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AcoustiCafé returns with a change of venue

| Thursday, February 18, 2021

AcoustiCafé, a signature event by the Student Union Board (SUB), is back this semester every Thursday evening to provide students with an opportunity to showcase their musical, artistic and comedic talents. The event is currently live-streamed on the Notre Dame SUB Youtube channel, with plans to move to South Lodge, and later in the semester — weather permitting — at an outdoor venue.

Junior Catherine Fitzpatrick, lead programmer for AcoustiCafé, said there have been some difficulties adapting the event with COVID precautions. 

“Coming into the fall semester, we weren’t really sure what we were going to be able to do. So when Library Lawn was set up, that was a nice surprise,” she said. “But we didn’t know that before the semester occurred; that kind of happened after the two-week shutdown period.”

The change in venue did not dampen the spirits of the performers, though.

“I think last semester singing in front of Touchdown Jesus was awesome and way cooler than singing in Hagerty Family Cafe the year before,” sophomore guitarist and singer-songwriter Michael Hanisch said. 

Performers of all ability levels — from songwriters to music newcomers — are encouraged to sign up to perform.

“We’ve had performers who have been quite into music and have released their own stuff on Spotify, or we’ve also had people who have never really performed before,” Fitzpatrick said. “We have a range of people and I’m open to having people not just singing, but also reading poetry or really doing anything.” 

Fitzpatrick’s favorite part of AcoustiCafé is the community.

“It’s such an open, nice space for people to express themselves creatively and perform in a low stakes environment,” she said. 

She also hopes that AcoustiCafé will help bring students together during a semester where that is often difficult.

“Even if it’s just watching a live stream in South Lodge or something, you meet new people and you see things from your classmates that you otherwise wouldn’t,” Fitzpatrick said. 

While AcoustiCafé may be different from semesters past, it still provides a rare opportunity to watch live music in the era of COVID.

“Live performance is something that’s really being hit hard by COVID all across the world and I think that the opportunity that we have as just college students to have just this little show that’s staying afloat, it’s really wonderful that we still have the opportunity to come out and play,” fifth-year architecture student and performer Jack Darnell said.

With Library Lawn currently under two feet of snow, AcoustiCafé has yet again had to change its venue. While their last event was held solely on the SUB Youtube channel, this week the event is planned to be held in South Lodge with a limited audience, and performances will be restricted to soloists.

While future plans for the venue are still subject to change, AcoustiCafé will continue to be live-streamed on the SUB Youtube channel.

AcoustiCafé takes place every Thursday from 9 to 11 p.m. on the SUB Youtube channel. 

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