Soda Fest: interesting experience curated by radio station

Originally Posted on The Triangle via UWIRE

Over the weekend Temple’s Student Radio, WHIP, hosted Soda Fest April 26. The festival was held in a residential venue called The Soda Bar, which posed as an intimate venue with outdoor and basement common areas. A number of student bands performed throughout the night in the basement of the venue which attracted a wide variety of both Drexel and Temple students.

Student bands from both schools performed. There was a wide range of audience members, despite the smaller venue size. Bands that performed included Doors, Regency Drive, Beach Bully, Birdgangs, Yeet, Das Alpaca and The Poms. It would appear that a large portion of the audience knew or had some affiliation with at least one of the bands as the listeners transitioned between band sets. Each musical group had a different appeal to listeners in terms of sound, with a multitude of genres represented including Alt-Rock and Dance-Funk, Psychedelic Rock and Experimental Indie Rock.

Das Alpaca, who premiered two original singles, “Reptilian Nightmare” and “Robot Dreams,” might have been the standout performance as they were the only band that incorporated a synth and a saxophone. This allowed the group to distinctly differentiate themselves from the other bands with their psychedelic rock sound. While each band specified their genre as different from each other, the sets accompanied each other nicely throughout the night and listeners often stayed and enjoyed music from bands that they had never listened to before.

Due to a tornado watch, The Soda Bar opted to scrap the original plan to have an outdoor stage and contained all bands to the basement stage. With this set up, the venue stopped accepting newcomers with 80 person occupancy. While the event was clearly well attended, this lower capacity kept the common areas less crowded and allowed listeners to fully appreciate the musical sets. The Soda Bar, hosted by Angel Young, Owen Brade, Sidra Droese and Danielle Hamlin, also featured a beach theme with photo station and giveaways from WHIP. The impressive giveaways included free pairs of tickets to Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals at The Met Philly and tickets to Fitz & The Tantrums at The Fillmore. These giveaways were incorporated to the venue’s beach themed photo station. To enter, guests submitted a polaroid photo of themselves. This provided a fun and creative way to enter and win the giveaways while documenting memories with friends.

Between the intimacy of The Soda Bar venue and WHIP’s band line-up, it seemed like the whole audience got to listen or experience a new band. The set up, allowed listeners to hang out with friends, take pictures and of course listen to music. The venue and WHIP were clearly able to successfully execute the event through incorporating the venue’s uniqueness to the giveaways and further add to the night.

Further, each band was able to deliver musically and build-up to one another, which was clearly appreciated by the audience. Not often is there a festival with this number of student bands executed this successfully and seamlessly. Soda Fest was a mix of good music, a good venue and good planning — an event whose return will be anticipated.

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