Student Life

Mad for Madipalooza

Madipalooza 2015

By Elaina Taylor

Two students pose for a photography at Madipalooza 2015
Two students enjoy good weather and great company at Madipalooza 2015 on the Festival Lawn. Photo by Stephen Meyer for JMU University Unions Technoogy and Design.

This past Saturday, April 11th, students were treated to more than just fabulous spring weather, thanks to Madipalooza 2015. Hosted in its usual spot on the Festival Lawn, the event gave students the chance to relax and let out pre-finals stress with their friends before saying goodbye for the summer (or longer). Over 7,000 students poured out to enjoy the free event in the sunshine and take advantage of the delicious food, awesome giveaways, and cool games and activities while soaking up the live music that permeated the air.

The event featured a varied lineup of musicians who played from 1-7 p.m. starting out with local band Strong Water, then headliner Misterwives. Afterward Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown, Chris Lane, Great Caesar, Can’t Stop Won’t Stop, and Steal the Prize rocked the stage.

Strong Water won the Rumble Down Under competition at TDU to play for Madipalooza, and made the most out of their opportunity to open for the other musicians by getting the crowd grooving early.

“It was really surreal for all of us,” said senior geology major Greg Brennan, the band’s lead singer and guitarist. “We’ve been to Madipalooza in the past but never thought we would get a chance to perform, but I’m so glad we gave it a shot because we had a blast.”

Much of the crowd chose to simply sit and listen to the afternoon tunes, while others braved the long lines to participate in some of the activities set out for their enjoyment. At the entrance, students could enter their names for various door prizes and raffles. The lucky winners received gift cards, a fit bit, a Keurig machine, Roku and Chrome cast, a pair of Beats headphones, an iPad, and a TV.

Near the entrance, long lines snaked out from the fan favorites: airbrush tattoos, caricatures, and the henna booth. Further in stood the imposing Zeroshock drop zone where daring students could jump off a tower to free-fall onto the blown up landing pad. Next came the inflated Meltdown, a game where two levers swung around trying to knock participants off their wobbly stands. Needless to say, the Meltdown won almost every time.

Food and drink stations dotted the lawn, and the occasional pie eating contest and donut eating contest satisfied the craving of those with a sweet tooth.

Cornhole occupied a space next to the highly anticipated laser tag, where teams battled it out inside the large, inflated arena. Winners took home bragging rights, while the losers often pegged their frustration at the poor souls who volunteered for the dunk tank nearby, much to the amusement of bystanders.

But even those who had consumed their fill of the festival couldn’t feel bad for splitting early. As students left they were treated to a photo booth complete with the silliest of props, as well as some sweet giveaways, which included Madipalooza t-shirts, phone speakers, fanny packs, frisbees, and more.

“Overall just some great music and activities, and good weather to boot,” said senior studio art major Gabby Chase, “I’ve been coming since I was a freshman because I just love the atmosphere, and it became a tradition.”

Morgan Baggesen, another senior about to graduate, said, “I went to Madipalooza as a freshman, but didn’t go the next two years, so I thought it would be nice to bookend my JMU experience by going one last time.” The communications sciences and disorders major went on to add, “I wanted to soak up the last of the JMU experiences with my friends while I could, especially at an event like this that pulls out the JMU spirit.”

Interested in seeing what you missed at Madipalooza 2015? Check out the University Unions Flickr account to see pictures of Madipalooza and the Madipalooza photobooth.

Published: Thursday, April 23, 2015

Last Updated: Friday, April 6, 2018

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