Beta Jam Revival Brings Music Break During Midterm Stress
Written by Briana Bursten
Hear some music bumpin’ at Beta? What could it be? A REVIVAL of Beta Jam? Yes! We sent Bwogger and music aficionado Breana Burstein to investigate.
For a few hours this Saturday, students on campus will be able to forget about their midterm stresses and listen to six hours of music sets at Beta House (550 W 114th Street). Beta House has teamed up with Rare Candy, an NYC magazine “focused on exposing underground music and visual art culture” to revive Beta Jam, an annual music festival free of charge. This year’s event, which will take place from 3:30-10pm, will feature nine different artists with tunes from a wide variety of genres.
After a hiatus, Beta Jam V was spearheaded this year by Beta brother and Rare Candy member Justin Udry (CC’18). Though Beta Jam didn’t happen last year, Udry has been working since the summer to gauge interest and figure out the set-up for the event. In partnering with Rare Candy, Beta Jam was able to secure a set-list comprised of musicians based both on and off campus. “Many of these artists are well established on the Brooklyn scene already and flying just under the radar. Tall Juan is one of the artists performing and I know he’s opened for Mac Demarco this summer. We do also have some student artists on the bill, [such as] Liberty Zoo, JIL, Clement Gelly, Simatra, and King of Nothing. [These performers] are all incredible artists with Columbia students that we’re really excited to showcase,” Udry says.
This year’s Beta Jam is different from the Beta Jams of years past. “Since we didn’t have a Beta Jam last year we wanted to start from scratch so that we can grow the event in semesters to come. We’ve got bigger artists, started a partnership with Jukely (shoutout for the free swag), and Red Bull is handing out product. We set a stage for rock bands on one floor and another for rappers and DJ’s in the basement. Admission is also strictly RSVP only; if you’re not on the list by Saturday at noon, you can’t get in,” Udry says.
Rare Candy’s Editor-in-Chief, Caleb Oldham, shares Udry’s excitement in the revival of Beta Jam. “This is the first time Rare Candy has ever been involved in organizing an event like this. We’re supportive of bringing it back because there aren’t enough opportunities for Columbia bands to play well-attended events. There are also a lot of acts in the city that want to play at our school, and we should be giving them more chances to do so,” Oldham says.
So what can we expect come Saturday at 3:00 p.m.?
“You can expect a fog machine, two projectors, nine acts, and a ridiculous, stress-relieving time. Also Red Bull and a free t shirt if you come early,” Oldham explains. Udry agrees. “It’s just going to be a few hours where you don’t have to worry about exams or anything, listen to some stellar music, and hang out with a bunch of other people just looking to get away from all the stress.”
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