SpringFest to feature varying performances



When country singer Emily Earle thinks of music, she thinks of a painting.

“My definition of music would look like a pretty abstract painting,” Earle said. “The canvas is music, the texture of the paint is the rhythm, the colors are the melodies and the overall concept of the painting is the words.”

Earle attended Berklee College of Music for three years before moving to New York when she was spotted by NBC’s “The Voice” and appeared on season three.

The country singer is one of several acts performing at SpringFest 2016, including comedian Drew Lynch and mystifier Mike Super.

From ‘The Voice’ to SpringFest

Earle said she has been surrounded by music all of her life and has been playing guitar and singing from a young age.

She started writing poems in middle school, she said, and found people would listen to them if she sang them instead of read them.

“I remember I started writing songs with my guitar in high school because a history teacher said she wanted us to explain the renaissance through a media form,” Earle said. “She said it had to be portrayed through the career we wanted to go into or a dream, and I explained mine with a song. That was the first song I wrote.”

In New York City, Earle said she was told people at “The Voice” had listened to her YouTube videos and wanted her to come out and perform a song.

“It’s really fun,” Earle said. “You’re out there for a couple months and you get really close with other contestants. To this day, I play songs with (the contestants) and we meet up on the road. It’s a cool community… it was very nerve-racking, though.”

After “The Voice,” Cee Lo Green had all of his contestants perform in a Las Vegas show with him, including Earle.

When it comes down to nerves, Earle said it varies depending on the show. She said she isn’t sure what makes one show more nerve-racking than another. It just happens.

“I love playing,” she said. “Sometimes you’ll be traveling alone and you start to question, ‘Am I supposed to be doing this?’ or ‘Am I supposed to be here?’ and after the first guitar solo has been played or the first song, I know why I do it.”

When Earle thinks about music, she said she just smiles.

“I love every part of music, but the thing I love most would be the way you can communicate with a person through music,” she said. “Even if someone doesn’t understand the words or the point of the song, they can understand the emotion behind it. Or if there is a melody that feels good they can get the message.”

Earle said when she is on the road, it’s just her and her guitar, but she uses Skype to stay in touch with her family.

She said she moved out of Colorado when she was 18 and currently lives in Nashville, Tennessee, where boyfriend and friends live, but most of them are musicians and understand that she is always on the road.

“It makes you really appreciate the time you have with people,” Earle said.

 Earle said for SpringFest, she will perform  some of her new songs to see what people like.

“I have also been learning a lot of fun cover songs,” she said. “I’m excited to sing and I’m excited to see (the festival). I’ve been following the posts and I’m excited to be a part of it.”

Earle said she will stick around after the show to hand out postcards, sign autographs, sell CDs and talk to people about the show.

“Every stage is different and every audience is different,” Earle said. “The cool thing I always love about it is everyone is there for a good time, for the most part, and I go out with the same mind set. I make sure I’m having a good time and they are having a good time and share some stories.”

SpringFest adds variation to line-up

Springfest Committee Co-Director Kayla Fein said she wants to recreate what SpringFest is about and create a new image. Her goal is to transform SpringFest into something new and exciting for students to enjoy.

In 2015, Springfest ended a collaboration between USI, University of Evansville and the Ford Center. Since then, the SpringFest committee has looked at new ways to draw students to the event.

“We went into our first meeting with the goal of recreating what SpringFest is,” Fein said. “Because of the falling out with UE and not doing that anymore, we really had to come back and show that we don’t need that huge concert to still be a success on campus.”

Musical acts will still happen, but Fein said they will not be as large scale as they used to be.

In previous years, the Friday night event would take place at the Ford Center. But now, there will be three nights of events, including a Friday night afterparty with DJs K Theory, VANDL and DuClaw.

The goal is for the afterparty to simulate an actual club scene.

“They’ve got some music that’s out there. They’ve got some music that’s popular and it’s going to be a great show,” SpringFest Committee Co-Director Alex Hoffmann said.

When the SpringFest Committee searches for events, it is looking for something that will appease a large crowd, yet also have name recognition. Comedian Drew Lynch will perform Wednesday, Earle will perform Thursday and mystifier Mike Super will perform Friday.

Smaller events will take place throughout the week, including airbrush trucker hats, inflatables, tattoo artists and a hot air balloon ride that replaces the zip line from previous years. Students will also see the return of the Kona Ice truck and have the chance to ride around in SpringFest’s own version of “Cash Cab.”

The acts include Earle, Drew Lynch, who placed second in last year’s “America’s Got Talent” competition, and Mike Super, who won the NBC show “Phenomenon.” The committee did not want to book the same things students would see on campus.

“On Wednesday, we have a comedian. On Thursday, we have a country music act. On Friday, we have a mystifier. And on Friday night, we have an EDM act,” Hoffmann said. “All four of those things are totally different. You won’t see much of the same stuff out of any of them.”

Fast Facts:

What: SpringFest 2016

When: April 6 – 8

Who: Drew Lynch

When: 8 p.m. Wednesday

Where: Carter Hall

Who: Emily Earle

When: 8 p.m. Thursday

Where: Carter Hall

Who: Mike Super

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Where: Mitchell Auditorium

What: EDM After Party

When: 9 p.m. Friday

Where: Physical Activities Center

Cost: Free