March 29, 2013
End-of-year Frost Music and Arts Festival features MGMT, Delorean and Kuroma
Students hand-picked three bands and organized art installations to bring back the psychedelic vibe and festival atmosphere of the Frost Amphitheater of yesteryear.
By Robin Wander
MGMT is set to perform at the Frost Music and Arts Festival on May 18. (Photo: Bertrand of Paris / Wikimedia)
Following on the success of last year's spring Revival concert that put the one-time sleepy Frost Amphitheater back on the music map, the Stanford Concert Network is presenting another crowd-pleasing lineup May 18 at the Frost Music and Arts Festival.
Headliner MGMT will wrap up its national spring tour on the Farm, joined by openers Delorean, a grooving dance band from Spain, and up-and-comers Kuroma, an Athens, Ga.-based musical collective. Tickets go on sale to students on April 1 and to the public on April 8.
Once again the spring Frost concert is the product of a strategic and enthusiastic partnership between the student-run Stanford Concert Network (SCN), the Stanford Arts Institute, Student Activities and Leadership, the Office of Special Events and Protocol, and Cardinal Nights, a program within the Office of Alcohol Policy and Education.
Last year's Frost Revival drew a near capacity crowd. The SCN production team for this year's festival plans to employ the same professional technical, ticketing and marketing practices that made the Revival concert a success.
"Frost can hold around 5,000 people and we plan on filling it," said undergraduate Haley Sayres, co-director of the festival. "We envision an afternoon full of sunshine, friends, good vibes and solid tunes."
Sayres and her co-director, Katie Rovelstad, are in charge of booking, staffing, hospitality, marketing, collateral design and managing the vendors this year. It's a huge undertaking with an equally huge payoff. "There is a certain rush that comes along with seeing all of your effort come together in something that people really enjoy," said Rovelstad.
Rovelstad and Sayres got a taste of what it is like to organize music events last year when they were part of the Frost Revival concert planning team and when they brought rapper Macklemore to Stanford's Memorial Auditorium. "That feeling of accomplishment is what I am looking forward to most for this year's Frost event – seeing the months of hard work and planning pay off in the faces of my friends, peers and the Bay Area community," said Rovelstad.
Psyched for psychedelia
This year's Frost lineup is intentionally more psychedelic and dance-music oriented than either the Revival or the hip-hop Blackfest concerts of 2012. The feel-good legacy of long-ago psychedelic performances by Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service and the Grateful Dead on the Frost stage were an inspiration, but there is definitely a 21st-century synth and dance element going on with this year's three neo-psychedelic bands.
Sayres and Rovelstad feel close to their target audience because they keep an ear to the ground around campus, and they've done their research by hitting the national music festival circuit over the years. Sayres scouted MGMT at Coachella in 2010 and at the Treasure Island Music and Arts Festival in 2009. She caught Delorean at Coachella in 2011.
"Despite being based out of Barcelona, Delorean has a large fan base in the States after their appearances at SXSW [the mother of all independent music festivals in Austin, Texas] in 2013 and 2010. Their sound will be complementary to MGMT's and upbeat," said Sayres. "Kuroma is an up-and-coming band. They've played at Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, and many Stanford students, including the Graduate Student Council, recommended them for this year's lineup. We know they'll be an awesome opener."
The planning team is also organizing an arts component that will give the event a festival vibe. Festival art directors and undergraduates Alberto Aroeste and Max Oswald are the visionaries behind the art installations. The objective is to make the art experiential rather than static. Specifics have yet to be revealed but Aroeste and Oswald are working with Stanford art practice students to create works that are "interactive, unique and something you won't want to miss," said Sayres.