The Digital Journalism Blog

Inside look at Bradleypalooza by Bill Hopkins

Posted in Uncategorized by com360bu on May 10, 2011

Over the weekend of May 1, 2011, Bradley University welcomed five musical acts of varying fame to its campus.  Through inclement weather, these acts, Fresh Valuez, Jared Bartman, Astonish, Na Palm and Free Sol, all took the stage in the Robert H, Michel Student Center in front fans.

In the print story, the focus was the general rundown of the concert.  Highlights, fan reaction and organizer’s point of view.  This gives insight to concert and everything that went into it.

The video just looks into one artist, Jared Bartman, and his  return to Bradley’s campus.

The online extra breaks down the concert’s performers.  It will contain links and visuals that will pique the viewer’s interest about bands they might listen to.

Bradleypalooza preserves through the weather

By Bill Hopkins

Although it may have been missing the gusto you find in an outdoor festival setting or a large arena, the second annual Bradleypalooza brought everything fans could have asked for.

“I started Bradleypalooza, because I wanted to bring a different scene to the Bradley campus,” Jacob Cuevas said. “I feel Bradley lacks a urban culture, and I wanted to bring that to our campus through a concert that incorporates various types of artist ranging from rock to hip-hop.”

For the second year, the weather wasn’t cooperative with the organizers and at the last minute, the event was moved to the Robert H. Michel Student Center Ballroom.

“This year’s event was expected to reach a crowd of about 200, and only about 40 people actually attended,” Cuevas said.  “The reason being, I believe is because we moved it from outdoors to indoors due to weather.  I was highly disappointed, because of all the hard work we put in, but can’t fight Mother Nature.”

In spite of inclement weather and low attendance, the show went on. The first act, Fresh Valuez, tried to introduce fans to their innovative sound they called “hipster R&B.”

“Due to the technical difficulties, they weren’t very good,” senior Luis Hernandez said. “I couldn’t get into their music because I couldn’t even hear their lyrics.”

After Fresh Valuez left the stage, hometown hero, Jared Bartman, entered the picture and many of his loyal fans amped up the intensity in the audience.

“That’s not my type of music but for what he does, he did a good job,” Hernandez said. “And he had a fan base with him so I can’t knock it.”

To concert organizers, getting Bartman on the bill was a must.

“”Yes I believe it was [a must],” Cuevas said.  “Mainly, because he is talented and is a Bradley alum. He also has done some venues around campus and Peoria, so I figured that would bring in a good crowd.”

After Bartman, Cuevas’ friend, Astonish, from his hometown, Chicago, took the stage.  As soon as his name was announced by event MCs, his female followers made their presence known and one was even invited up on stage so Astonish could meet his “biggest fan.”

“As an up and comer, he was decent,” Hernandez said. “He got the crowd into his music which I feel is important in a live show. He worked off their energy and he did a good job.”

Cuevas said he enjoyed the opportunity to work with one of his friends.

“It was nice,” Cuevas said.  “Especially to see him engage with the crowd. I have a lot of faith with him as an artist, and it feels good to know I play some role with his career”

The most anticipated act of the evening took the stage next. Late addition to the lineup, Na Palm, generated the most pre-show hype and packed the house the most during his set.

“Na Palm should have been the headliner,” Hernandez said. “He generated the most buzz. He brought a lot of energy to the stage and he had a lot of crowd interaction because of the familiarity the fans had with his music.”

The headlining band, Free Sol, is signed to pop star Justin Timberlake’s label.

“Free Sol by far the best performers of the night,” Hernandez said. “Probably due to experience at venues and festivals such as SXSW. It’s unfortunate the students didn’t know more of their music, however, they definitely over came that with their spectacular live show with incredible guitar and bass solos.”

Interview with Bradley graduate Jared Bartman after his set at the 2011 Bradleypalooza.

Interactive timeline with the band start times.


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