Crawfest experience offers taste of tails at Tulane


Josh Christian

610 Stompers prepare to mount the steps of the Lavin-Bernick Center for University Life. They gave an energetic performance for students attending the 11th annual Crawfest.

Nothing brings residents of New Orleans together like good music, local artwork and 10 tons of crawfish.

Tulane hosted its 11th annual Crawfest from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday on the Lavin-Bernick Center Quadrangle. The festival featured live performances, local vendors and food trucks on top of plenty of crawfish, soda and bottled water.

Crawfest is arguably Tulane’s most famous event, the day Tulane’s unofficial motto “Only at Tulane, Only in New Orleans” seems most true.

Attendees found this year’s Crawfest to be as fun and well-organized as ever. Long tables were set up on the quad, but many people chose to eat their crawfish and vegetables in the shade so they could escape the heat or sit closer to one of the stages.

The festival featured a diverse and talented lineup of bands. The Bummers, a post-punk, alternative rock-style band founded by Tulane students, opened the Undergraduate Student Government stage at 11 a.m. To Be Continued Brass Band, another New Orleans group, set a more funky tone with its classic New Orleans jazz music.

LaTasha Lee, a soul singer from Corpus Christi, Texas, performed next, followed by Amasa Hines, Phony PPL, the 610 Stompers, RDGLDGRN, JC Brooks Band and headliner Moon Taxi.

The lineup was well-received by students.

“The bands were a lot better than I expected, not even just the headliner,” freshman Sarah Stoltman said.

None of the performers disappointed, but TBC Brass Band, Amasa Hines and the 610 Stompers were especially popular.

The highlight of the festival, however, was Moon Taxi. Despite the lack of crawfish by 5:30 p.m., the band had an impressive turnout. Students, faculty and visitors alike crowded around the stage to see the indie-progressive rock band play.

Moon Taxi’s performance struck just the right note between thrilling and relaxing. Some people danced to the music, sang along with the lyrics or helped keep a beach ball in the air. Others enjoyed the music while lounging on beach blankets and towels.

A lot of work went into making the festival a success. The board, made up of Tulane students, spent months booking the bands and coordinating the event.

“Prep for the festival is a very, very long process, but also an incredibly fun one,” Music Co-chair Sydney Clarke said. “… Everyone on the board puts in a ton of time, energy and effort, and it is a great feeling to see all of our hard work come together day of.”

Music Chairs Sydney Clarke and Liz Donhauser began sending bands offers in September and solidified the lineup by December. The bands came from around the country, but their selection was very intentional.

“In the end, we settled on a lineup of bands that we thought would complement the fun, but still relaxed, vibes of the festival,” Clarke said. “We wanted to pick music that would work for people who wanted to dance the day away as well as those who just wanted to sit and hang out.”

The board’s meticulous preparation paid off. This year’s Crawfest livened up the campus and gave students a chance to relax and have fun before finals.

“There’s food, there’s music, and it’s just a fantastic place for Tulane students to just get together and spend a little time, so I [think it] definitely brings the community together,” freshman Ananya Gollapudi said. “… You run into professors and classmates and people in your building. Everyone’s on the quad at the same time.”

The event also transcends the boundaries of the university. In a city famous for its festivals, Crawfest stands out as a unique part of New Orleans’ culture. It is organized by Tulane students but open to the public, and it gives students, faculty and non-Tulane affiliates a chance to come together and celebrate the city’s culture.

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