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From backyard to the big time

Founded by UM students, Bristerfest music event moves on up from little shed near campus to Levitt S

By Hannah C. Owenga
On April 27, 2011

  • Sophomore midfielder Natalia Gomez-Junco helped Mexico avance in the FIFA U20 World Cup to play Nigeria. Photo By Martin Rose | special to the daily helmsman

Memphis in May isn't the only event where Memphians can gorge themselves on barbecue, guzzle beer and boogie down.

Jack Simon, junior communication and political science major, and Craig Ivey, former University of Memphis student, will be are moving their usual "shed parties,"held behind Ivey's house on Brister Street, to the Levitt Shell on May 10 at 3 p.m., dubbing the event "Bristerfest."

The event is open to the public, and admission costs $6. Several local bands will perform, and beer and barbecue will be available. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to radio station WEVL.

"This is Bristerfest productions' first major event," Simon said.

Seven bands will be performing at the festival.  Rock, funk, rap, country, blues, soul, Latin psychedelic and dub step are expected to perform at the event.

Will Nichols, member of participating band Agori Tribe, said that "this event is a big thing."

Mathew Faulkner, sophomore engineer technology major and local artist, said that "constant, cool and new promotion is important to get a large audience to a concert."

Simon has created a Facebook page and a website to help advertise the event and plans to advertise more during the Beale Street Music Festival. Black and white flyers are being handed out across campus.

Essence London, sophomore political science major, said she has seen the flyers being passed around on campus.

"He has taken on a lot of responsibility, and I hope it goes well," London said.

Simon said he has spoken to several businesses around The U of M area about sponsoring the event and providing supplies.  The Memphis Music Foundation is also helping organize Bristerfest.

Featured at Bristerfest will be the Delta Collective, which is a finalist for Memphis Music Foundation's contest, Memphis Music Launch Showcase, to be held July 8.

Briar Young, freshman film and video major, said he is a fan of Agori Tribe and is always looking for good music.

"I am familiar with Agori, but I plan to listen to everyone," Young said. "The Bristerfest house parties are really fun and chill."

For more information on Bristerfest, including a music lineup, visit the event's website at

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