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Student organization plugs into sustainability with Buckeye Blackout concert

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While concerts at the Lifestyle Communities Pavilion and Nationwide Arena are powered by spotlights and floor to ceiling speakers, Buckeye Blackout aims to focus energy elsewhere. Started last year, Buckeye Blackout is a student organization that puts on a concert to raise awareness for energy conservation and sustainability. Concert-goers are asked to turn off their lights and unplug appliances before attending. “We hope to one day, when the event gets bigger, to have all of campus blacked out,” founder Rachel Skwerer said. “It’s a statement event.” Skwerer and Clay Perry, the other founder, met when they were sustainability chairs in their hall councils last year: Skwerer, a second-year in exploration, was in Morrison Tower and Perry was in Baker East.  Sustainability chairs in residence hall councils meet two to three times a year to discuss ways to promote sustainability on campus together. Perry, a second-year in economics, had the idea last year to have “one big event that raises awareness,” specifically a concert, Skwerer said. The concert this year is set to be held Saturday in the Performance Hall at 8 p.m. in the Ohio Union and will feature the bands Filthy Chai, The Candescents, The Skashank Redemption and Damn the Witch Siren. The bands will be paid for performing. All bands are local to cut down on commute time and gas usage, while promoting a local-centric attitude, Skwerer said. In between the bands’ sets, Skwerer said there will be a skit of following the day in the life of a typical college student that will point out ways to conserve energy. Skwerer gave the example of turning off the water faucet while brushing your teeth. Damn the Witch Siren played at Buckeye Blackout last year. Vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Krista Botjer, who goes by her stage name Bobbi Kitten, said the band’s belief in the cause is part of the reason why it’s returning. “(Energy) is something that people take for granted because we’re kinda spoiled,” Botjer said. There will be opportunities at the event for attendees to win prizes, such as T-shirts, and to sign a sustainability pledge, Skwerer said. But the event won’t be totally power-free: Bands will play plugged in as opposed to acoustic. “We didn’t want to ask the bands to change their sound,” Skewerer said. Credit: Courtesy of Clay Perry

Buckeye Blackout founders Rachel Skwerer (left) and Clay Perry (right) pose with Damn the Witch Siren members Bobbi Kitten (2nd from left) and Z Wolf prior to an April 25 concert at the Ohio Union. Credit: Courtesy of Clay Perry

While concerts at the Lifestyle Communities Pavilion and Nationwide Arena are powered by spotlights and floor to ceiling speakers, Buckeye Blackout aims to focus energy elsewhere.

Started last year, Buckeye Blackout is a student organization that puts on a concert to raise awareness for energy conservation and sustainability. Concert-goers are asked to turn off their lights and unplug appliances before attending.

“We hope to one day, when the event gets bigger, to have all of campus blacked out,” founder Rachel Skwerer said. “It’s a statement event.”

Skwerer and Clay Perry, the other founder, met when they were sustainability chairs in their hall councils last year: Skwerer, a second-year in exploration, was in Morrison Tower and Perry was in Baker East.

Sustainability chairs in residence hall councils meet two to three times a year to discuss ways to promote sustainability on campus together.

Perry, a second-year in economics, had the idea last year to have “one big event that raises awareness,” specifically a concert, Skwerer said.

The concert this year is set to be held Saturday in the Performance Hall at 8 p.m. in the Ohio Union and will feature the bands Filthy Chai, The Candescents, The Skashank Redemption and Damn the Witch Siren. The bands will be paid for performing.

All bands are local to cut down on commute time and gas usage, while promoting a local-centric attitude, Skwerer said.

In between the bands’ sets, Skwerer said there will be a skit of following the day in the life of a typical college student that will point out ways to conserve energy. Skwerer gave the example of turning off the water faucet while brushing your teeth.

Damn the Witch Siren played at Buckeye Blackout last year. Vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Krista Botjer, who goes by her stage name Bobbi Kitten, said the band’s belief in the cause is part of the reason why it’s returning.

“(Energy) is something that people take for granted because we’re kinda spoiled,” Botjer said.

There will be opportunities at the event for attendees to win prizes, such as T-shirts, and to sign a sustainability pledge, Skwerer said.

But the event won’t be totally power-free: Bands will play plugged in as opposed to acoustic.

“We didn’t want to ask the bands to change their sound,” Skewerer said.

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