The annual Lobsterfest music festival is a staple of alternative music in the Athens area, but this year’s lineup contains a big difference from previous years: a rapper.

Milo, an art-rapper from Wisconsin, will headline the free annual festival, along with Nah, an experimental noise-rock band from Philadelphia. Other acts in the two-day lineup include Bat House, Leggy and Kizzy Hall. Both nights start at 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday at the Union Bar & Grill.

The event serves as an alternative to the music acts commonly brought to campus in the Performing Arts and Concert series.

If you go

What: Lobsterfest

When: 9 p.m., Friday; 9 p.m., Saturday

Where: The Union Bar & Grill, 18 W. Union St.

Admission: Free

“It’s something nobody else is doing in Athens right now,” Shem Krey, the head of fundraising and the sales department at ACRN, said. He added that most acts brought to OU are country artists, and most acts at #Fest tend to be EDM or hip-hop.

“We don’t want to do that every year,” Krey, a senior studying marketing, said.

In addition, ACRN makes an effort to bring acts that are non-discriminatory and LGBTQ-friendly, Krey said, as opposed to acts like Migos, which is performing at #Fest and has made homophobic comments in the past.

“That’s something that’s really important to us,” Krey said.

Lobsterfest is a culmination of the efforts of all 13 departments of ACRN — the visual media department makes promos and fliers, the editorial department writes previews and interviews the acts and Rachel Allegra, the promotions director, chooses the acts that will perform.

Eli Shively, the general manager of ACRN, said he is particularly excited to have a shake-up in the traditional lineup that could be expected from a college-rock radio station.

“It’s really cool to have (Milo) here because we’ve never had a rapper headline Lobsterfest before,” Shively, a sophomore studying journalism, said. “I feel like 2017 is a year in which his popularity, which is already at a solid level, is going to explode a little bit.”

Milo, the rap moniker of Rory Ferreira, has collaborated with other rappers, such as Open Mike Eagle, and Hemlock Ernst, the rap project of Samuel Herring, the lead singer of Future Islands.

The other headliner, Nah, incorporates a drum kit, sampling and “noise” in its live acts, Shively said, and it “definitely airs more on the extreme side.”

Last year a 360 degree VR video was filmed during the festival. Shively said plans are in order to do something similar this year, but nothing is concrete yet.


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