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Confusion at TechFest

May 16, 2014

Donny Fontain of Hyper Crush perform at Techfest. – Photo by Colin Fontenot

Donny Fontain of Hyper Crush perform at Techfest. – Photo by Colin Fontenot


RAY PATTERSON
Staff Reporter

Mixed reactions followed TechFest Friday night after lengthy delays, last minute stage changes and rumors of a potential police shutdown.

TechFest was free and offered a variety of musical genres including hip-hop, country and folk.

Elton Taylor, Union Board president, said they wanted to get people to relax and have a good time before finals started.

However, the event did not start on time.  Country music star Weston Burt started at 4 p.m., an hour later than originally scheduled.

Even though he started late, he said he still enjoyed his time at the event.

Holly Valentine of Hyper Crush. – Photo by Colin Fontenot

Holly Valentine of Hyper Crush. – Photo by Colin Fontenot

“Everybody has just been super nice and it has been really fun,” Burt said.  “It kind of feels like they’ve been doing this for years.”

Headlining the event was rapper Ace Hood, who was scheduled to perform after electro hip-hop group Hyper Crush from 9-10:30 p.m.

However, after Hyper Crush finished their set, there was a lengthy delay which ended when the disc-jockeys informed the crowd that the event was moving inside due to inclement weather.

What had started out as a hot and sunny afternoon in the parking lot next to Tolliver, ended in a cramped dilemma in the TONK.

Kayla Frith, a senior photography major at Tech, said the event was chaotic.

“They had no back-up plan,” Frith said. “They didn’t think anything through. It was awful.”

Rumors started to spread about the cause of the belated start.

Gauge Means, Production Manager of Union Board, said he had heard students expressing concerns that Ace Hood was not even there.

“I went on stage with Drake (Doumit, personnel director at KLPI) and told the crowd that Ace Hood was there,” he said. “I was just with him. It was just a rumor.”

 TechFest headliner Ace Hood raps for the crowd that eagerly awaited his arrival. – Photo courtesy of Union Board

TechFest headliner Ace Hood raps for the crowd that eagerly awaited his arrival. – Photo courtesy of Union Board


While Union Board officials would not go on the record, several students complained that the police were trying to shut down the concert due to vulgar language in Hyper Crush’s set.

Louisiana Tech police department did not respond to the Tech Talk’s request for comment on the potential shutdown of the event.

Barry Morales, director of student activities, said the delay was due to complications with the weather.

“We conferred with the stage manager and took our time to check the weather warnings and radar maps to fully gauge the situation and to make the best decision possible,” he said.

KLPI, the Tech-run radio station, had its own stage set up inside the TONK to escape the weather when an influx of festival-goers were forced inside from the TechFest stage.

“There really was nowhere else for the TechFest stage to go and we were happy to share ours,” said Brennan Brown, general manager of KLPI.  “I sure think it was fair.  The police and the lightning basically forced them to have to do something.”

Ace Hood made several comments onstage suggesting he had to keep his set clean of vulgarity and foul language.

Morales said that vulgarity was not the administration’s main concern.

“Although Hyper Crush did perform music containing language that may be offensive to some, it was not the reason for the move to the TONK,” Morales said.  “Our first and foremost concern was for the safety of the students.”

Morales said the stage was prepared for light rain, but not a severe storm.

“When we realized how bad the weather was going to be, we reacted in the best way we could have to protect the students,” he said.

Indie-folk band The Hunts was one of the many openers to kick off Techfest. – Photo by Colin Fontenot

Indie-folk band The Hunts was one of the many openers to kick off Techfest. – Photo by Colin Fontenot


Morales said that the first TechFest was a success and that he would like to have a second one in the future.

“It’s very difficult to find programming that pleases everyone,” he said.

“And this music festival did just that by really catering to a broad base of musical tastes.”

Email comments to rcp022@latech.edu.

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