Clochella music fest rocks Cloyne Court

Student co-op hosts local bands for all-day concert

Michael Ball/Staff

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Clochella held at Cloyne Court this Saturday demonstrated that the local, independent music scene is alive and well at Cal.

An all-day event held from noon to 1 a.m., Clochella delivered as a music festival by constantly providing energetic live music throughout the day. Much like its namesake, Clochella had enough drinks and great vibes passed around. Clochella felt amicable and friendly to both residents and visitors. With two live band stages and a DJ stage, there were enough places to satisfy your dance or mosh-pit urges. And in between sets, you could easily find a place to lie down and rest in Cloyne’s backyard lawn and share a cigarette or drink with a fellow attendee.

As a concert venue, Cloyne Court held up extremely well. Sonically, there was rarely any overlap between the stages, which was surprising considering the stages’ proximity. The outdoor Panda stage attracted the most people throughout the day, as the early afternoon brought the perfect amount of sun, and the late night brought a cooling breeze to the sweaty indoors of Cloyne. The poorly named Swog Stage, located indoors in Cloyne’s dining area, attracted more thrash and punk bands, which provided more moshing and dancing than usual. And the Clonarchy Stage provided strobe lights and dance music for awkward couples to grind upon each other. But the acoustics for each area were well-adapted — never too loud and never too soft. If anything, the proximity of the stages made the music more seamless. After hearing the band Wheel On! play a cover of Pavement’s “Cut Your Hair,” you could, within 30 seconds, walk to the DJ stage and dance and rave along to Kanye West’s and Jay-Z’s “Ni**as in Paris.”

Clochella stands as one of the largest co-op concerts, which are not really advertised within the UC Berkeley community as a whole. If you are not caught up with the latest events at Cloyne or any of the other co-ops, it would be easy to make the mistake of thinking that the local music scene at Cal is dead. Besides 924 Gilman, located about 20 minutes away from campus in West Berkeley and known for its straight-edge no-alcohol policy, there are not many “basement show” venues near campus. The closest place to get your low-key live-music fix would be in Oakland, and after 1 a.m., you would be out of luck catching BART back to Berkeley. For an unadvertised event, Clochella had a modestly large turnout. If there was one thing to take away, it’s that there is an audience for this type of concert at Cal.

If you had only observed the crowd, Clochella felt like any other party full of people in their early 20s hanging out and drinking cheap alcohol on a Saturday afternoon. But local live music transformed Clochella from another college party to an event that embodies Berkeley’s culture. For an event that was about music, the experience of the show surmounted any individual act. Clochella showed that parties in Berkeley don’t have to consist of getting drunk off of jungle juice and dancing to bad remixes of Billboard’s Top 100 songs. There is an audience interested in listening to great live music, and one can only hope for a music fest bigger and better than Clochella here in Berkeley.

Contact Art Siriwatt at [email protected]. Check him out on twitter at @artsiriwatt.

A previous version of this article incorrectly identified the Swog stage as the Swag stage.