After days of rain blocking Madison’s carefree vibes, the clouds finally parted for the sun and UW students to come out and play. Play and be heard, that is. Sixty degree weather, windy conditions and the sun shining down all set the scene for a huge, openair music fest to celebrate the end of the school year with good tunes and spectacular art. It was a collection of unique sounds, tastes, sites and not to mention the crowds of unique people, drawing forth: bros, hippies, hipsters, skaters, study nerds, and your average Badgers. Families and community members were also welcome as parents would chase around children with Babcock ice creams cones, older couples (presumably alumni) holding hands, and faroff admirers who drifted along on sail boats would partake in the culture of college life at the historic Memorial Union.
Taking a seat among the orange, yellow and green sea of chairs, there was no better way to start Revelry than with a pitcher of Summer Shandy on the terrace while listening to the musical stylings of folk singer, Jack Ringhand and his posse of musicians. Already, seats were slowly starting to fill up for the day’s festivities as a mix of melodies were carried through in the wind, calling passers by to check out the buzz. The folk quickly changed to the freestyling rap and energetic beats of groups such as Max Meridius, Lord of the Fly and Crashprez, encouraging lazy loungers to get up and dance by stage. A variety of electronic and dub sounds were also available at the Wisco Disco stage for people with alternative tastes. Among the music, graffiti artists painted a mural with images iconic to street art style and statement for passers by to watch in awe. This underground facet of cool could finally be appreciated while “in the act” as smirks were seen below artist’s hoods putting on a seemingly choreographed show of their own.
The main stage was the main attraction of the day featuring wellknown artists such as Sky Ferreira, GEazy, Waka Flocka Flame and Dillon Francis. At dusk, Langdon Street was packed with people dancing, singing along, jumping, fist pumping, piggyback riding, making out, and commemorating the event via social media sharing. Heavy vibrations could be felt through the ground providing the crowd with an energy flow to last the whole night with a high of happiness and excitement. A mellow afternoon soon turned into a night of partying that was an alternative to Mifflin, although not far removed from the fun happening elsewhere on porches, balconies and bar patios.
Mifflin Street Block Party, which originally began in 1969 as a protest against the Vietnam War, is now seen as a protest against the drudgery of studying for finals. It is a celebration of spring and an early snapshot of summer thus reminding students that the finish line for finals is close. Waking up with a modest hangover and a pair of flushed cheeks from a start of the year sunburn, I was ready to take on the Sunday morning studying challenge at College Library proving that UW Madison students don’t just play hard, we study hard too.
For more information about Revelry, you can visit the website at http://www.madisonrevelry.com/
By Jessica DeMotto and Gabe Foote