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Preview: North by North Texas brings music festival season to the comfort of campus

Preview: North by North Texas brings music festival season to the comfort of campus

To mark and decorate the path between stages at UPC's NXNT music festival on Friday, April 28, painted letters lean against the benches by the library mall. The letters were made by UPC and splattered with color by passing students as the organization set up for the event. Credit: Katie Jenkins

Preview: North by North Texas brings music festival season to the comfort of campus
April 20
12:30 2018

With SXSW gone just as fast as it came and the second weekend of Coachella on the horizon, the music festival season continues its way through the nation, and it isn’t missing its stop in North Texas.

University Program Council is hosting its fourth annual North by North Texas festival at the Union on April 27, giving students a day full of live music and fun. The festival will start at 2 p.m., opening with a build-your-own flower crowns and other art activities. Music acts will take the stage beginning at 4 p.m. and will run until 9:30 p.m. Popcorn and cotton candy machines also will be set up, and Insomnia Cookies is providing free cookies for attendees.

While Beyoncé will not be at UNT to give a two-hour, historic performance, Clarissa Medrano, media arts junior and UPC live music coordinator, is certain that students will be entertained.

“This year we’re trying to expand and make NXNT as big as possible for students,” Medrano said.

NXNT is moving from its music roots and expanding to make things more interactive for students. The festival this year will feature short films from UNT’s Short Film Club, face painting and flower crowns for students to make.

For this year’s itinerary, UPC has put together a diverse group of musical acts to satisfy the needs for the diverse student body. Ariel & The Culture, The Low and Plenty and Nautilis are three acts set to perform at NXNT. The headliner for North by North Texas was voted on by the UNT student body and was awarded to SoMo. SoMo, also known as Joseph Morales, is a Texas native who made No. 1 on the iTunes Chart and recently released his album “The Answers” in 2017.

Ariel & The Culture, a rhythm and blues/soul/hip-hop group, is comprised of Texas Woman’s University and UNT students. The group formed in November 2017 after being asked to perform together for a syndicate session for UPC.

“We’re looking forward to playing in front of a new audience and playing new music,” lead vocalist Jason Bobadilla said.

The group performs original music, as well as covers of other popular R&B and hip-hop groups.

“Having a diverse group of artists is an essential part of creating a well-rounded campus,” Bobadilla said. “There aren’t a lot of R&B groups performing and coming out of Denton.”

Folk group The Low and Plenty and instrumental band Nautilis were both chosen after being featured in UNT’s Battle of the Bands.

“I wanted to have bands that won battle of the bands perform at NXNT because UNT students chose them, and this whole festival is for the students,” Medrano said.

Putting on a festival for the entire student population is no easy feat, however. Medrano, along with a group of 13 other committee members, have worked together for quite some time to produce NXNT.

While budgeting for any festival is difficult, the money needed in order to organize NXNT is allocated from UNT student service fees.

Though this year’s festival isn’t set to start until April 27, UPC is already looking toward the 2019 version of the festival.

“Once this year’s festival passes, we will look at the analytics from this year [to] see what worked and what didn’t work to plan for next year,” Medrano said.

Although Medrano won’t be planning NXNT in 2019, she hopes to see more interactive features added to festival as well as more big-name artists to headline.

“One thing we want people to get from this is that everything we’re doing is for the student body so that they can have fun,” Medrano said. “I want students to come out and know what UPC has to offer for the students.”

All events taking place at NXTX will be free to UNT students, including food. Students can expect to get creative, eat tasty treats and listen to Denton and UNT-based musicians, all within the comfort of campus.

“Finals [are] coming up, so I want students to be able to come to North by North Texas and be able to relax, unwind and have some fun before their weekends are taken by studying,” Medrano said. “This festival is run by students for the students, so the whole team has a good understanding on what students want.”

More information on UPC’s North by North Texas festival can be found on the UPC Twitter page.

Featured Image: To mark and decorate the path between stages at UPC’s NXNT music festival on April 28, 2017, painted letters lean against the benches by the library mall. The letters were made by UPC and splattered with color by passing students as the organization set up for the event. File

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Bria Graves

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