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Two country bands to perform at Finals Fest

April 22, 2015

With only a couple weeks left in the semester, students on the campus of UW-River Falls are finishing those papers, projects, and coursework before they head home for the summer. One event that occurs at the end of each academic year is Finals Fest.

The 10th annual Finals Fest will feature the country band Gloriana at 8 p.m. in the Falcon’s Nest on May 8. The opening band will be Brothers Osborne, who is also a country band, which made it big with their hit song “Let’s Go There” in 2013.

Gloriana is made up of brothers Tom and Mike Gossin and Rachel Reinert. They made their debut with their hit single “Wild at Heart” in early February that took the country by storm. They have two albums, “Gloriana,” which was released in 2009, and “A Thousand Miles Left Behind,” which was released in 2012.

Gloriana has won the Nationwide On Your Side of the Year award, Top New Vocal Group award, and Breakthrough Artist of the Year award over the course of two years.

Although Gloriana is well known to the country music genre, there are a fair amount of students on the campus of UWRF that have never heard of the band.

“I have never heard of either one of those bands,” said UWRF student Megan Smith. “I’m not a big country music fan, but I might look them up and consider going.”

With the popular song “Wild at Heart” playing, Smith has heard the song, but it didn’t get stuck in her head. UWRF student Mike Johnson is a big country music fan and likes the Finals Fest decision.

“I liked the song from the first time I heard it,” Johnson said. “I also like the rest of the songs on their album as well as their second album.”

Brothers Osborne is made up of John and T.J. Osborne, and is also known for their other hit song in 2014, “Rum,” which is included on the same album as “Let’s Go There” that was released in September of 2014.

Johnson said that he hasn’t heard of Brothers Osborne, but is open to all sorts of country music.

“I’m sure I’ve heard them on the radio at some point,” Johnson said. “We all hear and know some songs but don’t know who sang them.”

Paul Shepherd, director of Student Life, said that this year the focus on Finals Fest would be the concert itself. They have tried many different types of activities before the concert.

“In the past, the feedback that we’ve received is most students are interested in the concert,” Shepherd said. “So that’s our plan.”

The announcement of this year’s performers was on 88.7 FM WRFW on the show “Study Break,” hosted by three seniors at UWRF. The announcement was also made on the Student Life and UWRF Facebook page on April 13.

“Study Break” host Ryan Tibbitts said that his show was just lucky to get the chance to announce it over the airwaves.

“Student Life asked me, and I am good friends with one of the interns for special events and pitched the idea to them,” Tibbitts said.

The University Center aired “Study Break” live so students in the building were able to hear the announcement.

“We wanted to make the announcement through campus media and our social media page,” Shepherd said.

Finals Fest is free for all UWRF students, faculty and staff.