Campus radio station ACRN will host its annual Lobsterfest all around Athens.



The final fest of the Spring Semester is here, but it’s bigger than any one street or venue.

The annual All Campus Radio Network music festival, Lobsterfest, will be held this weekend at different venues throughout Athens. Headlining bands will include Waxahatchee, Container, Suuns and Empire! Empire! (I Was a Lonely Estate) along with several local acts.

However, this year’s festival will be structurally different from previous celebrations. Originally planned to be held at The Union Bar & Grill, Friday's show has been split up and spread out.

“Our headliner for Friday night is Waxahatchee at ARTS/West and we’re doing two sets on Friday just because we have a lot of artists,” Bailey Kretz, the promotional director for ACRN, said. “The mini-headliner for the second part of Friday is Container at Jackie-O’s.”

The other change is that Lobsterfest will be a free event open to the public. Due to increased funding ACRN received from the Student Appropriation Committee this year, it has been able to bring prominent artists to Athens at no charge to attendees.   

“The idea of the festival is to bring something to the community,” Kretz said. “And if all members of the community have to pay to get in, it kind of defeats the purpose.”

Unlike many other Athens area music festivals this academic year, such as Country Night Lights or Numbers Fest, Lobsterfest does not confine its bill to just one overarching genre or demographic. Sam Tornow, the editorial director for ACRN, said this allows for a more comprehensive concert experience.

“These are acts that are big but aren't mainstream top 40,” Tornow said. “It allows for more of a human interaction — these aren't artists who get lifted off stage right away and don’t talk to anybody. After all of these people’s sets, anybody will be able to talk to them.”

ACRN, made the festival’s main objective to appeal to the wide range of musical taste at Ohio University. The weekend will include sets from acoustic artists, garage punk bands, electronic acts and far more — many of whom are on the edge of breaking through into the limelight, according to Kretz.

“If you don’t like one band, you can have something completely different in 20 minutes,” Kretz said. “The idea is to find new music you like, what we think the student body will really like and what could potentially be blowing up in the next year.”

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The festival will be the focus of an upcoming virtual reality documentary from OU student Maddie Pinney, a friend of organizer Kretz. This weekend, Pinney will be using a virtual reality “rig” to film much of the footage and the film is expected to be released next fall.

“I was really interested in letting other people see and experience what it is like to put together a festival all on their own,” Pinney, a junior studying media arts and studies, said. “We wanted to show people in an immersive way that if you are interested in this that you have the opportunity here with ACRN.”

Above all, Tornow said, Lobsterfest is organized as an opportunity for Athens residents to come together and enjoy great music — and for free this year.

“Lobsterfest showcases what the students and people of Athens can do to create as much art as possible,” Tornow said. “And to really show off how much we care about this community and what we want to bring to it.”


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