About 250 students gathered in University Yard Saturday for free food, music and political awareness at the fifth Annual Octoberfest, co-sponsored WRGW and Common Cause.
Students spent the day socializing and playing Frisbee in between listening to music. Local bands the Bicycle Thieves, Sad Bastards, Alfonso Valez, A Day in Black and White and The Apes performed.
Organizers said Octoberfest was an opportunity to introduce GW students to the local music scene.
“There is no support for D.C. music in D.C.,” said junior Josh Pearl, WRGW music director.
Aside from hearing local bands, students got a lesson in political awareness from Common Cause GW, which had information tables set up at the event.
“(Common Cause) is a non-profit, non-partisan political watchdog,” said junior Tim Persico, president of Common Cause GW.
A June 2 ruling by the Federal Communications Commission prompted Common Cause to co-sponsor Octoberfest. The ruling deregulated media conglomerates, making it easier for fewer companies to own more media outlets.
Persico said the ruling is negative for democracy because it restricts the number of voices from which Americans get their news.
“We want people to learn about these issues,” Persico said. WRGW General Manager Brett Kaplan said he was happy to form a partnership with Common Cause for this year’s Octoberfest because “the FCC issue holds true to our hearts at the station.”
Organizers said they were pleased with the event.
“There’s not much free around here and we try hard at WRGW to please the students,” said junior Jon Megas-Russell, WRGW’s marketing director.
“I think it’s safe to say there will be a sixth Octoberfest,” Kaplan said.
Students said they enjoyed the performances.
“It started off kind of slow, but it’s good that the bands are playing now,” said freshman Albert Fonticiella. “You can really feel the energy.”