Student Voice


October 1, 2022


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Finals Fest brings new music

May 4, 2012

Cloud Cult
Cloud Cult is one of the up and coming bands that UW-River Falls will be hosting for this yearʼs Final Fest, coordinated by Falcon Programs. (Photo courtesy of Cloud Cult)

It’s the end of another semester and time for the highly anticipated Finals Fest, organized by Falcon Programs, to provide students with a break for fun before the stress of finals kicks in.

This year’s Finals Fest will feature two of the region’s most popular and up-and-coming artists/bands: Cloud Cult and Jeremy Messersmith. The event will also feature Bad Habits Brass, one of River Falls’ local favorites, to kick off the event.

Finals Fest coordinator, Karyn Wells, explains that they are going for a festival-style concert experience with the event being held outdoors in the Wall Amphitheater and the line-up of the different artists/groups. She hopes that the different styles of music will cater to the entire UW-River Falls community.

“By featuring multiple and eclectic bands this year at Finals Fest, we will be able to cover a variety of genres that speak to many different audiences including: folk, hard-rock, punk, electronic, classical, funk, and acoustic,” Wells said. “Cloud Cult will also feature live artists painting on stage during their performance, so there is bound to be something of interest for everyone!”

Finals Fest was started in 2006 by the Student Entertainment Committee, now part of Falcon Programs, and was a free, outdoor show at the Amphitheatre featuring Mike Doughty. The students who started Finals Fest thought it would be a great way to celebrate the end of the semester and academic year.

Falcon Programs strives to get different genres and types of performers every year and some years, because of the artist, have ticketed for the event. However, this year’s Finals Fest will be a free event.

The Bad Habits Brass band is a 10-piece cover band with a full horn section. The band is influenced by greats such as Stevie Wonder, Tower of Power, James Brown, and Kool & the Gang. Their music is a funk-soul mix and it is stated on their Facebook page that they “bring a funky and joyful presence wherever they go.”

Jeremy Messersmith will follow Bad Habits Brass in the line-up. He really hit the music scene in 2006 and has become increasingly popular since then. Messersmith is an indie-pop musician based in Minneapolis and has won the Star Tribune’s Critics Poll for best local artist.

The final performance of the evening will be by Cloud Cult. The band was originally developed as a solo studio project by Craig Minowa in 1995. It has grown since then to receive national acclaim in the music world. The band is also based in Minneapolis and is considered to be an indie-rock group. Cloud Cult performed at UWRF back in 2009 on the eighth anniversary of Sept. 11. Minowa says that he is excited to perform again here at UWRF.

“Our favorite place to perform is in the great outdoors, so we’re incredibly excited about hitting the stage again in the beautiful UW-River Falls Amphitheater,” Minowa said. “Our past experiences performing at River Falls have been really positive, so we’re expecting a really high energy crowd again.”

UWRF student Marie Barnett has attended Finals Fest in the past and says she really enjoys it and is very excited to attend this year’s event. “I just have to go because I LOVE Cloud Cult!”

Wells says that the event is really a shared experience for the UWRF community and has been popular in the past and will most likely continue to be a favorite event for students. “It is something that students and staff have grown to look forward to as an end-of-the- year tradition.”

The event kicks off at 6:00 p.m. in the Wall Amphitheater on Friday, May 4. Food will be available for purchase and there will also be a cash bar. Finals Fest is open to the public and the rain site will be in the Falcon’s Nest in the University Center.