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Students enjoy day of music at 'Festival of Justus'


Mount Pleasant resident Josh Stutsman performs during the Festival of Justus March 30 in Pearce 127.  

Detroit senior and Justus League President Ahsha Davis’ poem “Music Is Like Waves” summed up the feeling of the 2019 Festival of Justus.

“Music is like waves in the ocean. It flows it moves and it captures. It’s like swimming in a sea of beats and sounds and reaching an open sea of wonders.”

Central Michigan University students were treated to a day of “beats and sounds” at the third annual Festival of Justus, March 30 in Pearce Hall.

The event was hosted by the Justus League in conjunction with WMHW and sponsored by Moore Media Records, Program Board and the Student Budget Allocation Committee. 

More than 100 students attended the festival, said Garden City junior Joe Pallozzi, the event's coordinator and WMHW station manager.

Performances featured genres ranging from alternative to hip hop. Music performances, poetry and dance were all featured throughout the day. RSOs were also given stage time to recruit students for next semester.

Detroit senior Daryl Wallace, founder of the festival, is proud of how it has grown since he made it a reality.

“People told me that it probably wouldn’t be anything, and seeing it actually become a thing just means so much to me,” Wallace said. “It shows that I wasn’t just dreaming, that I actually did something important"

 Car Crash Rhetoric performs during the Festival of Justus March 30 in Pearce 127.   

Davis thinks the festival will make a positive impact on the music scene at CMU.

“Whether you’re in hip hop or you’re in rock or R&B there’s like a big conglomerate of every genre right now,” Davis said. “I think (the festival is) going to really allow students to feel more comfortable with sharing their craft.”

Lake Orion senior Jon Lorts, a solo folk artist who performed at the festival, thought the event was a good representation of all that is done on CMU’s campus.

“It’s just this huge variety of culture, music and good people,” Lorts said. “The one thing that kind of encapsulates it is probably diversity in the music and the organizations that are present here.”

Along with Lorts, many other local artists performed, including the bands Cityfolk and Car Crash Rhetoric. Saginaw band Forest Green and Indianapolis band Stay Outside headlined the event.

Poor weather conditions caused the event to be moved inside from its original location in the Moore Amphitheatre, but Davis thought that turnout was good despite that.

“I think it just really came down to the level of energy in the room, and I think there was really positive energy,” Davis said.

Pallozzi thinks the festival will facilitate an increase in live music in Mount Pleasant.

“We brought in a band from Indianapolis,” Pallozzi said. “That’s more than I think almost anyone here in Mount Pleasant can say. If people are coming in from there, there’s no limit to where they can really be coming in from.”

Despite that its creator will be graduating this spring, there are no plans to end the Festival of Justus. 

“It’s scares me, and not in a bad way,” Wallace said about not being able to carry on the festival himself. “It’s just the fact of letting someone else take your idea and all of that, but I’m open to it, I trust the people of keeping the main goal for the event and I want them to run with it.”