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TTU News


thumb Dirty_Guvs_Hi_ResTennessee Tech University artists, musicians and student organizations are coming together to bring an arts and music festival to campus Saturday, April 20.

The Spring Awakening festival will bring area artists, including many from TTU’s Appalachian Center for Craft, together with TTU alumni and regional performers. Knoxville band The Dirty Guv’nahs will headline the show.

“We really wanted it to be a showcase of Tennessee Tech students, our campus and our facilities, but keeping a local theme and focusing on the sustainability aspect,” said Emma Judd, a mental health counseling graduate student who has been helping to organize the festival with TTU’s Student Activities Office. “This model of the music and arts festival is something that happens at a lot of campuses, but we’re definitely putting our own spin on things.”

The festival will be from noon to 9 p.m.

The plan is to have about a dozen Cookeville restaurants will have booths along the perimeter of Sherlock Park on TTU’s campus, while the interior of the park will be full of local artists. The main music stage will be at the east end of the park and inflatables, activities for children and another stage for acoustic performances will be on the west end.

In addition to The Dirty Guv’nahs, TTU alumni Ben Higgins and Kory Wheeler will perform. The Poor Richards, All of Us and James Wallace, Tighten Up and the Naked Light will take the main stage as well.

“For music concerts at Tennessee Tech, there’s the big SOLO concert with an artist who has a record everyone’s heard on the radio, and then we have these smaller niche performances from the music department or in the Backdoor Playhouse,” said Andrew Smith, English instructor and faculty head of the Tree House learning village. “The Spring Awakening is for a broad audience. We’re getting bands who couldn’t headline the SOLO concert in the Hoop, but that are too big to perform someplace as small as the Backdoor Playhouse.”

The festival has been organized with environmental sustainability in mind. The main stage will be powered with an energy-efficient generator, the student-run recycling program will be on-site to encourage recycling and groups with information tables will talk about sustainability efforts and the campus bicycle share program.

A variety of student groups and campus organizations have helped the Tech Activities Board and the Office of Student Activities plan the festival, including the Tree House, Service Station and Arts and Media learning villages; the Residence Hall Association; the Student Government Association; UNCLE; the Student Environmental Action Coalition and the National Art Education Association. Student Activities is looking for volunteers to help staff the event. To sign up, visit the TAB website

“This event has become even bigger than we anticipated,” said Katie Williams, coordinator in the Office of Student Activities. “We wanted it to be a big coalition of people with more organizations representing different interests but sharing the common goal of putting together a great event students can look forward to on the weekend.”

The concerts are free and the festival is open to TTU students and the public. Festival attendees are reminded that TTU is an alcohol and tobacco-free campus.