said she hasn’t really heard much amongst the student body about the event.
“I think people are kind of like, ‘What is it?’ at this point,” Martinez said. “And you won’t really know until you get here.”
LoCCal will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. this Saturday, September 8 on the Tutt Science quad. Music is expected around 11 a.m., and food will be served around noon. There are 75 tickets for non-CC students at Worner desk available for purchase for $10.