The inaugural Lollapalooza on the Green drew more than 2,000 people to enjoy the day of art and sunshine at the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith.
The event was created and coordinated by Don Bailey, director of jazz studies at UAFS.
“We had two stages and 12 bands, so there wasn’t any down time between sets,” Bailey said after the event. “Whatever kind of music you like, you could hear it. There was something for everyone.”
The event was a team effort by the Shane Bailey Memorial Music Society and UAFS on Sept. 30. The live performances by local musicians were just one part of the day. There also were food trucks, bounce-arounds, art booths, and theatrical performances. Many student organizations also had booths at the event. The Sebastian County Sheriff’s Office was on hand for a children’s ID station.
While Bailey is glad to talk about any part of the event, perhaps his favorite part – or at least the one he talks most enthusiastically about – is the Musical Instrument Petting Zoo. Children and adults alike were interested in touching the instruments to see if they could coax some pleasing sounds from them.
“It was great for the members of the public and for the music majors who demonstrated the instruments,” Bailey said. “You’d see a student adjust an instrument, and the person, whether a child or adult, would make some sound. Then the student would make some adjustment to the instrument, and the next time the person tried it, it was great. The student’s eyes would light up. They were both so delighted.”
Although people could bring their lawn chairs and just listen, Lollapalooza offered plenty of things to do, including arts and crafts booths and lawn games. There were even Japanese origami lessons and a chance to try on a kimono.
“We wanted this to be a celebration of the arts, free to anyone in the community, to share our love of music, visual arts and multi-cultural activities,” Bailey said.
The Shane Bailey Memorial Music Society is named in honor of Don and Terri Bailey’s son, who died in 2013 at 25. Shane, himself an accomplished musician, would have liked the eclectic nature of the day and the outreach to music lovers who might not be skilled with an instrument, his dad said.
The mission of the society is to provide funding, education and other opportunities to help foster creative music and artistic expression. The organization offers clinics, master classes, performances and open forums for songwriters, poets and other artists, with an emphasis on helping young people develop their skills and find their voices. The society also provides musical instruments for students in need.