Stuartstock 2023 is the Biggest Yet

by Jack Downey '23 on May 30, 2023
A&E Co-Editor

Arts & Entertainment

On April 22, Providence College’s radio station, WDOM, held its annual music festival: Stuartstock. Each year, the club invites student performers of all genres to play for their peers. Over the past few years, the event has quickly grown in size, partially as a response to the pandemic shutting down events, including those featuring live music. This year, the club outdid itself.

The roster for this year’s Stuartstock boasted an impressive 12 acts. There were singer-songwriters, bands, rappers, and even some friars. The event truly had something for everyone. The lineup started with singer-songwriters: Alex Sateriale ’23, Caleigh Lynch ’23, Matty Reynolds, and Ben Guisto ’24 and friends (Reid Keiper ’24, Nick Grilli ’24, and Lily Amadio ’24). DJ Kraus House (Kieran Kraus ’23) changed up the vibes before the bands took the stage: Timeless, The Grapes, The Hopeless Romantics, St. Joe and the Dorms, and Freshman Year. The final acts of the day were KPTN KLEO (Kari Robles ’23) and The Hillbilly Thomists, featuring Father Justin Bolger, O.P. and Father Simon Teller, O.P.

Another aspect of the festival that was different from past Stuartstocks was the location. Typically, the concert takes place on Slavin Lawn with a small stage in front of  the Atrium. However, this time around, things were moved to Smith Lawn. Performers played on the brick patio in front of Smith Center for the Arts while audience members sat on the lawn or danced on the road in between. Public Safety actually shut down the traffic loop to prevent any problems, allowing people to stand on the bricks and asphalt without fear of oncoming traffic.

The two biggest obstacles facing the event were the weather, with ominous reports of rain appearing on the horizon as the day grew closer, and a country-themed darty that was taking place down the road. However, the rain held off for the most part, and the concert’s strategic location meant that those who wanted to go to the darty had to walk by the performances. This led to many curious students stopping, at least momentarily, to see what was going on, boosting WDOM’s numbers and leading to more engagement overall. It also meant the two food trucks present, Presto Strange O and Haven Brothers, had no trouble with sales.

Overall, the event was a huge success. Every single act brought their A game, with the gray skies being colored in by soaring harmonies, sweet guitar melodies, pounding drums, and rumbling bass. It was an event where people tried new things, with some inviting up guests who had not performed in front of people before. Most notably, The Hillbilly Thomists went electric for their set, with Fr. Justin Bolger, O.P. picking up an electric guitar and an ensemble of students backing them up. It was an exciting closer for an exciting event, and it only shows how much live music is continuing to grow at Providence College.

Back in 2017, there were three acts total at Stuartstock. In six years, that number has quadrupled. Who knows, maybe we’ll have 48 acts by 2029!