Friday, July 12, 2024

Monaroo, what happened?

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Featured photo by Alyssa Williams

Story by Noah McLane

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Monnaroo was briefly disrupted when a band’s sound was cut after a series of abrasive comments were made from the stage on April 12. 

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), a student thrash metal band, took to the stage for their 15 minute set but were reportedly unplugged by housing staff after saying “F*ck President McPhee,” according to Taylor Dowdy, a Monohan desk assistant. 

Housing Director, Amy Korstange, said the band was near the end of their set when the situation started to escalate. 

“Consistently what I’ve heard from every single RA involved, is that they did not try to shut anything down til after words against President McPhee were spoken . . . and part of that is because we are in McPhee’s backyard.” Dowdy said. 

According to another performer, the leather and spike-clad band was “very countercultural.” 

The band also reportedly encouraged a mosh pit and told the crowd to “murder” each other according to Amy Korstange.

The band also reportedly shouted “Free Palestine” throughout the show, as claimed by witnesses. According to Dowdy, the band was allowed to continue their set after those remarks. 

However, housing director Amy Korstange said “after power was cut, [FASD] shouted ‘Free Palestine’ which prompted members of the audience to begin climbing on the stage.” 

As the stage was stormed, housing staff called campus police.

By the time the responding officer arrived, housing staff, the band and the invasion force had calmed down, according to Sergeant Patrick Fajardo, an MTSU and Public Information Officer. 

MTSU police department made no arrests or citations. 

According to other performers and Area Coordinator, Kaitlynn Reid, no contract limiting free speech had to be signed before performing at Monaroo.

“All performers had the opportunity to contact Housing staff with questions and/or concerns prior to the event. In this case, only FASD contacted Housing personnel and therefore were the only ones provided the guidelines. The band was not limited in what songs they could perform and was told that profanity was allowed, but that no profanity should be directed toward specific individuals or groups of people,” according to Korstange. 

As for future Monaroo’s, Korstange said, “Our intent with Monaroo is to allow campus artists to perform on campus. We give preference to artists who live on campus. But we do not expect things to change drastically from one year to the next.”

The rest of Monaroo went without incident. Students laughed, smiled, cheered on other bands and made new memories with new friends. If anything, the unplugging incident only proved our students’ commitment to nonviolence and de-escalation.

Noah McLane is a contributing writer for MTSU Sidelines.

To contact News Editor Alyssa Williams and Assistant News Editor Zoe Naylor, email newseditor@mtsusidelines.com.

For more news, visit www.mtsusidelines.com, and follow us on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines and on X and Instagram at @mtsusidelines. Also, sign up for our weekly newsletter here.

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