SloughFest brings in big festival feel

With headliner Quinn XCII, SloughFest is returning to Augustana’s campus on May 5.  With new equipment, a larger variety of musical genres, and even more vendors, SloughFest promises to bring the big festival feel to a small liberal arts campus.
Quinn XCII (pronounced “92”), is a pop act similar to artists like Jon Bellion and last year’s SloughFest headliner, Marc E. Bassy.  Quinn XCII was one of this year’s executive boards first choices and they were excited to have booked him early on in the process, all the way back in October.
“We basically just have a big listening party with Spotify and Apple Music and put together a list of potential artists,” Zac Jaconetti, a junior and member of the SloughFest executive board, said.  “It was pretty easy for us this year…We thought most people would like Quinn XCII the most because he’s a good up and coming an artist, he’s toured around Chicago, he dropped an album this year.”
Another aspect that helps influence the decision for picking artists for the SloughFest lineup is a survey that was sent out after last year’s SloughFest.  It let’s students tell the executive board what kind of music they like, what they thought of last year’s lineup, and what kind of artists they’re hoping for for the next year.
Student reaction to the headliner has been somewhat mixed, with some students being incredibly excited and some that had hoped for a more recognizable name.
“At the beginning of this year I found one of Quinn‘s songs on the discovery music on Spotify and I started listening to him after that,” Sophomore Jessica Van Roeyen said about Quinn XCII, who is one of her favorite artists.  “His music is fun and uplifting, making it perfect for everyone. I’m beyond excited to see him here at SloughFest this year!”
First-year Talayah Lemon said that she was dissapointed that she and many people she knew had not heard of Quinn XCII before.  She believes that have more general student input could help students get even more excited for the festival.
“When I first saw the lineup on the video that (the executive board) released, my first reaction was ‘Who are these people?'” Lemon said.  “I think it might be cool to get more student body interaction, like maybe having a list of artists released and letting students vote on it.”
Even though she was unfamiliar with the artists, Lemon said that she was still excited for SloughFest and planning on attending.
Outside of the headliners, Jaconetti and Emma Larson, another executive board member, said that students should be excited about the entire lineup, especially since there were so many emerging artists.  One that they were both particularly excited about was a Win + Woo, a DJ group that also plays live instruments on stage.  There’s also Abir, who was described as a  “chill, indie rapper”.
“Last year we had Sahar Habibi, who was an awesome female DJ, and we want to keep that trend of keeping female artists in the lineup,” Larson said.  “Abir is has a really cool sound and a chill, interesting vibe.”
Outside of music, Jaconetti and Larson said that they were excited for a new production company, Rexroat, locally based out of Milan, IL, that’s giving them bigger stages, more lights, and video screens.
“The stuff they’re bringing is double the size, with the second stage being the same size of the main stage,” Jaconetti said.  “We always have this mindset that we wanna make it bigger, make it better, give it more of that real festival feel.”
Larson, who is on the Creative Direction Committee, said that they’re also working on making the Quad, where the festival is held, have a festival-like atmosphere.
“If people don’t really know the artists, we want to make sure that they can still have a good time with their friend, just hanging out in the Quad and listening to some cool music,” said Larson.