Ian Keene-Babcock ’09 put his studies on hold this semester, delaying his graduation until the winter of next year to make the second annual William and Mary Fall Fest as successful as possible.
“I decided that to focus on Fall Fest, I couldn’t be doing classes at the same time,” Keene-Babcock said. “We want to brand the event as an amazing place to hear music.”
While some aspects of Fall Fest have remained the same, including the support of Keene-Babcock’s fraternity, Sigma Pi, others have changed. Last year’s lineup of bands consisted mostly of groups from the College of William and Mary. This year, however, Keene-Babcock selected bands that put on the highest-quality performances at this summer’s FloydFest, an annual music festival held in Floyd County, Virginia.
“People expected it to be on the small side this year, but now the event is building toward bigger band names,” Brian Kirst ’11, a Sigma Pi brother, said.
One of the bands invited, William Walter & Company, actually won the People’s Choice award this year at FloydFest, and features alumnus Tucker Rogers on lead guitar.
“He rocks like very few I have ever seen,” Keene-Babcock said.
All revenue from the festival will be donated to a health center in Liberia.
“While other philanthropic events often have little to donate after expenses, we want to eventually send $50,000 to $60,000 a year,” Keen-Babcock said.
By encouraging everyone to attend, particularly students from other colleges and Williamsburg residents, Keene-Babcock hopes that future Fall Fests can attract outside attention.
“This year will not be the perfect unification of everything we’re about, but we want to show the potential,” Keene-Babcock said.
According to Keene-Babcock, this year’s addition of tax-deductible donations has increased the willingness of corporations and other individuals, including Board of Visitors member Philip Herget, to financially support the event. Keene-Babcock also cited the owner of the Witch Doctor Café, which occupies the old Dis-N-That lot, as a key contributor to the cause. Up ’til Dawn and the Jamestown Hall Council have contributed to Fall Fest this year as well.
Regardless of the weather Saturday, the first set of the show will start at 1:50 p.m. with the last finishing at approximately 11:30 p.m. Student tickets will sell for $5 in advance and $10 at the gate. Attendees may come and go as often as they like throughout the day. In addition to music, yoga and meditation instructors will offer workshops to ticket holders for free. Vendors will offer various types of food for purchase.
For more information about the bands, charity or tickets, visit theevent website.