For seven years, the Musicians’ Collective at Ohio State has treated students and those passing through campus to an annual outdoor music festival consisting of some of the club’s most dedicated members.
The event was known as Bouncearoo for the first three years, but it eventually evolved into MCoachella, which is in its fourth installment this spring.
This weekend, the organization will play host to an 18-set mini-festival that will take place at Browning Amphitheater.
The festival is scheduled to start both Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. with nine 30-minute sets arranged for each day.
“There are students out there playing music, there are students getting together and collaborating, and it’s just a good social event. I mean, who doesn’t like live free music in their backyard?” said Michael D’Alessio, a fourth-year in marketing and vice president of MCo.
With Saturday also marking the OSU football team’s spring game, D’Alessio and other members of MCo are hopeful that people headed to the game that day will wander over to the festival. Just under 200 people have RSVP’d to the event on Facebook.
Members of MCo think the representation of Columbus’ diverse music scene will attract a steady audience. The organization will feature acts from electronic musician P S Y W V E to blues group Rust Belt Revival and hip-hop duo Booty & The Kidd.
P S Y W V E, whose real name is Eric Sa, will perform for the second straight year, citing the environment that MCo provides as a reason for returning.
“It really gives you a place to all gather, and it doesn’t force creativity, but it allows it to grow a lot better,” Sa said.
It also provides a prodigious platform for those navigating the Columbus DIY scene, said project manager Alex Arseneau.
“It’s pretty cool that students who are not music majors (can) have a creative outlet, so you get to hear the creations of students,” said Arseneau, a second-year in landscape architecture.
MCo provides the necessary tools for its members — a coalition consisting of an average of 20-40 members per meeting — to further foster their musical aspirations.
MCoachella is just one of the many opportunities that MCo presents to its members throughout the course of the school year. Between 30 and 40 groups applied for the prospect of performing in a special campus setting, but only 18 were chosen, according to D’Alessio.
“We want (MCo musicians) to be out in the spotlight so they can play in front of people and get their name out there and really just build the confidence to play in front of people,” D’Alessio said.
In an attempt to maximize the possible exposure at MCoachella, the group made extra efforts this year to improve on its promotional techniques. D’Alessio said there was an emphasis on improving the event’s social media presence and physical advertisement.
Another MCoachella veteran, project developer Patrick Riley of the band Rust Belt Revival, has been involved with MCoachella for four years and had a hand in choosing the performers. He said he enjoys awarding committed MCo members with a set in the student organization’s furthest-reaching event.
“Being involved in Musicians Collective really helps a lot of campus-area bands get gigs, and this is probably the best example of that with so many artists performing in two days,” said Riley, a fourth-year in economics and political science.
Even if some musicians don’t get the opportunity to perform at MCoachella this year, the organization also released a compilation CD on Tuesday that includes MCo artists both performing and not performing at the event. Arseneau, who is a guitarist and vocalist for MCoachella acts Mighty Kites and The MCo All-Star Band, was in charge of compiling the record consisting of musicians in the MCo community.
D’Alessio emphasized how important involvement in the club is to being rewarded with a spot in the MCoachella lineup.
“If the group that wants to play has had members showing up to meetings and been active in our community, then those are the people that we want to see play at the event,” D’Alessio said.
A full set list for Saturday and Sunday’s MCoachella performance can be found on the event’s Facebook page.