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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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Rocking with local high school bands at Biggiefest

Casen+Sledge%2C+member+of+Angels+Envy%2C+one+of+the+bands+performing+at+Biggiefest.
Photo courtesy of Jacob Smith

Casen Sledge, member of “Angel’s Envy,” one of the bands performing at Biggiefest.

Every band starts somewhere, and in the Brazos Valley, Biggiefest gives high school bands a safe place to jam out and enjoy a night of support and connections. 

Biggiefest is an upcoming music festival being held at Brazos Valley Troupe, a nonprofit theater in Bryan, on July 8, according to the Biggiefest Instagram. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the show officially starts at 6:30 p.m. with an opening act by a local improv group called the Oxymorons followed by high school bands playing a variety of music genres, including alternative rock, experimental rap and thrash metal. The event is free to attend, although guests can donate money to Brazos Valley Troupe and receive credit towards concessions. 

Jacob Smith, event organizer and performer in the band “The Grivettes,” said the inspiration behind the event’s name came from one of the performers, Scott Biggie, while the inspiration for the festival came from Smith’s own experiences as a high school performer. 

“We’re so excited to be hosting [Scott Biggie]’s first live set, so we named it after him,” Smith said. “We live in a college town, so the music scene is mostly college bands. There are a lot of high school acts that don’t get to play often, so this festival was for them to have the spotlight.”

There are six bands and an improv group performing at Biggiefest, Smith said, and each band plays unique genres of music. 

“‘Trash Demon’ can be described as thrash metal, and ‘Angel’s Envy’ is a very classic rock and roll band,” Smith said. “‘The Antibodies’ is typically alternative grunge, though they bounce around other genres, and my band is best described as bubblegum grunge.” 

Smith said Biggiefest is family friendly and he hopes to encourage other young people in the audience to not be afraid to be their true selves. 

“I hope [Biggiefest] inspires young people to start their own bands and write whatever they want,” Smith said. “By coming to shows and following our Instagram, we can build a stronger community and really help each other out.” 

Will Gerdes, an event organizer and performer in the band “The Antibodies,” said his band started at a local business that sells music lessons.

“I found the drummer from the music organization I was attending called ‘School of Rock,’” Gerdes said. “Then, my other friend who plays bass joined. After that, we all formed our band and started making music.”

Gerdes said he wanted the event to promote high school bands while allowing natural connections between them. 

“We do hope to inspire people and make them passionate about going to events that are not just college bands,” Gerdes said. “We just want to bring together more people that are our age, get them under one roof and have them interact with other people who are engaging in the music community.”

M.A. Sterling, managing art director at Brazos Valley Troupe, said Biggiefest is one of the best ways for local bands to start their music career.

“No band starts off internationally,” Sterling said. “They get there first by being local, and then maybe county or state until finally they reach that last step. But they all had to take the first step, and everybody starts somewhere.”

Biggiefest is free for everyone, but Sterling said guests have the ability to donate $10 to Brazos Valley Troupe and receive tokens that can be redeemed for concessions.

“[After donating], they will get three tokens that are worth $1 each for drinks, chips, cookies and all kinds of good stuff,” Sterling said. “That money goes to Brazos Valley Troupe general operations, and we are grateful for it, so it’s a win-win for all of us.”

Sterling said he hopes to attract Texas A&M students to get immersed in the community, and hopefully, make Biggiefest a yearly event for the Brazos Valley. 

“We hope to see some students come out and get involved if they are so inclined,” Sterling said. “Wherever you come from, we are all one giant community once you get to Aggieland, and as long as the space is available, we can open our door to even more opportunities in the future.”

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