This year the Higginson Festival of Music (HigFOM) is going big. That’s the plan, anyway. It’s the first year that HigFOM, previously held in a residence hall lounge, is trying to get students from all over campus to show up at 7 p.m. on April 11 in the VU Multipurpose Room.
Free food, a few bands and free admission are expected to encourage students to come to the event and recognize Sexual Assault Awareness Month, according to Christina Everett, assistant resident director for Edens/Higginson.
“It’s the first year that the festival’s in support of some kind of cause and we’re hoping to make that a
regular thing,” said Zachary Kramer, Edens/Higginson council president.
Some familiar faces from various campus open mic events will be performing. The Senate, a Seattle-based rock-and-roll string band and Grand Hallway, an orchestral pop octet also from Seattle will be performing, as will The Apple War, a band with roots in Bellingham that later relocated to Seattle.
Students are performing for free and the bands are playing for much less than they normally would elsewhere, said Everett.
Carol Tingstad, The Senate’s booking agent, said the band was getting reimbursed for travel expenses but are playing at a low cost to help support of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
In addition to music, speakers from WEAVE (Women’s Empowerment and Violence Education), Western Men Against Violence and the AS Women’s Center will be educating attendees about what their groups do and the resources they provide.
Everett said it’s a great opportunity to raise awareness about organizations that students should know are available to them.
In an effort to reduce paper used in advertising, the council organized T-shirt decorating parties. Using tie-dye and puffy paint, Edens and Higginson Hall residents are decorating free shirts with HigFOM information and are becoming walking advertisements, Kramer said.
It’s a good alternative to the mailbox stuffers and table tents in the dining halls, especially during the “Go for the Green” competition between residence halls, Everett said.
Kramer also created a Facebook group that students can join by searching “Higginson Music Festival” on Facebook.
Facebook has become one of HigFOM 2009’s biggest volunteer sources, Kramer said.
Although last year’s festival was open to everyone in Bellingham, it wasn’t advertised until the weekend beforehand due to issues with the posters, said Anna Cantlon, director of HigFOM 2008. Most of the turnout was from residents wandering through, she said.
Approximately 120 people turned out during last year’s two-day event, Cantlon said.
This year showed a large turnout of volunteers from the residence halls.
“With the amount of people we have working on HigFOM, I think it’s going to turn out really well,” Kramer said.
The VU MPR can hold approximately 200 seated people, and they hope to fill it up, Everett said.