Kohoutek Festival Beats Rain

It was a rare overcast
day in Claremont at Pitzer College’s Kohoutek Music and Arts Festival, which was free and open to the public. The festival featured a total of 20 bands over the weekend of April 24 and April 25. 

Despite the drizzle, the 5C community snuggled
together in their unfamiliar coats and windbreakers to enjoy the music
and good vibes.

“The biggest difficulty was having to get about six of us on
staff to run and grab sandbags to pin the tent on stage down, so the rain would
stop leaking underneath it,” Kohoutek committee head Shaban Ayala-Torres PZ ’15. “We probably had close to 60 or 70 of these heavy
sandbags to lug around, but luckily a bunch of random people watching the show
helped us out, and it was done in no time. It was such a Pitzer moment; I loved

This year’s lineup offered an incredibly wide array of acts spanning across nearly every genre of music. Student bands, which included the infectious funk of Bill Clinton’s Clinton, the earnest and lyrical folk of Tassos Barreis and the hype-driven hip-hop of
Nafets, got the event started on both days of the festival. 

Students who participated in the festival were enthusiastic despite the rain. 

“It was really
awesome,” said Stefan Bindley-Taylor PZ ’18, the main MC of Nafets. “It was my favorite performance. The tent and the lights made it feel
real. It was great being onstage with the homies and seeing the squad there
in the crowd supporting.” 

Folk performer Tassos Barreis PZ ’15 concurred. 

“It felt very comfortable,” Barreis said. “I was playing to mostly friends. Delicate Steve was
a definitely a highlight; so was sitting in on a recording session with Jeffrey
Martin at KSPC. He’s a big inspiration, and I got to talk to him after about

Portland-based singer-songwriter Jeffrey Martin was
certainly a highlight of the weekend as he brought nothing but his guitar onstage and managed to connect with the
smaller daytime crowd. Spazzkid tore down the house Friday night, playing
a series of back-to-back electronic tracks that were so energetic he had to
invite half the crowd on stage to jump and dance in bouncy unison. A few other
highlights were the whimsical gypsy folk of Cactopus, the
atmospheric beats of Stag and the signature soul of Blu & Exile.

These musicians and their lively sets were the result of a great deal of planning, as members of the Kahoutek committee can attest. Organizing a festival of any size requires much prior thought and preparations, including contacting agents, booking bands, organizing art, locating vendors and designing and printing merchandise. 

“It’s an amazing feeling to be able to do anything with a group of fantastic humans and see it all result in such
a wonderful weekend,” committee member Marley Cohen PZ ’17 said. “There are always disagreements, but overall, the
planning is nothing but exciting.”

According to Allysin Ruttle PZ ’16, the festival and the emotions accompanying it seem to be reflective of the 5C community’s attitude as a whole. 

“Watching the music and, more importantly, watching
everyone having a good time is the most satisfying thing,” Ruttle said. “It makes all of the
stress worth it. The audience never sees you sweat. They are just there to have
a good time, and that’s what counts, more so than anything.”

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