Six-hour RIT Unlabeled Music Festival takes over the SHED on April 20

More than 40 acts from RIT students will fill four stages at once

Forty-four performing arts groups and soloists comprised of Rochester Institute of Technology students will fill RIT’s newest building, the SHED, with music for six hours on April 20.

The second annual Unlabeled Music Festival will be held from 12:30 to 6:30 p.m., and will feature all sorts of genres, from a cappella, jazz, electric dance music, rock, even marimba and recorder performances.

It is part of SpringFest 2024 and produced by the Popular Music Collective in RIT’s School of Performing Arts. The event is free and open to the public.

There will be four venues: The Sklarsky Glass Box Theater and The Munson Music Loft will feature several rock, pop, and metal bands; the SHED’s atrium will have some larger ensembles of more than a dozen students, including a cappella groups, electronic, and big band music; and Artisano’s Bakery & Café will provide a more intimate setting for soloists and duets.

“We will have the four performance stages which will showcase the flexibility of the SHED,” said Visiting Lecturer Karl Stabnau, festival coordinator. “We thought it would be really unique to have four acts going at the same time so the SHED would be filled with music throughout the day.”

The number of acts this year is up from 27 in the festival’s inaugural year in 2023.

“In the past few years we have seen a steep rise in the number of students interested in a range of popular genres,” said Erica Haskell, director of the School of Performing Arts.

The number of RIT students involved in performing arts has soared in the past five years, due to an institutional focus on drawing students to RIT who exhibit performing arts talent. These students re often highly creative and successful in their technical education. There are approximately 1,800 students currently enrolled who have received Performing Arts Scholarships.

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