Changing the lack of live music on campus

Saint John artist Kylie Fox (above) playing the first of seven shows in the lobby of campus radio station CHSR-FM scheduled for this fall. (Diana Chavez/AQ)

CHSR station manager Erin Bond was concerned with the lack of live shows on campus, so she organized CHSR’s live in the lobby, with the hopes of introducing students to local musicians. Its third season started Oct. 1 with a performance from Saint John singer-songwriter Kylie Fox.

Bond said the lack of live music on campus may have negative impacts for students.

“I think that hurts the local music scene too, because I know there’s a lot of people who don’t enjoy going out to bars, or maybe aren’t old enough.”

“Those are the people you kind of want to foster and get them used to supporting the arts and appreciating what we have here [in Fredericton].”

Like Bond, second-year St. Thomas University history student and musician Ben LeBrun agrees the more venues around campus, the stronger the music scene is.

He said for musicians who are just starting out, looking for places to play can be intimidating.

“I think it’s generally assumed that universities don’t offer good opportunities for performers outside of the performing arts crew. Instead musicians look to places like bars and coffee shops for gigs.”

LeBrun said having shows on campus could encourage new talent at STU and give more chances for the student population to experience their classmates’ efforts.

“Usually it’s the artist that has to do all the work to find gigs. One thing I know for sure is that it is very enabling for an artist to be asked to perform,” said LeBrun.

“For artists, shows are contexts for community and building a fan-base where their talents can be affirmed.”

Fourth-year English and fine arts student Brennan Garnett is no stranger to the Fredericton music scene, particularly at the Capital Complex.

“I go to shows all the time, I love them,” said Garnett.

He said he would go to any show on campus.

“The more opportunities people have to showcase their art, the better.”

Coming from Bathurst, fourth-year psychology and visual arts student Olivia Stymiest was interested in the music scene when she came to Fredericton.

“I’ve seen live shows in Bathurst a few times, mostly Hospitality Days,” said Stymiest, referring to a festival in Bathurst that takes place in July.

Like Garnett, most of the shows Stymiest has attended have been at the Capital Complex. She said hosting shows on campus is a good idea.

“I could definitely see myself going, depending on who the bands were.”

Stymiest also sees the benefit in having performances close to the dorms.

“[They] would be more accessible for students living in and around residence,” said Stymiest.

“There’s also something to be said about smaller, more intimate shows so that would definitely be a plus on campus.”

The Live in the Lobby series will bring performances from Chris Meaney, Pallmer, Joe Ross, Dillon Ryan and Richie Young to campus every Tuesday for the next six weeks.