Quadstock 25: A Festival For The Ages


amy trUOng • The Spectator

Seattle University has reached a new milestone: a quarter-century of music and fun filling up the Quad. For 25 years, Quadstock has been a valued tradition for Seattle U and the surrounding community. It is a day full of food, activities and, of course, great music. The name of the event originated from the addition of the Quad to the Seattle U campus during the 20th anniversary of Woodstock in 1989. What better way to celebrate the new space than with an event commemorating the historic festival? “With the Quad being built, we went to [Father William J. Sullivan, S.J.] and asked if we could do something for the students to celebrate this monumental new area on campus,” said Chris Thomas, class of 1991 and co-founder of Quadstock. “My vision was to do something grand. It would be a celebration of the campus and a way to give back to the community as well.”

amy trUOng • The Spectator
amy trUOng • The Spectator

SEAC’s Quadstock co-chairs, Marcus Shriver and Cristina Mercado are all smiles in preparation for the upcoming music festival. The event will take place on Saturday, May 17, from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m.

The first Quadstock helped raise money for the local soup kitchen. The event was free and open to the public, and students could bring food to donate or fill out a pledge form to raise a dollar for every hour that they were in attendance. As for the event itself, a committee of students brainstormed what they could do. A music festival seemed to be the best way to go. “I remember when they were building the Quad, one thing that caught my eye was the open space between the steps,” said John Boyle, class of 1993 and co-founder of Quadstock. “Seeing the layout, you could just visualize it. The bands would go here and the beer garden would go there.” The inaugural Quadstock was a three-day event. On Friday afternoon, a comedian kicked off the festivities. Then the bands took over the quad. Along with some local bands, there were performances by The Bitter End, The Britains and The Posies. On Saturday, everyone moved into the Campion Ballroom where students were entertained by a hypnotist and the Battle of the Bands. “We knew that there were a lot of students in bands,” Thomas said. “Involving student bands really lit the fire and created a buzz around campus.” The event ended with mass and breakfast on Sunday morning. Over the course of the festival, the founders didn’t run into many problems. The weather was cold, which warranted a couple of complaints from performers, and a student broke their arm during the Battle of the Bands trying to jump on a chair. The biggest problem, however, was security. “We didn’t anticipate the event being as popular as it was,” Thomas said. “We had to grab some guys we knew last minute and give them security t-shirts to wear. There was only, like, three security guards between the bands and the people.” Overall, the first Quadstock was a huge success and set up a tradition that has continued over the past 25 years. “I think my favorite part about it was that we loosely defined it as a day of music and activities,” Boyle said. “It’s cool to see what students have been able to do each year with that open template. One thing that we never did was having a bouncy house.” This year, the 25th Quadstock will be taking on a West Coast theme. And there will be a bouncy house this time around. The lineup features four bands, all from the West Coast: COHO, Shelton Harris, Sea Wolf and Best Coast. The co-chairs of this year’s festival are juniors Cristina Vazquez de Mercado and Marcus Shriver. Planning the event started with contacting agents to figure out the lineup and finding clubs and outside organizations to set up in the Union Green. “You have to contact as many bands as you can,” Mercado said. “You want a lot of options because most of the time they won’t answer you or the asking price is ridiculous.” At one point, Aaron Carter was in the lineup, but he had to drop out as he was switching management at the time he accepted a spot. Bastille was also set to join the show after their agent made an oral agreement with Mercado, but by the time the contract was sent, the agent decided that the band couldn’t perform on that date anymore. It was a long process, but the Seattle U community is ready to celebrate the 25th anniversary with a day of music. “We have so many different groups that we need to cater to,” Shriver said. “We want to create a place where everyone will have fun and make an event they will really enjoy.” Upon the release of the lineup, there was a lot of positive feedback. Even those not familiar with the bands are excited to take part in the tradition. As of this year, Quadstock is the largest attended event at Seattle U and is sure to continue for many more years to come. Both Thomas and Boyle will return to campus to celebrate the anniversary on Saturday. “This event is a testament to the university,” Thomas said. “I didn’t even know it was still going on after the first three years. Now, I get to tell people that I’m going

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back to be a part of something that I started 25 years ago and it’s really cool.”