Musicfest lights up E.J.

“Not even the remnants of hurricane Fay could stop hundreds of University of Akron students from enjoying the first Musicfest at E.J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall. With a cornucopia of opening weekend activities available for students, E.J. Thomas threw its hat in the mix by hosting the first Musicfest Aug.”

Not even the remnants of hurricane Fay could stop hundreds of University of Akron students from enjoying the first Musicfest at E.J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall.

With a cornucopia of opening weekend activities available for students, E.J. Thomas threw its hat in the mix by hosting the first Musicfest Aug. 28.

Musicfest is part of E.J. Thomas’s ongoing campaign to get more student interaction with the hall.

We found that students would come to E.J. for their freshman orientation and wouldn’t be back until their graduation, Beth Lynch, press and promotions coordinator for E.J. Thomas, said. Events like Musicfest give students the opportunity to enjoy this amazing hall.

Musicfest kicked off with soul rocker Fred Shafer. Shafer recently finished a four-show tour with Staind before arriving in Akron to entertain the rainy crowd.

I get a lot of my fans from shows like these, Shafer said. The idea behind this is really noble, but when it rains like this there is nothing you can really do.

The festival, which lasted seven hours, featured a bill of groups that are familiar to the Akron area.

Skinny, Five Times August and Red Wanting Blue helped entertain students until the festival wrapped up around 11 p.m.

It’s a great first try at this type of event, Dan Dahl, executive director of E.J. Thomas, said.

E.J. Thomas plans to continue offering students a wide variety of free and inexpensive shows through the entire year.

This year we are trying a variety of new things to get students out to enjoy this great hall. We are still offering the Wednesday Rock The Roo concert series, but we are also adding the Stage Door, an event where the stage is completely transformed and set up into a very personal setting with a new or innovative artist, Dahl said.

Along with the Stage Door, E.J. Thomas is working to bring more student oriented shows to the hall.

Seether will be performing on Sept. 12 and Akron natives, The Black Keys, will be arriving in early October.

More information on upcoming shows and events at E.J. Thomas can be found at www.eventsatua.com.