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Justus League, WMHW to host 'Festival of Justus'


Detroit junior Daryl Wallace performs during the "Speak Your Peace" event on Feb. 28 in the Bovee University Center Rotunda Room.

Michigan’s big music festivals include the Movement Festival, Electric Forest and Common Ground.

Now, imagine if one of these festivals were held on campus. That’s what a few Central Michigan University students hope to make a reality with the Festival of Justus.

The Festival of Justus will be held from noon to 5 p.m. on March 30 in the Moore Amphitheatre. The event is being put on by the Justus League in conjunction with WMHW. It's sponsored by Moore Media Records, Program Board and the Student Budget Allocation Committee.

The Festival of Justus is the brainchild of Detroit senior Daryl Wallace. He decided to start the festival when he realized that talented students did not have many opportunities to play music on campus.

“I basically started off because I worked with the radio station at the time and I had friends that were in bands, and I was involved with the hip hop scene,” Wallace said. “It was a goal to bring in all types of genres to unify campus and show all of the talent that we have on campus.”

The festival began in 2017 as two days of music: one day of indie/alternative and one day of hip hop/R&B. The following year, it was condensed to a one-day event.

The event was primarily run by Wallace and a few others, but this year the involvement of WMHW has introduced another big player into the coordination of the festival: Garden City junior and WMHW station manager Joe Pallozzi.

Pallozzi has a background in music, and he was heavily involved in the booking and promotion process for the festival. Thanks to Pallozzi’s bookings, the festival has been able to attract a few artists from outside of Michigan.

“I wanted to start my own festival, and I realized there was already a festival here, so I just wanted to make sure that I could be as big a part of it that I could,” Pallozzi said. “I just decided, ‘Hey, I’m the station manager here, I can just talk with some people and we could get heavily involved in this and make sure that this thing goes off without a hitch.’”

(Courtesy Photo | Festival of Justus Facebook page)

While the festival is first and foremost about entertaining the student body, there are a few secondary objectives. Pallozzi’s primary concern is building a music scene in Mount Pleasant.

“We are kind of in an odd area for music,” Pallozzi said. “That’s the hardest part about it; we’re in the middle of Michigan and there hasn’t been a real set scene here.”

While Pallozzi cares for the music side of things, Detroit senior and Justus League president Ahsha Davis focuses on the bigger picture. She left creative control of the festival up to Wallace and Pallozzi.

“I let Daryl take full control over all the decisions because this was his dream and I wouldn’t want to step on any toes,” Davis said. “I do consult and make suggestions, but Daryl is the mastermind.”

The festival will include registered student organization showcases, Davis said. Gift cards will also be given away for free throughout the event.

The festival will feature a plethora of alternative and hip hop artists, including local bands Cityfolk and Car Crash Rhetoric. Spoken word poetry will also be featured, as well as a performance by the Appeal Dance Team. Headlining the event will be Saginaw band Forest Green and Indianapolis band Stay Outside.

The group has been preparing for the festival since October. The organizers want the students to be able to enjoy themselves.

“Come with an open mind and leave with a lot of free stuff, because it is a great event,” Wallace said. “Just breathe it in, relax and be yourself, because that’s all it is. Don’t be afraid to just get out of your comfort zone, relax and just enjoy the music.”

This event is free and open to the public.