The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

Festival fails to ‘wake up’ crowd

Rarely does student activism take such proportions as it didlast weekend in Denton.

In an effort to promote awareness of the privileges that life asan American brings us, Creatures for Awareness, a non-profitorganization based at the University of North Texas, organized WakeUp ‘04.

Wake Up ‘04 was an all-day music festival of a grand scaleheld on the UNT Fair grounds on Sat., March 27. Over 75 bands ofall genres played the festival for free.

“There were so many bands after a while you couldn’thelp but think that most of the people in the audience were bandmembers who had just stuck around, but it was nice to see a varietyof acts. If we were tired of one thing, we could walk a coupleyards and hear something completely different,” said Dentonresident Erin Malloy.

The gates of the festival opened at noon, but the crowds did notstart thickening until the beginning of the evening. Nonetheless,an estimated 1,000 to 2,000 spectators walked from one of the sevenstages to the next, enjoying the live music.

However, music was not the only attraction at the first editionof Wake Up ‘04. Local pizza restaurants came to provide foodand beverages to the attendees and there was even a wrestling pitto provide the crowds with amusement and a break from themusic.

The day long festival also boasted a keynote speaker:Christopher Largen, author of “Prescription Pot: A LeadingAdvocate’s Heroic Battle to Legalize MedicalMarijuana.” Largen, a committed activist, spoke of thebenefits of legalization of medical marijuana, a topic wellreceived by the audience.

Unfortunately, the lack of advertising for the event resulted ina sparse crowd, according to some of the organizers. “Theturn out was mediocre,” said Brian Daniels, who was in chargeof the hip-hop stage, “we couldn’t help but be a littledisappointed.”

Daniels added that although it was not a success financially— they barely made their money back, due in part to thehundreds of volunteers who attended the festival for free —Creatures for Awareness will definitely put on another Wake Upfestival. “Everyone has learned a lot from this experience, alot of mistakes were made that will not be repeated nextyear.”

Additionally, the lack of advertisement also let the purpose ofthe festival slip — raising awareness and funds for variousorganizations — without recognition. University of NorthTexas student Stacy Burger said she was glad to attend but was notsure what “Wake Up ‘04” was about.

“I knew it was for a good cause, but which one? Icouldn’t tell you. They should have made the message of WakeUp ‘04 more clear. I think a lot of people thought it had todo with the election,” said Burger.

The highlight of the day for many was the presentation of theDenton Legend Award which recognized 82 year-old blues musicianPops Carter, a staple in the Denton music community admired byaspiring jazz and blues students at the University of North Texas.

Despite a unsatisfactory turn-out, Wake Up ’04 was arefreshing attempt to show that our generation does care aboutimportant issues, and knows how to demonstrate it adequately.

More to Discover