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UPC’s North by North Texas music festival returns in person for first time since 2019

UPC’s North by North Texas music festival returns in person for first time since 2019

UPC’s North by North Texas music festival returns in person for first time since 2019
April 05
10:52 2022

With the sun creeping toward the horizon, a crowd gathers around a stage erected in Library Mall, moments later media arts freshman Micah Talley takes the stage, bursting into her rendition of Ariana Grande’s “7 Rings.” The crowd erupts into song, echoing the lyrics back to her.

The North by North Texas music festival, organized by the University Program Council, took place on April 1 and featured student musicians such as Talley along with headliners Annie DiRusso and The Greeting Committee.

NXNT was first held in 2015 and returned this year for its first in-person festival since 2019. 

Talley grew up in Amarillo and has been singing for as long as she can remember. She started voice lessons at age 13 and after saving up enough money to purchase equipment, she started recording her own tracks. She currently has three songs out on streaming platforms. 

Despite initial obstacles, Talley has grown as a musician since coming to the university in fall 2021.

“We’re here at college to focus on our careers, but at the beginning, I was having a hard time making friends,” Talley said. “I really started focusing on doing live shows and making music. At that time, that’s all I really had.”

Talley is currently working on a project with DFW-based rapper, Q.TheArtist, who performed with her at NXNT. She can also be found singing at karaoke nights around Denton and regularly performs at Poetic Justice

Talley, who is a member of UPC, agreed to open for indie-rock artist Annie DiRusso after being offered the spot by the council’s live music coordinator, Saloni Banerjea. 

Nashville and New York City-based DiRusso has more than 250,000 monthly listeners on Spotify and is headlining her own tour this summer. After her performance, she took the time to talk with fans and pose for pictures. 

In addition to the main stage show, which started at 6:30 p.m., multiple student artists performed at the Union Syndicate from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. The festival also featured crafting activities such as a tie-dye station and a raffle to win a concert gear basket.

Catered food for festivalgoers was offered in the Syndicate with snow cones from Kona Ice available in the Library Mall.

UPC members volunteered their time to make this year’s festival a success, including psychology freshman Tamia Hatcher who serves on the council’s campus engagement committee. 

“We get an option whether or not we want to work the events that we come to,” Hatcher said. “I chose this event because live music is the best. It’s a Friday night with beautiful weather — it’s just perfect.”

The Greeting Committee, an indie-rock band that has amassed more than 1 million monthly listeners on Spotify, headlined the show. The band was founded in 2014 and consists of singer Addison Sartino, guitarist Brandon Yangmi, bassist Pierce Turcotte and drummer Austin Fraser. 

After seeing a post on Twitter, former integrative studies major Eren Galarza traveled from Highland Village specifically to see The Greeting Committee play. 

“I think it’s great to have live music [at UNT],” Galarza said. “I see people out here doing their homework while waiting for the next artist. I think it’s really cool that it’s all free and something interactive to do.” 

North by North Texas Festival 2022 gave performers, both big and small, an opportunity to share their music with concertgoers, free of charge. Overall, the festival hosted nine different acts throughout the day.

“When I was up there, in my head I was like, ‘I’m really made for this,’” Talley said. “There’s no greater feeling than being on a stage doing what you love, with the people you love out there supporting you.”

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Student musician Graesi Trakulwatanachai sings in the Syndicate for North by North Texas on April 1, 2022. Photo by John Anderson

Featured Image: Attendees of North by North Texas make crafts at the beading station on April 1, 2022. Photo by John Anderson

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Connor Patterson

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