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ISSUE 117 VOL 19 PUBLISHED 5/14/2004

If it smells like cod, it must be us

By Lorna Wilson
Contributing Writer
Copy Editor

Friday, May 14, 2004

The sun shone through the newly budding trees on the lawn behind Buntrock Commmons as St. Olaf students gathered to enjoy the first annual outdoor music festival Lutefest, Saturday, May 8. The events began at noon, with Bon Appétit serving grilled hamburgers and veggie burgers on the plaza. The smell of lunch combined with the sounds of St. Olaf band Salt 513 enticed sun-starved students to get outside and take part in the day's activities. The successful festival lasted until 9 p.m., when the final band, Native American rock-blues group Indigenous, completed their set.

Other than some minor wiring problems, everything [went] well, Pause Technical Director Mike Erickson 04 said. It was an awesome day.

Attendance fluctuated throughout Lutefest, with anywhere from 100 to 400 students, on average, listening to the variety of musical acts at any given time. Providing active backup to the bands were numerous booths lining the sidewalk between the windchime memorial and Boe Chapel. Relay for Life sold ice cream as a fundraiser and painted faces, while the Student Activities Committee (SAC) handed out free cotton candy. Students filling out a SAC survey on the types of activities they liked best were rewarded with a sucker, hackey sac or small Post-It pad.

Behind the line of tables, a dunk tank drenched Olaf administrators in water and laughter. Dean of Students Greg Kneser and Mohn/Thorson Area Coordinator Jenn Lindsay were two St. Olaf staffers that had the opportunity to splash about in the tank.

It was fun, but cold, Lindsay said.

Jason Vogen 04 gloated at his bulls-eye shot, which submerged Kneser. It was satisfying to have him go down on behalf of the administration, Vogen said.

A moonwalk also evoked laughter from the numerous students who shed their sandals and tennis shoes to jump around in the bouncy apparatus.

They should have kept the [moonwalk] longer, said Lance Kuehn 05, who spent most of the day at Lutefest.

In spite of the moonwalks short-lived run at Lutefest, the events bands were met with approval. I thought the music was great, Chelsea Petree 05 said.

When comparing Lutefest to Carleton's Spring Concert, Christina Osheim 05 said, [Lutefest] can't be compared. With conflicting schedules between the two colleges this year, most Olaf students will not be in Northfield to attend Spring Concert, dubbed Arbstock by Oles. Lutefest was St. Olafs response to Arbstock; it presented an opportunity for campus bands to play and replaced Wellstock.

Lutefest struck St. Olaf students as an interesting change.

The only reason I went to Wellstock was to make fun of [my friend's] band, Carl Holmquist 05 said. The name Lutefest, however, deters me from [going]. It sounds too much like the fish they serve in [Stav] during Christmas Fest.

Indeed, the name was punned from the Norwegian traditional dish of cod soaked in lye. The promotional t-shirts, posters, and free frisbees showed a fish singing into a microphone. Despite Holmquist's resistance to its name, most students seemed unfazed by the cod reference.

St. Olaf bands Salt 513, Allegra Gellar, Isle of Lucy and Fellas and a Lady played in half-hour sets from noon until 4 p.m. The Fellas finale was especially popular among students. Fellas member Brian King 05 was pleased with their performance.

It was like the tightest performance we've ever had, King said. We fed off the energy of the crowd.

Minneapolis Root City Band followed the Fellas act, playing to a smaller crowd in the hours between lunch and supper. 2nd Exit provided the final music before headliner Indigenous took the stage.

2nd Exit catered to the St. Olaf crowd; Informational and Intstructional Technologies (IIT) employee Mike Sjulstad even included lyrics about Kittlesby Residence Hall in one of their original songs. The band also earnestly covered everything from Blues Traveler to Jimi Hendrix to R.E.M.

When Indigenous took the stage just after 7 p.m., the lawn was filled with an after-supper crowd lying on blankets or tossing Frisbees. Indigenous' tones provided superb background music for those who wished to chat. They played for an hour and a half, and then followed with two more songs when cheers of Encore coursed through the crowd.

The group made a departure from their original work to cover Jimi Hendrixs Red House and John Lee Hookers Mama, You Got a Daughter. Although attendance was dwindling on the lawn, a strong chant of One more time! echoed through the forty-odd enthusiasts crowding the stage, as Indigenous began to pack up their gear.

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