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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Musical stories of Downtown Bryan at Hullabaloo Music Fest

Photo by Ani Tummalapalli

Nik Parr Music at Hullabaloo Music Fest on Sep. 3, 2023.

The Downtown Bryan streets were filled with the pulsating sound of grungy guitar bass that reverberated through the Grand Stafford Theatre. The rustic wooden venue featured the hard rock band Hindsight under hazy, red smoke onstage. Rock and roll audiences trickled in, clamming close to one another and stirring in sync. The bar was littered with chilled Bud Lights and Michelob Ultras under cabana string lights. Rock and roll on a Sunday called for special drinks off Grand Stafford’s chalk menu, like ‘Breaking Down’ and ‘Damn Regret.’

Over the Labor Day weekend, the third annual Hullabaloo Music Fest returned with many musicians performing in several unique venues in Historic Downtown Bryan. Niche and indie musicians took the stage at venues like The 101, KinderHill Brew Lab, Grand Stafford Theatre and Stage 12 of the Grand Palace Theatre

Public service and administration graduate student Joshua Carley greeted festival guests adjacent to Grand Stafford Theatre. As a volunteer with Destination Bryan, Carley said the nonprofit organization’s “ask and you shall receive” mindset brought the Hullabaloo Music Fest to the stage.

“Destination Bryan is a 501 nonprofit that gets its funding from the city, revenue and tourism taxes,” Carley said. “Essentially, they noticed a lot of demand and interest for local music performing in a music scene by many bands and people in the area.”

As Hindsight rolled out of its performance, lively attendees trickled out of the venue, with Carley grinning nearby.

“What’s so incredible about Bryan is that everyone has its own unique story that all these bands are so excited to share,” Carley said. “Being the first to welcome them and be the face of the people who get to see them the first time is just so exciting.”

The electric excitement of the rhythms quickly extended across the street to Grand Palace Theatre around 8 p.m. The brick sidewalls of the outdoor venue held a different tune than that at the Stafford Theatre, as the rock band Bad 455’s played more grassroots bluesy tunes. Destination Bryan volunteer Christopher Nguyen stood in front of the spinach-green seats of Grand Palace’s stage.

“There’s a wide variety of different bands playing,” Nguyen said. “Those venues have been going since one o’clock, and they go all the way until 11 o’clock midnight today.”

Whether a large band or small-starting musician, Nguyen said the music festival is open to hearing various musical stories.

“There have been a lot of local groups, some regional groups and your nationally known groups,” Nguyen said. “But a very important part of Destination Bryan is all about showcasing the local talent.”

Right next to the Stafford Theatre, The Proudest Monkey diners tapped to the glam rock band LVVRs while munching on their truffle “Yuppy Fries” and specialty burgers. LVVR’s aesthetic was reminiscent of a ‘take a midnight train and go anywhere’ spirit.

The sold-out music festival began to show crowds flocking to venues as 10 p.m. rolled around. A line rolled down the street outside Stafford Theatre as the night’s headliner Red Suit Apparatus was set to take the stage, quickly reaching maximum capacity. In the ever-stretching line was human resources graduate student Lena Brown. When it comes to going out and experiencing stories, including the musical ones of the night, Brown said she urges students to come out and just go for it.

“My motto is always to try to go to stuff for the experience; you never know what you’re gonna get out of it,” Brown said. “It might be good, it might be bad. But you and others have a story to tell at the end of the day, and we’re here for it.”

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