Dead week has begun and finals week is just around the corner for Western’s hardworking students. As the study groups begin to meet, the projects begin and the pots of coffee begin to brew, many students will keep their heads in their books and rarely take a deserved study break. This year, the B’ham Jingle Jam can be used as the perfect breather from group projects and flashcards.

Western’s Associated Students Pop Music and AS Productions Special Events have collaborated to host an event that will offer students a study break full of local music, said Megan Housekeeper, AS Pop Music coordinator.

“The idea is for students to take a break from studying and stop by for at least part of the event, if not the whole thing, and check out local bands that otherwise they normally wouldn’t get to see or maybe they haven’t heard of,” Housekeeper said.

The B’ham Jingle Jam is a free music festival featuring bands from around Bellingham. The event takes place at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8 in the Viking Union Multipurpose Room.

Performing at the music festival includes: Prime Time Band, Bad Tenants, Palisades, Specters, Great Pacific and Cuff Lynx. All bands, except the Bad Tenants, include Western students.

A lot of local bands in the Bellingham area only have the opportunity to play at bars, said Jordan Swinder, AS Productions Marketing Coordinator of Music and Entertainment. B’ham Jingle Jam gives these bands a larger venue to perform for audiences of all ages.

“I’m always getting inquiries from local bands [saying] ‘When can we play pop music shows?’ and a lot of students are like ‘Yeah, I’d be really interested in seeing local bands, I just don’t really know where to see them or when to see them,’” Housekeeper said. “So it was kind of an idea I originally came up with because we haven’t really had all local bands on a pop-music stage before, and typically, we do all of our local music in the Underground Coffeehouse, but it’s not quite the right venue for those bigger, louder acts.”

Also featured at the music festival is a free photo booth where students can take unlimited pictures, Housekeeper said. There will be plenty of props and holiday décor to dress-up with. Also at the event will be a canned-food drive for the Bellingham Food Bank.

“It’s a great way to not only enjoy some free music, it’s also a great way to give back,” said Jordan Renshaw, AS Special Events coordinator. “All the donated cans will be going to the [Bellingham] food bank, and it’s a really important this time of the year with the holidays and everything. It’s just a great way to show up, have a great time for free, as well as give back to the community.”

Each piece of canned food donated will be in exchange for a raffle ticket; these raffle tickets will be entered into drawings to tons of prize packs from local businesses, Housekeeper said. Tickets to the Pickford, prize packs from Disidual and AB Crepes are among the raffle prizes.

“[The B’ham Jingle Jam] supports students, it supports the local music scene, it supports the local business and all kinds of things that bring the community and the school together, which is not always an easy thing to do,” Swinder said.