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Penn State Students To Host Virtual Music Festival March 11

There aren’t a lot of things in the world that bring people together quite like music. It’s one of the world’s great unifiers and allows people to let go for a bit to enjoy the escapism it provides.

Even in the times we find ourselves in, music provides comfort. It’s one of the things that every single person can relate to. That’s something that other art forms or forms of entertainment, such as painting or watching sports, can say. Not everyone likes watching baseball on a hot summer afternoon, but it’ll be very, very tough to find someone who doesn’t enjoy music.

That unifying aspect of music has brought a group of Penn State students together. And now, some of those students are working together to bring a spotlight to up-and-coming music acts from around the country.

The group of friends, who run a music blog and podcast called “Music Mangs,” is hosting a free virtual Music Festival on Thursday, March 11 at 8 p.m. The festival will feature seven different artists and bands. You can listen to a playlist featuring the music acts here and get your tickets to the show here.

The Music Mangs met on the Penn State Club Cross Country team and discovered the love of music they all had. The blog started as a group chat where they’d send music-related memes and talk about music and grew from there.

“We had these discussions and these in-depth analyses of songs and albums, so why don’t we post these and see if anyone likes them?” Sean Farahani, a member of the group, said. “So we started posting them on Instagram and we got a good reception. We would just do things we normally would do, and then we started to think, ‘Hey, we could start a podcast. That would be fun.'”

Farahani described the growth of the group’s different platforms as “organic” and said the main course they follow is what excites them. Michael Walwro, another member of the Music Mangs, said he also enjoys the challenge that comes along with the blog.

“It feels like each time we step our game up a level, we get more inspired. We started out writing just reviews, and then all of a sudden we got a few artists that requested interviews, and we were like ‘Oh man, we got to step up our game,'” Walwro said. “And then we got sent unreleased music, which, to me, was crazy. So then I said to myself, ‘I got to up my game with music reviews and stuff.’ Now, every time we go to that next level, I feel more and more invigorated.”

The Music Mangs come from a wide diverse group of majors, from nuclear engineering to kinesiology to political science, and not one of them is majoring in music or anything related to the music field. This whole brand was made with pure passion and love from music.

The group decided to start the festival out of love for live music. Farahani wanted to do a live show for a while but thought it might have to wait due to the coronavirus pandemic. But when he saw other artists persisting and doing “really cool things” with virtual shows, he knew it was still possible. Walwro also said that live shows have great meaning to the group, as one of the first things the group did together included going to a Denzel Curry concert.

Another reason the Music Mangs felt the need to host a virtual music festival is to support smaller artists. Walwro explained how following the roots of a sound you like often leads you to something new and unexpected.

“Not every pop song you hear is influenced by every small artist, but if you look at a lot of really popular artists now, they started really small and built their following,” Walwro said. “With every act that we got [for the show], I can genuinely say that they’re really good, and I can see them blowing up.”

Farahani also believes that what musicians do is admirable.

“These people are really following their passion and putting a lot of genuine emotion and energy and their experience out into the world, and I think that should be rewarded,” he said. “We have enough people in this world that follow the line of ‘Hey, you go to college, you get a 9-5 job, you do that until you retire’, and I think it’s awesome to support people who have broken out of that mold and are giving us art that is, almost free.”

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About the Author

Charles Reinert

Charles Reinert is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. He's from Norristown, PA and enjoys a good slice of pepperoni pizza and a brisk fall afternoon. He can be found either yelling at the Eagles through the TV during football season or playing his guitar. If you have any questions for him or want to challenge him to a 1v1 on the basketball court, you can follow him on Twitter @charles_rein10 or email him at [email protected]


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