‘Lexapalooza’ debuts in Third Year Village as W&L’s first-ever spring music festival


Rachel Hicks, Arts & Life Writer

Washington and Lee University student organizations recently came together to plan and execute the first-ever ‘Lexapalooza,’ a free, two-day spring music festival.

The event took place March 30-31, taking over the upper level of the Third Year Village. There were activities throughout the two afternoons and evenings, and eateries like Blue Phoenix, LexMex Tacos and Pure Eats provided food.

Several student bands and New York-based pop duo Great Good Fine Ok played Saturday night.

Muskaan Soni, ‘18, is a leader for weekly W&L music venue Friday Underground and member of Lexapalooza’s steering committee. Soni said the committee tried to make the events as accessible as possible, so students would be more likely to come.

“We made it closer to campus,” Soni said. “We made it free. We got all the music. The weather is nice. It’s a weekend. We got food that’s out of town, so taco trucks and donut trucks that you would not normally get here.”

Director of Student Activities Kelsey Goodwin said her role was to advise the steering committee on the logistics.

“An event like this is an incredible amount of moving parts,” Goodwin said. “If you’ve never planned an event like this before it can be overwhelming.”

Goodwin said she helped coordinate sound technology and facility use, and also collaborated with W&L Public Safety and the University Store. But Goodwin said it was students who had the inspiration and did most of the planning.

“It’s really cool to have so many organizations involved in this,” Goodwin said. “I’m hoping that inspires other organizations to get involved going for future years.”

Upper-Division Community Assistant David Salchert, ‘19, said that while the event might bring students from different social circles and grades together in the same place, it won’t work miracles to unify the university this year.

“I think it’s a little last-minute planned and last-minute advertised, so I think it has better potential for next year,” Salchert said.

Ralston Hartness, ‘18, who performed a set from his EP “Atlas” Saturday evening, said he was excited to see Friday Underground, the Student Arts League, the Outing Club and community food providers merge together to put on a fun weekend.

“I can think of no better, cooler, more dynamic way to use the space in the Third Year Village than a cross-campus, cross-community celebration like this one,” Hartness said.

General Admission, Zack Ely, Hella Fitzgerald and Reeves Surgner also performed on Saturday.

Soni said the goal is already to host a second Lexapalooza next year — with a better turnout.

“That is our hope,” Soni said. “To establish this as an annual event.”