All Campus Party week brings around traditional sightings — an inflatable Bucky, infamous striped shirts, and copious amounts of free Pepsi product.
While all of these are fine and dandy, the Mad City Spotlight draws particular interest in the creative community. Six musical acts of current and former Badgers lined the stage of The Sett Thursday night to alleviate finals stress for the student body. The event also provided a variety of prizes for the top three winners, ranging from a terrace show to hours of studio time.
Bear in the Forest, Celeste, Owen Ray, Vice Versace, The Webstones and ZAWADI all performed at the event, showcasing their talents and competing for prizes.
Each act brought its own flair and stylistic creation to their respective 20 minute set. With the “Battle of the Bands” style format of the event, the opportunity for genre variance was abundant, and everything from American folk to contemporary, exploratory styles found their way into the show.
The amount of energy held by Wisconsin Alumni Student Board members, who run all of the All Campus Party events, extended onto emceeing this event as well. Attempted humorous references to the failed Fyre Festival and other cultural events were peppered into the script for the evening. While some jokes fell flat, the positive and confident energy of the hosts was appreciated.
Owen Ray, one of the performers at the event, felt the same energy coming from the crowd during his performance.
“I always get a little adrenaline bump before a performance,” Ray said. “The crowd was super fun, which always makes it more awesome.”
While intended to be a party, some improvements could be made to make this event more successful. For example, it is hard to find students willing to dance without hesitation at 5 p.m., and maybe scheduling the event at the same time as the opening of the Terrace wasn’t the greatest idea. The general vibe of The Sett still passed the “I can do homework here” test, which does not indicate a thoroughly raucous time.
While at the end of the night ZAWADI and Bear in the Forest walked away with the prizes and Celeste took the win, no one lost with the great talent on display at Mad City Spotlight.