Crawfest lineup brings luminaries, locals and learners

Sarah Morris, Staff Reporter

Crawfest is not just about crawfish. No, it is a celebration of music and art as well as the beloved mudbug. This year Crawfest has procured what is quite possibly the best lineup of any Crawfest in the history of the event.

This Saturday, the festival is bringing in young, local artists as well as keeping up with some of the music industry’s deepest roots, such as headliner The Wailers. Formerly known as Bob Marley and The Wailers, the group has sold more than 250 million albums across the globe. Hit singles including “Stir It Up,” “Buffalo Soldier” and “One Love” have made the group’s reach timeless and members have also played with acts such as Sting, The Fugees, Carlos Santana and many more. Rest assured the reggae sensation will be gracing Tulane with their sweet, catchy tunes.

“We tried to stray away from the type of genres usually represented at Crawfest,” festival music chair Charlie Cucciniello said. “We tried to bring in new stuff like having a reggae act headlining, but while still keeping that jam-funk feeling for the entirety of the festival. I want students to hear music they’ve never heard before and see how they react to it.”

New Orleans’s very own Earphunk will be performing on the Crawfest main stage. Earphunk blends sounds hip hop, jazz, soul and funk together into one tasty melting pot of music to your ears: slap bass, horns, funk guitar and even some organ. Even if you’ve never seen or heard of Earphunk, get ready to get down and let your ears float up to the heavens.

“I’m excited for Kris Royal,” Crawfest music production coordinator Jack Nester said. “He’s a little electronic so I think that will be really cool for Crawfest.”

Kris Royal & Dark Matter, another New Orleans favorite, will bring sexy sounds of smooth funk with songs like “Big Booty Express” and “Funkin in Denial.” They are truly a well-rehearsed group comprised of virtuosic musicians.

Another local favorite is The 101 Runners, the Mardi Gras Indian Funk band. Heavy on percussion, check out some of NOLA’s local legends including Lionel Batiste Jr., Kirk Joseph and many more. They are certainly a historical group and not an act to miss.

“I’m most excited for the 610 Stompers, who I’ve seen before, and they’re very entertaining,” junior Melissa Lipstein said. “I’m also excited to see The Central City Dance Team and a showcase of the youth of New Orleans in Crawfest.”

The festival welcomes its young, new artists to the Crawfest stages. Crawfest gives younger and newer bands the chance to perform in front of a large audience of about 10,000 people.

This year, get ready to hear The Big Excuse. Though the Tulane band’s friends will be in the audience, it will give The Big Excuse some great exposure while keeping them comfortable in front of such a large crowd.

“I’m just really excited,” junior Andrew Yanovski, keyboardist of The Big Excuse, said. “We’ve been working really hard to get to this point. Every show we do, we try to be funkier than the last. That’s our goal. So this should be our funkiest show!”

Check out The Big Excuse’s fresh approach to funk at 11 a.m. while chowing down on some of the 25,000 pounds of crawfish that will be served at Tulane’s Crawfest 2015.