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Sorin hosts two day ‘Otterfest’ music festival

| Monday, November 13, 2023

Annelise Demers | The Observer
Sorin residents and guests gathered in the Sorin courtyard for the second annual “Otterfest” music festival.

Two days of jammed packed music and food flooded Sorin College’s courtyard and the surrounding area this past Friday and Saturday. This was Sorin’s second year hosting “Otterfest,” a play on Oktoberfest.

Evan Johnson and Joe Dicola are sophomores who organized this year’s event.

Johnson, a civil engineering major, said, “We did it last year just because we had a lot of musicians here and we, you know, loved getting the dorm together around something like that, so we thought we’d make it a charity event this year.”

Johnson is also a member of two of the groups that performed: “Morning Dose” and “Passion.”

All proceeds were donated to The Music Village, an organization in South Bend whose mission is to promote the diverse cultural heritage of the greater South Bend area via the musical arts.

“We really wanted to expand it from last year,” Dicola, a mechanical engineer, said. “It was mostly a musical performance last year, and it’s still the main attraction but we wanted to sort of expand it to be food focused as well and we have things like bratwurst and pumpkin pie and soft pretzels.” 

Sorin residents cooked up bratwurst on the grill and sold a variety of foods and refreshments for a $6 ticket with all of the proceeds going to The Music Village. “Otterfest” t-shirts were also available to purchase.

Friday night’s line up was all acoustic music while Saturday was reserved for rock. Some of the bands and performers included Lucy Bullock, Two Men in Kilts, Boys in the Tub and Pangdemonium.

“It’s been great guys have just been coming in and going out and it’s been you know; it’s been tremendous support from everyone. It’s just nice to have the music even if you’re just in your room and listening and now from the window,” Dicola said. 

The Sorin courtyard, where the event took place, was fully enclosed during renovations two years ago. The area now has seating and string lights hung from above. Having this newly enclosed space helped make the event possible.

“It was like something I have never seen before,” Athena Westland, a first-year student from Howard Hall, said.  

There were many friends and spectators of the event on both days, some who listened and swayed along on Friday evening, others who jammed out on Saturday afternoon. 

“It was a unique event, and I did not know that Sorin had a courtyard. I wish there were more Otters,” Sarah Elliot, a first-year student, said. 

Johnson and Dicola have their eyes on the future of what this event could become in the future not just for their dorm, but for all of campus. 

“Maybe [we could have] lawn games and stuff like that,“ Dicola suggested. ”Who knows, but hopefully next year there’ll be even more performers and more foods that grow even more to a University wide event rather than just a dorm one.”  

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