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The Water Witches play the final show of the 2018 Athens Halloween Block Party. (FILE)

Students help organize Halloween block party

This year’s block party is quite like none other. Ohio University students – Jane Kardotzke and Jennifer Kash – helped book the entertainment. 

Each year, the Athens city Halloween block party brings in crowds of thousands. The block party is a Halloween celebration, featuring live music, a parade, costumes and other festivities. 

This year’s entertainment was organized by DJ B-Funk and JAcKDUP. 

Kash and Kardotzke are partners in JAcKDUP, a booking and promotions collective. 

JAcKDUP started a little over a year ago, Kardotzke, a senior studying music production and recording industry, said. Kardotzke started organizing her own shows and fell into promotion. She has a passion for live music.

“My dreams have always been artist management,” she said. “But I realized I had all these connections and opportunities to create my own experiences.” 

While the idea for JAcKDUP booking was the brainchild of Kardotzke, her and Kash quickly  became best friends and decided to run the business together.The name “JAcKDUP” itself is a combination of Kash and Kardotzke’s initials.

“It’s just so natural in our relationship to be business partners,” Kardotzke said. “We have the same vision of creating experiences of love and music and bringing people together.”

Kash and Kardotzke both share their vision of music for everyone -- not just house shows for select crowds. JAcKDUP doesn’t aim to create a scene -- it aims to create an experience. 

“Music is the universal language that helps us understand everyone and everything around us,” Kardotzke added. “There’s no reason people shouldn't be a part of the music scene.”

The block party is a co-effort with Brandon Thompson, a local artist also known as DJ B-Funk. 

Promoting the block party is a huge undertaking. Thompson has relied on JAcKDUP for  additional advertising, promotion and marketing, Kardotzke said. 

“It's gonna be really, really groovy,” Kardotzke said. “We have confidence and high hopes that this is going to be one of the best block parties we’ve had in the past three to four years.” 

To Kardotzke, the major goal of the block party is not just bring in people from out of town, but to actually get more students and local residents involved as well. 

“People are going to want to go because we are the block party now,” Kash, a senior studying music production and recording industry, said.  

This isn’t the first time JAcKDUP has worked with the city of Athens. It is, however, its first paid gig by the city. It’s important for JAcKDUP to make a good impression on the city, Kash said.

“It's kind of our first appearance in the city’s eyes,” Kash said. “We're representing part of the city. We want to make a really good impression.” 

The north stage, where JAcKDUP did most of its booking, will feature five bands. Each act is representative of JAcKDUP’s vision, Kardotzke said. 

“This is the place you want to be for Halloween,” Kardotzke said. “The music and the energy is going to be great.”

The band Last Youth kicks off the night at 6 p.m., followed by local band Judge Russo at 7 p.m.

Anthony Joseph, a third-year student studying music management and media relations, will play with Judge Russo on the north stage. He’s looking forward to playing music with his friends.

Joseph described Judge Russo as a sort of folk-punk act. 

“It has the colors of folk and the angst of punk,” Joseph explained. 

Joseph is excited to get into the spirit of Halloween. He’ll be in costume during Judge Russo’s performance.

“I’m dressing up as Eric Andre from ‘Bird Up!’,” he said. 

The next band, Freak Mythology, goes on at 8 p.m. Kash described its sound as “jammy and yammy.” Freak Mythology will be a possible crowd-pleaser, Kash added.

Dysfunktional Family goes on at 9 p.m., followed by closing band Sylmar at 10 p.m. Sylmar is a Cincinnati-based band that plays in Athens often. Sylmar is a perfect way to end the show, Kash said.

“All these acts deliver hard,” Kardotzke added. 

The south stage will showcase 10 DJs, including Thelonious Mung and DJ Hex, who frequently perform in Athens, as well as DJ B-Funk himself. 

JAcKDUP will have an after-party on Grosvenor street, with three musical acts. Fullsend, a group from Columbus, is headlining. The after-party is JAcKDUP’s “DIY twist” on the block party, Kash said. More information about the after-party will be provided at the block party. 

Keep up with JAcKDUP and the block party lineup on its Instagram page.


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