The biggest concert in Big Rapids will get a makeover in 2016 to benefit more than just Ferris students. The annual Entertainment Unlimited event Ferris Fest will be no more. Instead, EU is planning “Music Takes Action,” a concert to benefit Musicians On Call, a charity that brings live music to the bedsides of those in healthcare facilities.
“We want to do something that has a purpose and benefits an organization,” said Ferris music industry management senior and Music Takes Action coordinator Rachel Bernstein.
The event will still be free. Entertainment Unlimited plans to raise money for Musicians On Call by selling merchandise before and during the event. There will also be a fundraising raffle.
While Bernstein can’t yet announce who will be performing, she does know the concert will be shorter than in years’ past. Entertainment Unlimited recently surveyed students about their preferences for a spring concert and found most students would enjoy a shorter concert with a well-known headlining artist as opposed to a longer show with several artists. According to the survey, genres preferred by students were alternative rock, pop and hip-hop.
According to Bernstein, another reason for the change in the festival’s image was due to a growing concern from administrators that Ferris Fest has become a university-wide party. During last year’s celebration, a burning couch outside Oakwood Apartments was cheered on by more students than headliner Mayer Hawthorne at Ferris Fest.
“That is something that’s given Ferris Fest a bad name,” she said. “This concert will help turn that around.”
Music Takes Action will premiere at Ferris on Saturday, April 23. Headlining artists are to be announced early in the spring semester.
For more information on Musicians On Call, visit musiciansoncall.org.