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2018 Mayfest: A successful experiment

May 16, 2018
By Whitney Helm

Jamila WoodsPhoto of Jamila Woods, courtesy of Jamila Woods.

This year’s Mayfest brought a fierce set of Chicago and Beloit artists together for a dream line-up.

The spring concert organized by students, featured Jamila Woods, a Chicago-based singer, songwriter, and poet who has been featured on a bevy of top 10 and up-and-coming lists was this year’s headliner. Her music is steeped in activism, self-care grooves, and reflections on the world around her.

“She’s just an artist that I’ve always looked up to. She’s a singer and a poet and an actress. She stands for the same things we stand for at the college,” says Margaret Rose Sheils’18, who coordinated the event.

Once Woods was set, Margaret enlisted Bella Pixler’19, a member of Music Club, and together they decided to go for a local feel with music similar to Woods.They brought in Maia Sinaiko’17, also known by the stage name Paper Bag, and Darryl Smith’17, C-Haus manager, whose stage name is Smiddy, and Chicago artists Tasha, and Kaina

They also made a major change to the show, shortening it from two days to one.

“It made for more of a festival feel,” says Bella. “When it was two days, you go to either day, but now you had to be there for the entire show.”

Bella and Margaret didn't have exact attendance numbers but agreed that the show was well attended.

Senior Rebekah Evans says this year’s Mayfest was one of the best in her time at Beloit.

Both Margaret and Bella hope this year’s successful Mayfest will bring forth more collaborations between Music Club and Programming Board.