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Buckeye Blackout to hold fourth annual concert, first at Newport

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The Skashank Redemption performing at the 2015 Buckeye Blackout concert. Credit: Courtesy of Michal Richter

Concerts use a lot of energy with bright lights and sound systems, but Buckeye Blackout looks to counteract that with its emphasis on energy conservation.

Student organization Buckeye Blackout is set to host its fourth-annual concert featuring local bands at a new venue, Newport Music Hall, on Friday.

The club, focused on promoting sustainability and energy conservation on campus, calls for Friday’s concertgoers to turn off their lights and appliances before leaving home for the show.

“Part of the idea behind the show is to create a campus wide blackout during the concert,” said Jeff Leopold, the club’s co-marketing chair and a second-year in architecture.

Booking the Newport has been a dream since the annual concert began, said Julia Andreasen, co-marketing chair and a third-year in atmospheric science. This is in large part because of the group’s emphasis on supporting local bands.

“Playing at the Newport is every student and local band’s dream,” she said. “Local bands appreciate that we want to advocate for sustainability.”

This year’s lineup, decided collectively by the club, will include a mix of both student and local bands. Headliner Zoo Trippin’ is supported by Fortune Orange, Lazy Susan and the Bean Bag Boys, NesWordz and Clubhouse.

In between sets, an emcee will talk about sustainability and raffle items including solar-powered speakers and other sustainable products.

Leopold said there will also be a designated spot to sign the club’s sustainability pledge, as Andreasen said the concert is a means to start a dialogue about sustainability.

“We want to show people it’s easy to talk about,” she said. “It’s something that can even be talked about at a concert.”

The idea to promote sustainability through a concert isn’t random, rather it’s a reflection of Buckeye Blackout’s larger purpose, Leopold said.

“We focus on promoting sustainable lifestyles through arts and music specifically,” he said. “Music is our way to get the message out because everyone can connect to music.”

Andreasen agreed that music is the perfect way to bridge the gap and spread the club’s message

“It’s an event based on music, but I hope (we) impact students,” she said. “You can say ‘sustainability’ and people are like ‘sure,’ but if we can transfer the message through what people love, that would be amazing.”

Buckeye Blackout members said they want students to know that it isn’t hard to lead a more sustainable lifestyle.

“A lot of people think of sustainability as something that is challenging,” Leopold said. “(We) want people to know it’s not hard to be sustainable and make a difference.”

The concert is the culmination of a weeklong “Time for Change” sustainability effort put on by Ohio State’s College of Public Health. The show will begin Friday at 7:30 p.m.  at the Newport Music Hall. Admission is free for students with a valid BuckID and $5 for the general public.

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