News Column

Broomstock set to rock out the school year

May 28, 2014

By Megan Quinn, Broomfield Enterprise, Colo.



May 28--School will soon be out for the summer -- and when the bell rings for the last time, the guitars, bass, drums and turntables will take over.

Broomstock, an annual end-of-school celebration with live bands, returns Friday to Broomfield County Commons. This year, 12 young bands will take the stage to celebrate the beginning of summer.

Created 14 years ago by two Broomfield High School students, Broomstock is a student-focused concert festival that provides a high-energy alternative to end-of-school-year parties that involve drugs or alcohol. The professionally staged lineup this year features 12 musical groups, many who have ties to the Broomfield community.

"It's a great event for kids to come and enjoy some music," said Max Hibbard, a member of the alternative rock band Altitude. Altitude has played at several Broomstock events and will play again this year.

Throughout the years, bands from area high schools and colleges or other young musicians have taken the stage to deliver everything from rock, hip hop, folk, electronica and metal. This year, about 35 bands vied for just 12 spots on the Broomstock lineup.

This year, Scarlet Canary, a metal band, and Discount Cinema, a band with pop, goth and electronic influences, will headline the concert.

Last year, 24 bands took the stage. This year, Broomstock is reorganizing its lineup to include half the bands and will start about two hours later than previous years in order to give bands more time to play. The later start time also helps sync up with student schedules, said Lydia Fiore of of Globalsound Studio.

Globalsound helps young students create bands and hone their musical skills. Several Globalsound bands perform at Broomstock each year.

Fiore said bands kept asking to play longer, so the new format allows each band a little more exposure.

Fiore is part of the Broomstock committee, made up of city staff, band members, students and others, which helps choose the variety of music played each year.

"There's a little bit of everything for everyone, especially the music teens like to listen to," she said.

Between 1,500 and 2,000 students typically attend Broomstock each year.

While music is the main attraction, Broomstock also featured an art show that showcased student work.

The art show ended on Tuesday because another art show had to be installed, said Cheryl German, the Broomfield Auditorium's gallery coordinator.

Next year, German said the youth art show will probably take place at a diferent time of year, because the end of the school year can be a stressful time for teens trying to finish classes.

"May is such a busy month," she said.

Cultural Affairs director Karen Gerrity said this year's art show had a manga theme "in honor of our sister city, Ueda, Japan," she said.

Chippy Cianci, the volunteer coordinator for Broomstock, said the music and art event continues to run smoothly and attract students because of a strong partnership between the bands and Broomfield staff.

Staff members from Recreation Services, Cultural Affairs, the police department, North Metro Fire Rescue District and Public Works have met with members of the Broomstock committee to make sure the event is fun and safe for everyone, she said.

Broomstock also has provided a jumping off point for several now-famous bands, she said.

The Fray, OneRepublic, Breathe Carolina and Air Dubai now have well-known, professional music careers, she said in a presentation to City Council last week.

Perhaps more fledgeling bands will soon see their names on a big marquee, she said.

Until then, students can show up to Broomstock to have fun and "rock on," she said.

Contact Enterprise Staff Writer Megan Quinn at 303-410-2649 or quinnm@broomfieldenterprise.com

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Source: Broomfield Enterprise (CO)