Culture shock

WIUX will stream Culture Shock virtual festival

WIUX will be streaming a Culture Shock virtual festival on April 17. The broadcast is free and will begin at 1:30 p.m. on CultureShock.WIUX.org.

Culture Shock is WIUX’s annual music festival featuring local artists and larger regional or national artists, said Hannah Cougill, Senior and President of WIUX. This year the local artists will be GraceKellie, Rosegirl, Manic Pixie, Herzing Teacher Band, Troll and Russian Cowboy. Cougill said WIUX will announce the national artists on Wednesday on its social media channels.

“Our goal is to provide cool entertainment for the community, especially since no one has been able to put on big music concerts,” Cougill said. “So I feel like it’s a fun way to adapt our usual culture shock and hopefully still bring the same joy to the community.”

The show will include pre-recorded sets from all the artists. Local artists recorded their sets at the WIUX studio in Franklin Hall and national artists sent their set recordings to WIUX, Cougill said.

Although there is no in-person festival this year, Cougill said WIUX members will be in Dunn Meadow’s outdoor venue on Saturday selling WIUX and Culture Shock merchandise. Cougill said the maximum capacity is 50 people, so WIUX will provide a pre-registration link, but students can also register at the door.

Cougill also said that WIUX will also feature artwork from its WIUX Merch Culture Shock contest. Participants received bags of WIUX and Culture Shock t-shirts and were asked to create some kind of artwork.

“We’re not going to have people hanging around and lingering too long,” Cougill said. “He’ll pretty much just walk in, check things out and leave.”

For members of GraceKellie, Grace Leckey and Kellie McGrew senior, this is their first time performing at Culture Shock. Leckey said performing at this event was something they dreamed of when they first formed their band two years prior.

“We were pretty excited,” Leckey said. “I stormed into Kellie’s room and said, ‘Kellie, do you want to play Culture Shock on Saturday? Like I hope you do because I already said yes.

GraceKellie has prepared five songs to play and record for their March 20 set. They will create two new songs from their upcoming album, Leckey said.

Leckey said that despite being separated due to the pandemic, the local music scene feels like a community again. She said everyone reposted each other’s ads and was thrilled to see themselves perform. The virtual format also has the advantage of being accessible to everyone, McGrew said.

“Anyone can see the performances,” McGrew said. “So you don’t have to be in Bloomington to watch, and it really opens the door for everyone.”

Last year, Culture Shock was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Cougill said she was excited to present this year’s festival because WIUX did a lot of work to prepare and ensure the festival could take place.

“I feel like our team has done such a good job of adapting all of their roles, and we have so many people on our board and members in general who have put a lot of effort into it until ‘now,” Cougill said. “I think it’s going to end up being a really cool event overall, and I’m super excited to see how it goes.”