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Earlier this week I sat down with three out of four members of the Guantanamo Babes to discuss the upcoming on-campus music festival, McKenna Palooza. This Saturday marks the festival’s second year, as well as the second year since the G-Babes started operating “The Cave.” Although they weren’t required to plan events as the official gatekeepers, they felt as though it was their musical duty to bring the CMC community a way to enjoy their peers’ talents in a fun and relaxed environment.

What better way to support the art initiative on campus than to combine it with CMC’s traditional style of fun? This festival will be a combination of all the sociability and sunshine of Pirate Party, all the recreational activities of 6:01, all the free food of Mid-Quarnival, and most importantly, all the music your ears could desire.

This year the festival will be featuring two of LA’s top food trucks, The Grilled Cheese Truck and Lobos Truck, which will both be serving over five hundred free delicious entrees. After devouring free food, you can expedite digestion by jumping in the bouncy house and dancing to the music. This year’s lineup includes returning veterans such as UR Not My Dad (PZ), Frak & Nafets (PZ), and Guantanamo Babes (CM). The new student acts include Out of Flex (CM), Future Dads (PZ) and the two headlining bands: Mystic Braves (Los Angeles, CA) & Day Wave (Oakland, CA).

Besides the new acts, the Guantanamo Babes are excited about some other changes to the festival. This year, they’ve paired up with other student-run organizations on campus, such as ASCMC and Art Council. With the help of former VP of Student Activities Christine Horne ’16, current VP of Student Activities Cristina Lee, and President Chodosh, G-Babes has been able to get event funding for the first time, so that the festival expenses do not have to be paid out-of-pocket. Furthermore, Art Council will have a post set up where there will be an art wall for people to get creative. They will also be offering free t-shirt spray-painting, similar to what was provided on Green Beach last weekend. This collaboration between different clubs on campus is exactly what the G-Babes had in mind when they started the festival. As graduating seniors, the G-Babes are hoping that the event becomes bigger and better every year as it it generates more excitement and participation.

The entire festival was inspired by the band’s desire for a CMC art and music initiative. By pairing with Art Council and inviting other campus bands, they are trying to show how fun and exciting it is to put on a show. Their inspiration comes from a need to express themselves and inspire others. As organizer Michael Smith CMC ’16 said, “We wanted to make a student festival because none of this existed when we were freshman. We didn’t have The Cave, or any available way to play music on CMC’s campus. When we started a band there was no one ahead of us playing and doing shows and trying to express themselves musically.”

McKenna Palooza gives students the chance to see successful campus bands, as well as outside bands, in action. The hope is that students think to themselves, “This is fun; they did it; we should do it too.” In this way, CMC students will be more inclined to chase their musical dreams. So, if you want to spend a Saturday with some talented and fun people, make sure to stop by Green Beach from the hours of 2-7 pm to enjoy McKenna Palooza!