STARKVILLE — In an event expected to bring 45,000 to Mississippi’s College Town on an away game weekend, the Mississippi State University Student Association is preparing for the concert event of the year on Friday.
Musicians for the event range in genres like country, pop punk and rap. In past years artists such as Justin Moore, All American Rejects and T-Pain.
On Friday, the pop band Surfaces will headline what is dubbed as the largest free outdoor concert in the state. It will take place at the intersection of Jackson and Main streets downtown.
Surfaces formed in 2017 in College Station, Texas, with its two members Colin Padalecki and Forrest Frank. The duo is known for songs such as “Sunday Best” and “Come With Me,” which have circulated TikTok.
Mollie Brothers, director for Bulldog Bash, said the student body and prior sponsors are involved in helping decide which artists will come to the concert through a survey sent out in the spring prior to Bulldog Bash.
“In the spring of the semester before Bulldog Bash, (the Bulldog Bash committee) sends out a campus and community wide survey,” Brothers said. “This survey is available to anyone, but our main audiences that we are looking at are students and past sponsors. We want to use any feedback that we get from our survey to try and make Bulldog Bash even better. Included in this survey is an open-ended question about what artist the students would like to see as well as music genre. This was the starting point for our committee this year when looking at artists. We used the information from the survey to narrow down the genre and then began researching artists.”
Festivities will begin at 3 p.m. Friday with the Maroon Market, which will feature local musicians on stage, art, food vendors and a kid zone. The concert will begin at 6:30 p.m. with the opening act, and MSU Battle of the Bands winner, Government Plates.
Mayor Lynn Spruill said the annual event does boost sales tax revenue, but its main contribution is the atmosphere it brings to the community.
“It’s not so much the revenue as it is the chance to offer something that is fun and helpful to the students as part of being in the community,” Spruill said. “There’s no dollar figure I can attach to it. It’s an intrinsic kind of value. … It’s a boon to the community as a whole.”
There will be special safety measures set in place for the event including security screenings, and law enforcement from various agencies working the event.
The entrance for the event will be at the intersection of Lampkin and Lafayette streets for concert-goers to pass through the security screening. No firearms or other weapons will be allowed, and it is a clear bag only zone. All bags and purses will be searched upon entry much like the security screenings at MSU football games.
Spruill stressed though the event is hosted by the MSU Student Association, she wants the community to come out and see what the event has to offer.
“The community should come out and enjoy the interaction with the students and listen to some music they probably might not be too familiar with,” Spruill said. “I want to encourage them to be a part of this community event.”
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