FEST brings music to rainy Huntington

Marshall University’s Office of Student Activities and Campus Activities Board presented FEST Saturday featuring the Ying Yang Twins.

The festival was a revival of Spring Fest, a music festival from the 1980s and 1990s said Lee Tabor, coordinator of student activities.

“There was such a demand on Marshall’s campus to have something similar to WVU,” Tabor said. “Something similar to Fall Fest and to other schools that do festivals. It was funny because I was already in the midst of planning one.”

Blake Lewis, season six runner-up on “American Idol” also performed at the event. Other acts included local artists and artists from around the country.

Lewis said he wanted audience members to enjoy the show despite the weather.

“It’s sad that it’s raining for an outdoor festival,” Lewis said. “But I hope some people come out tonight… I hope they enjoy the unexpected because I try to keep the audience guessing and incorporate them into my shows and bring them onstage.”

Tabor said different genres were represented at the festival because students listen to a variety of genres.

“Because students now they have more of an eclectic taste,” Tabor said. “They follow specific artists instead of certain genres now. I just thought it was a great opportunity for Marshall to bring acts locally playing, bring acts nationally to Marshall and to Huntington to give a kind of an experience to students.”

Tabor said he plans to have a second FEST in the fall.

“It’s going to be at the riverfront,” Tabor said. “So I can not only have the ability to have only a thousand people I can have two or three thousand. Tickets will be way cheaper, and I can bring in a bigger audience.”

The festival was created with students in mind, but community members were also welcomed to enjoy the concerts.

“I think it’s super important,” Tabor said. “As a student you not only go to class, you not only get your experience on campus, but there’s also an experience we had off campus and what better way to have it than to enjoy an event with community members and just getting out in the community and being involved, doing service and any of those kind of things that can affect people locally to Huntington gives them the opportunity to know campus better as well.”

Mikaela Keener can be contacted at [email protected].