The daylong concert featured Knox bands like Poets and Peasants and A Few Good Men, as well as headliners from off campus like C.H.I. and Phenom.
After putting so much effort into the event, the turnout confused Beta Social Chair senior Karl Bair who organized the event. During the concert, the fraternity also organized a bean bag toss tournament and sold tie dye shirts and drink cozies. Trucks from The Pizza House and Buffalo Wild Wings sold food throughout the day.
“I honestly couldn’t come up with a reason why there wasn’t more turnout,” Bair said. He was “almost ashamed by the fact that there seemed to be more [members from town] than students.”
Bair understood that people might be attending Tri-Delta’s Triple play or the Sigma Alpha Iota Shiska-BBQ. He also understood that it was a hot day, but he was still “very disappointed” that more people didn’t stop by to “check it out, see what it’s about.”
He also thought the turnout might have been lower because the concert was so close to finals, but he intentionally placed the concert on Armed Services Day to honor the concert’s charity.
Profits from the t-shirts, cozies, tournament, and 10 percent of the proceeds from the food booths went to the Wounded Warriors foundation, an organization which helps veterans transition back to civilian life.
Sophomore Alex Nadolna suggested the charity. The Beta member had done the extreme “Tough Mudder” obstacle course the organization puts on, so when the fraternity was trying to decide on a charity, he knew what he had to suggest.
“The bottom line is these guys are risking their lives … and don’t ask for much in return,” Nadolna said.
The organization helps soldiers three ways, physically, economically, and emotionally/mentally. The group helps soldiers get everything from job training to prosthetics to treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.
The cause was very important to the event, but Nadolna said that was not the whole reason behind the concert.
“We’ve got this big old porch and a lot of land,” he said. “Why not share it?”
The concert was also a tool for the Betas to break down stereotypes about the fraternity and connect with more of the Knox campus.
“There’s more to us than just parties,” Bair said.
Although the turnout disappointed Bair, the bands did not let him down. He found bands from on and off campus that covered every genre from rap to folk to punk. The only thing Bair said he couldn’t find was a country band.
“I found campus bands very receptive of the idea,” Bair said. “This campus is musically diverse and has a lot of talent.”
The three-piece band A Few Good Men especially impressed Bair. He was initially worried that the band would not produce a big enough sound for the concert, but they “absolutely blew my mind.”
He added that if they ever make an album or play at another concert, he wants to know.
Bair also found a headliner in an unexpected place: his high school. Although he had not talked to Dre Harris (who performs under the name Phenom) much since high school, he called him up and asked if he was still rapping. Harris was, and so he became one of the show’s headliners.
Sophomore Grace Theisen was one of the estimated 300 students who stopped by the show Saturday. She went to listen to the music and joined in the bags tournament, even though she said she “doesn’t really know how to play bags.”
“It’s a nice way to spend a day and relax,” Theisen said, “especially at the end of the term.”