Wisconsin Union Directorate's music committee has announced part of the summer lineup for the Memorial Union Terrace. Gabe Herrera, a UW-Madison junior who serves as one of the summer-programming coordinators for the venue, describes the slate as one that takes risks periodically, then returns to the classics.
"There are definitely a lot of favorites from the past on the list: Steez [June 12], Natty Nation [June 20], Paul Cebar [June 26], Pat McCurdy [Aug. 21] and lots of other performers that keep people coming back to the Terrace year after year, plus newer local favorites like Blueheels [July 4]," he says.
But it's the more novel additions to the calendar that are likely to make the cool kids drool and create some of the most memorable moments of the summer for scenesters and the rest of us.
On July 17, Yeasayer, Ponytail and Duchess & the Duke are likely to bring enough energy - and electricity - to make Lake Mendota boil. Americana fans will get their fix on June 19 with Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band and the Woodbox Gang, and again on July 2 with Jackie Greene.
Herrera says he's probably most excited about June 11, when Ozric Tentacles performs. "It's British space rock, and we're going to have a laser light show, too, something we hope is pretty unforgettable for the Terrace," he says.
Bigger-ticket shows like this were booked to bring some fresh faces - both musicians and listeners - to the Terrace and make it a destination rather than a fallback, Herrera says.
To that end, the music committee used a few new tactics this year to solicit the community's input about what kinds of acts to bring to the Terrace stage, including a Facebook forum, a listserv and an online survey about which genres needed the most representation.
While Herrera's not sure exactly how many responses the survey generated, he guesses that a few hundred people completed it after the University Communications department high-lighted it on Twitter.
"The idea there was to gauge what the community - not just the students - wanted to help keep the programming balanced," he says.