BarnJam gives early taste of summer music festivals

By:MARY KATE DORR-Staff Writer

With summer rapidly approaching, music lovers across campus are already itching for the gloriously warm days filled with concerts and music festivals. Even though there is still one month until school sets us free to summer music festivals, students can satisfy their concert craving this Saturday, April 12, at BarnJam.

The smaller-scale musical festival will feature a lineup of local artists including NineTies, Gem City, senior Dave Zup and Family Band and Friends. And yes, it’s held in an actual barn in Miamisburg.

BarnJam is an evening event that consists of not only music, but camping, bonfires and, of course, dancing. The musical festival’s website said camping is available and encouraged but to BYO tent, beverages, and drums for drum circles.

University of Dayton alumnus, Eric Suttman, a faculty member in the Department of Communication, will host the event. Suttman hosts BarnJam every year on his family’s property in Miamisburg. The event is a fundraiser for the UD’s Appalachian Program, which tutors students on the east end of Dayton and holds cultural events on campus.

Connor McMonagle, junior music education major and guitarist for NineTies, said that NineTies is once again looking forward to playing at BarnJam.

“The whole experience is just awesome,” McMonagle said. The band enjoys playing at BarnJam because it welcomes a new crowd of people that the band has not been able to play for before. And for those NineTies fans who do attend BarnJam, it is refreshing to play for them in this different venue.

“Last year was such a blast,” McMonagle said. NineTies was able to arrive early and enjoy the bands preceding them because they were scheduled to perform later in the evening. McMonagle said a majority of people stuck around until the last sets anyway.

“It was a completely packed barn,” he said. “It was great because we were just enjoying the music and the crowd’s reaction.”

McMonagle encourages students to attend BarnJam, especially if they haven’t had the chance to attend a musical festival before.

“BarnJam is a great opportunity to get your feet wet,” McMonagle said. “It is a once-in-a-lifetime type of experience and is a step in the right direction towards musical festivals.”

Willie Four (Will Morris ’13) is a member of the band Gem City who will also be performing on Saturday. The band has only been together under the name Gem City for about four months, but was formed in 2011 under Customer Service and the Gem City Horns. The group got together as a project to a play a show for their living arrangement on ArtStreet. Students loved their musical style, so the band stayed together and continued to perform.

Morris described their style as funk rock with hints of jazz. Gem City has several influences, including Earth, Wind and Fire, and professional jazz artists.

“[BarnJam] is our favorite show to play,” said Morris. “Each year, everyone has so much fun.”

Morris said that the band is especially excited for BarnJam 2014 because Gem City will be debuting music that their fans haven’t heard yet. The music is from their new album, “Redux.”

Admission costs $10 at the door, but $5 with a UD student ID. It will be hosted at Eric Suttman’s barn, located at 3948 Soldiers Home-Miamisburg Road, Miamisburg. For more information, visit www.barnjam.com.