Apr 16, 2021 | NEWS | By Psalm Delaney | Photo by Bibi Powers

For the Colorado College community, these past seven blocks of the school year have been full of uncertainty and unprecedented challenges. The CC Llamapalooza Music and Arts Festival planning committee has been working since October to create an end of year celebration to remember.

From reaching out to artists to conducting the logo competition, the committee has planned this year’s event entirely over Zoom to bring the CC student body a Llamapalooza festival like no other in CC history.

During the 2020 school year, Llamapalooza was cancelled quite abruptly. This year, committee co-heads Bradley Bollag-Miller ’21, Jessie Berger ’21, Cass Kennemur ’22, Augie Voss ’23 and sixteen committee members are making sure that the CC community resumes its Llamapalooza festival tradition, even if it looks different than most other years.

“I think the best part about this year’s planning is that it has forced us as a committee to think outside the box,” Kennemur told The Catalyst.

Instead of the traditional weekend festival, Llamapalooza 2021 will be conducted virtually over all three Saturdays of Block 8. The festival will feature six performances from national acts, eight visual student artists, and CC student band performances.

These performances will be accompanied by dynamic, COVID-safe interactive events such as self-care night, a Caribbean cooking show, story times, meet and greets, and Q&A sessions hosted by music artists from across the nation.

The event will be open to all members of the CC student body and will be streamed via Zoom, the CC website, and social media channels. The interactive events will have a limited capacity, and students will be able to sign up for these events on the Llamapalooza Instagram page as the event approaches.

The Llamapalooza committee believes that making sure the festival happens this year is in the best interest of both the CC community and artists across the country.

“First and foremost, we see Llama this year as an opportunity to distribute some of Campus Activities’ funding that is specifically allocated for Llama to smaller-scale artists who have taken a hit without being able to perform over the past year,” the Llamapalooza co-heads told The Catalyst.

The Llamapalooza committee said they wanted the festival to be a space for the CC community to be able to come together and participate in a shared experience during today’s socially-distanced climate.

“This year’s festival will hopefully be a place where students can reconnect with friends they might not have seen for a while, listen to some tunes, see some beautiful student-made art, and have an exciting event to look forward to,” the committee said.

According to the Llamapalooza budget and finance committee, the Zoom deliverance of the festival has allowed for a more flexible budget. This year, Llamapalooza is able to host six virtual performances rather than the traditional three.

“Although we aren’t able to have the performances be in-person and live, this year’s lineup includes artists that we certainly would never have been able to book if our budget had to include all of the fees that regular Llama does,” Kennemur said.

The tri-weekend event will feature a new performance and interactive activity theme each night. The first weekend’s performances will be by artists with soft and expressive style. It will conclude with a live meditation session hosted by one of the night’s performing artists.

The second weekend’s event will feature two more nationally recognized artists who will each share and express a piece of their personal character and personality with the campus community through a story-time session and a Caribbean cooking show.

The concluding weekend’s performances will be followed by Q&A and meet and greet sessions with the final artists.

The Llamapalooza committee encourages all CC students to stay tuned to the committee Instagram page for the official line up and for notifications about the items that will be given away at Worner throughout the event.

“We are planning something special,” the co-chairs said.

Furthermore, the committee is taking an environmentally and socially-friendly approach to their merchandise production.

“This year, the Llama Committee will be personally screen printing all of its festival merch onto second-hand apparel,” the merchandise design sub-committee said.

Additionally, all of the merchandise profits will be donated to the CC Mutual Aid fund.

Students who are living in the local Colorado Springs area will be able to purchase the merchandise on campus periodically throughout the weeks of the festival. Those who do not live locally can order their merchandise online and have it shipped to their home through the festival website that will be released in the near future.

The committee told The Catalyst that although the logistical aspects of planning the event have stayed relatively the same as past years, the lack of in-person collaboration has been the most difficult part of the process.

“In many ways, I think that organizing Llama online has similar limitations to being in classes virtually,” Kennemur said. “But [it] has also been a great way to have a sense of community during a very isolating time.”

Emma Logan ’24, a committee member, said that she learned a lot from planning her first Llamapalooza event and encourages all students to show up and take part in Llamapalooza this year.

“Llama gives us the unique opportunity to financially help some amazing new artists who have struggled within the last year,” Logan said. “Tuning in, buying merch, and just participating more broadly not only gives you a fun way to spend a night, but will also reach out a hand to the musical community that really needs some extra love at the moment.”

This year has not only required a tremendous amount of teamwork among the Llamapalooza planning committee, but also from the CC students, staff, and faculty as an entire community.

“We’ve been so inspired by the creative ways that you all have coped with and navigated our new realities, and [we] hope that Llama will be a refreshing time to sit back, recharge, and enjoy some amazing performances,” the committee co-heads said.

For all Llamapalooza updates, including official setlists, art showcase locations, merchandise information and special surprises, the committee encourages all students to follow the Llamapalooza 2021 Instagram account at @llamapaloozamusicfest. Students can also scan the QR code below to access the account directly.

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