Annual spring concert takes on a new look

Photo courtesy of Lex Lehr

Formerly called Mayday, this year’s Bear Bash will feature We The Kings, with student band opening

 

Kevin Leon

keleon@ursinus.edu

Ursinus’ annual spring concert has a new look this year.

Previously known as Mayday, Bear Bash, the free outdoor concert and celebration, will be held this Saturday, April 8, beginning at 6 p.m. in the gravel lot by New and North.

What makes Bear Bash different from Mayday is essentially when it’s being held. In past years, Mayday was held at the end of April, closer to May, as the name implies. This year, though, the date of the festivity was pushed up to early April, prompting the planning committee to decide on a name change.

“It didn’t make sense to call it Mayday anymore [since] it’s happening at the beginning of April,” said Ursinus Student Government president Robert Rein. Student Government is responsible for hosting the event.

Other names like “April Day” were considered by the committee, but eventually Bear Bash was the winner.

This year, the committee, led by Rein and UCSG social chair Rachel Weil, decided on booking We The Kings, a pop-punk group best known for their hit song “Check Yes Juliet.” They came to this decision because they felt that there should be a change in genre. Genres from previous years include rap and EDM, with last year’s performance by popular mashup artist DJ Earworm.

According to the committee, We The Kings offers a welcome change in musical style while also fitting the three criteria all possible acts in the running must be considered for: price, availability, and popularity.

The Bear Bash planning process was not without its difficulties, however. A major challenge for the committee was developing student interest in the event. The name and timing changes added some confusion, and student interest in the past has not been as high as the committee would hope.

As some students may remember, the event was canceled two years ago due to a last-minute error with receiving the necessary equipment. Consequently, some student acts performed a casual, impromptu show in the Reimert courtyard, though many were disappointed that the planned concert had fallen through.

Members of the Bear Bash committee are confident that the issues of the past will not happen again.

“The Bear Bash committee has put a lot of work into working through the difficulties and we are ready to put on an awesome Bear Bash!”

Weil said. “[Bear Bash] wouldn’t be possible without the students we have on this committee, behind the scenes,” said Rein. “They really run the show.”

Traditionally, a student artist or group gets the opportunity to open for the headliner. Opening for We The Kings will be Ursinus’ own Kessel Run. The band is comprised of students and alumni Mike Muli, Lex Lehr, Mark Nagy, and Jesse Ricardi.

Lehr, one of the band members, admits he had never heard of the headliner prior to being offered the chance to open for them, but says that his band is honored to be opening for an act as well-known as We The Kings.

Lehr explained that balancing school with being in a band has been a relatively easy task. Rehearsals can be time-consuming, especially when Kessel Run was adding new songs to their repertoire, but the band has recently gained experience through playing a lot of gigs. Bear Bash will be one of their biggest to date.

Rein recommends following “UC Bear Bash” on both Facebook and Instagram to keep up to date with any announcements or information leading up to the concert.