A wave of serene sound swept across campus Friday night as students gathered for a night of relaxation and music.
UT’s Campus Events Board (CEB), alongside the Center for Student Engagement, hosted this year’s second installment of their annual concert series in Fred Brown Amphitheater. The series, called The Local, focuses on musicians from Tennessee. This year’s line-up featured two artists, Bantug and Vacation Manor.
Students gathered in Fred Brown Courtyard as early as 6:30 p.m. as CEB members set up the sound stage. Though the concert-proper didn’t start until 7:20 p.m., attendees could still participate in activities like tie-dying or enjoy some of the free Petro’s chili.
Once the clock struck 7:20 p.m., the night began in full.
The soft, synthetic sound of Bantug provided a much-needed reprieve firm the stresses of the day. A wall of sound filled the courtyard, with the consistent guitar strumming and base notes serving as a backdrop to a meditative trance.
Bantug is native to Knoxville, and The Local gave them the opportunity to share their music with a large platform.
The Local concert series began four to five years ago when Shelby Goodsell, a former biomedical engineering student and member of CEB, created the event to promote musicians from the area.
Baylee Neely, the CEB Entertainment Committee Events Managing Chair, explained the importance of promoting the work of local musicians.
“Local artists don’t ever get the support that they need, money wise and recognition wise. So we try our best to give that to them here,” Neely said.
Neely also explained that the event aims to expose students to alternative forms of music.
“I think students get exposed to new types of music,” Neely said. “I know from going to things like this I got a whole [new] appreciation for what different music there is out, and I hope they get something like that out of this.”
After Bantug wrapped up their dance of sound, attendees had the opportunity to grab more food, take another free t-shirt or visit one of the three clothes and jewelry vendors placed just outside the courtyard.
Around 15 minutes later, the second act, Vacation Manor, took the stage.
Vacation Manor’s alternative rock sound differed much from Bantug’s approach, offering variety to the event.
The band still emitted a contemplative and calming tone. This kept everything relaxed for the whole duration of the performance.
As the night came to a close, a number of attendees left with greater knowledge about Knoxville’s local musical scene.
Kaitlyn Meadows, a sophomore in biology, had previously attended The Local. She appreciates how the event introduces people to lesser-known musicians.
“I always enjoy coming to The Local. It’s a good environment to see local bands, get local music and see local vendors,” Meadows said. “A lot of these bands I hadn’t heard of before until this. Now I really love some of them.”