Following the cancellation of the First Night fall concert, SUBOG’s concert committee was itching to put on another student event this season. Collaborating with WHUS, they came up with the Sunset Series: four concerts overlooking Horsebarn Hill. Held every other Thursday, starting on Sept. 1, concerts will feature student performers as well as cover bands to capture music from a vast range of eras.
“The original idea for the Sunset Series actually came to me in the shower, as most great ideas do,” Colin Mulhern, the SUBOG concert chair, explained.
Considering the uncertainty attached to the past few years, the eight-semester marketing major hoped to create a new event that would bring UConn students together.
“Nothing spoke to me more than watching the sunset at Horsebarn Hill while eating Dairy Bar ice cream,” he continued.
Figuring the event would mesh well with the goals of WHUS, UConn’s noncommercial radio station, the SUBOG concert committee worked with their live production director, Kazi Iqbal, to organize music.
Iqbal, too, thought Horsebarn Hill would make the perfect setting for a concert.
“I spent a considerable amount of time over the summer bonding with the cows on my family’s farm in Bangladesh and I remember this factoid about cows making more milk when they’re listening to relaxing music,” said the seventh-semester general studies major.
While cows may enjoy music, it is clear that not all animals do. When working to secure the venue, Mulhern was told by the animal science department that the concert could not take place by UConn’s rat laboratory.
“The animal science department told us that when rats hear booming loud music, they turn cannibalistic and start to eat each other alive! To say that I was stunned and confused was an understatement, but luckily we were able to find a lot right around the corner that has an even better view of Horsebarn,” Mulhern remarked.
The idea unfurled into reality over the course of August — amidst many students’ summer plans. Iqbal battled time zones and SUBOG Music Relations Chair Lela Romeo found herself attending calls on the beach.
“Contacting artists is honestly one of my favorite processes. You meet such incredible people from so many walks of life,” said Romeo, a third-semester mechanical engineering major.
On top of contracting and negotiating with artists, merchandise had to be designed, equipment gathered and vendors contacted.
“All of this is going on at the same time — it’s one of the most beautifully chaotic things you’ll ever see, but that’s just the music business!” Romeo declared.
When choosing music to feature, the two on-campus groups wanted a mixture of well-known music played by cover bands and original pieces from student and alumni artists.
“I’m really proud of the music that comes out of my community, both in the Music Building and around campus and I love being able to use any platform I have to show the world what they can do,” said Iqbal.
The concert on Sept. 1 will feature The Fake Experience and student band Wavy McGrady; Sweet Magic will play the following show, along with alumni artist JR Specs. The Sunset Series is held across from the Dairy Bar and will have free admission, merch, ice cream and of course, a spectacular view.