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Battle of the Bands to rock Quadrangle courtyard

BY MARISA WAY | APRIL 16, 2010 7:30 AM

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Audio: Interview with the event organizers

When Saturday night rolls around, Arlene Freudenberg and Jacob Becicka won’t be found crossing the Pedestrian Mall, wandering through bars, or hitting up house parties.

Instead, the two and members of Hall Association Working for Quadrangle will be found in the Quadrangle Hall courtyard. There, they will rock out to some live music while making sure the event they planned, Battle of the Bands, runs smoothly.

Battle of the Bands will take place from 8 to 11 p.m. Saturday in the Quadrangle courtyard. It is an alcohol-alternative event that is open to all UI students, and admission is free. The live concert will be made up of five bands: Clothesline 55, Gilbe, Hello Ramona, Prairie Shore Four, and White Lie Syndicate.

Becicka, a senator in the hall association, came up with the idea for the event during fall semester and presented it to Freudenberg, the president of the organization. While both students say they began planning the event before the 21-ordinance was passed, they believe the timing of the new law will increase interest. It may even spawn similar events after the ordinance is enacted on June 1.

“A lot of kids don’t think there’s another way to have fun outside of bars and drinking,” Freudenberg said. “So, with the 21-ordinance being passed, this is just another event that shows people there are alternatives to alcohol.”

Becicka said the idea to make Battle of the Bands an alcohol-free gathering originated from his personal choice to not drink.

“It gives people who don’t [drink] an alternative,” he said. “Instead of just sitting in their rooms, they can come out and listen to good music.”

The performing bands span a wide range of geographic areas, Becicka said. One of the members of Prairie Shore Four lives in Quad, Hello Ramona hails from Bettendorf, and Clothesline 55 will travel to Iowa City from its home state of Wisconsin. These varying distances presented some challenges when planning the event, particularly with contracts.

“Getting everyone to sign it was kind of hard, because no one really lives around here,” Becicka said.
Beyond the passage of the 21-ordinance, UI officials are also looking to increase the number of “alcohol-alternative events.” The Battle of the Bands is the second of such events hosted by the Quad association this year. The first event, during the Winter Olympics, was a viewing party with food. Becicka and Freudenberg are hoping to see an increase in activities similar to this one next year.

“We want to see more [association] events,” Freudenberg said. “We really would like Battle of the Bands to turn into an annual thing.”

Her main goal, she said, was to create awareness. She hoped Battle of the Bands will create a greater presence for Quadrangle on campus and serve as an example of alcohol-free entertainment.

“We’re basically trying to teach everyone that you don’t have to be drunk and go down to the bars to have a good time on campus,” she said. “You can find other means.”

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