By Ashley Bowden
Arts & Entertainment Editor
As the sun set on Saturday, Sept. 16, live music could be heard coming from the lawn in front of the Kahn Learning Center. The Tilles Center Food and Music Festival was open to the public for attendees to lay out blankets and chairs on the lawn to enjoy food and live performances.
Shari Linker, the event coordinator and director of communications and engagement at the Tilles Center, stated that the idea for this festival was born through a meeting with MAXFM Radio in March to discuss a partnership with Tilles. “The feedback was to create an event that could draw beyond battle of the bands,” Linker said. Thanks to a partnership with Edible Long Island magazine, food trucks were incorporated to attract more students. Trucks present included Blondie’s Bake Shop, La Belle Torte, and OPA! On the Go. Borghese Vineyard as well as Crowdster, a nonprofit digital software company also located in Hillwood Commons, had promotional stands installed as well.
The competitors for the battle of the bands included 1974, Nevrlands, Alibi, Bourbon Stills Band, Grimm Jack and Pine Street. “We secured 3 judges from the music industry including one of the top DJs from MAXFM, Sean Lynch and an executive from William Morris Endeavor,” Linker said. The bands were judged according to categories ranging from musicianship to showmanship, and the overall winner was Bourbon Stills. The grand prize was to play as the opening act for Jefferson Starship and Blue Oyster Cult on Nov. 17 at the Tilles Center. Over 50 entries for the competition were received. The five bands that performed were decided to be the most appealing to the show’s audience. Approximately 200 attendees showed up for the event throughout the evening, “We got a good crowd,” Amanda Dupuy, the operations manager for the Tilles Center, said, “It was nice to see a mix of the students as well as an older crowd come together for a battle of the bands.” Julia Vaughn, a junior musical theatre major, was also pleased by the turnout, “It’s refreshing to see new faces in the crowd, and that our events draw so many different people,” she said.
“We wanted to create an outdoor event and felt this was a great way to extend what we do best, entertainment, beyond our concert hall,” Linker said.