College radio station hosts festival to commemorate 55th anniversary

 WGSU will be hosting its first ever Genny Fest to celebrate 55 years of existence. The event will consist of a series of food trucks and live music on the MacVittie College Union Plaza on Friday April 27 (Annalee Bainnson/Photo Editor).    

WGSU will be hosting its first ever Genny Fest to celebrate 55 years of existence. The event will consist of a series of food trucks and live music on the MacVittie College Union Plaza on Friday April 27 (Annalee Bainnson/Photo Editor).    

WGSU is celebrating 55 years of being on-air with Genny Fest, on the MacVittie College Union Plaza from 5-7 p.m. on Friday April 27. Genny Fest will be a food truck rodeo featuring seven different food trucks, their squirrel mascot Genny and live music. 

Though this is her first year at the station, WGSU operations manager senior Erin Carlo has been spearheading the event. 

“It’s always been a goal for the station to do something big. Radio is, by nature, faceless media,” Carlo said. “You might listen to us on the radio, stream our station, follow us online on social media, but you never really see the people running the station.”

The goal is for the event to include everyone from students to alumni, to faculty and staff and community members, according to Carlo. 

“We want it to feel like an event that everyone was invited to celebrate,” Carlo said. 

WGSU has partnered with Campus Auxiliary Services to get food trucks to come in for the event. Food trucks will include Chowhound, Macarollin’, Tom Wahl’s, Le Petit Poutine, J&S Fried Dough, Cheesed and Confused and Tuscan Wood Fired Pizza. 

The idea for the event came from a class that Carlo took with WGSU faculty advisor and faculty director of communication Michael Saffran. From there, it was a matter of making the plan a reality. 

“I was going to incorporate it into Mass Media and Management as a management component, it just wasn’t coming together quick enough because we didn’t have enough time,” Saffran said. “When [Carlo] joined the WGSU staff, she was on board, and when we started up again in late August, we were full steam ahead as a radio station with what is now called Genny Fest.”

When planning the event, WGSU wanted to invite acts that regularly play on their station. The headlining artists are senior communication major Allison Altschiller, whose stage name is Allison Leah and Jackknife Stiletto, an all-female punk band from New York City. 

“Allison Leah, her style is acoustic and solo and really lyrical, and Jackknife is really hardcore—it’s a crazy mashup, but crazy cool,” Carlo said. “The a cappella groups on-campus are doing their spring showcase immediately after us at 7:30 p.m., and they’re part of Genny Fest too.”

It has been an effort for the whole station to put together this event, not just Carlo and the advertising staff. WGSU news and public affair manager Candace Pedraza, for example, has been lending her hand wherever needed. 

“In terms of my role, I am just kind of giving myself up to [Carlo] and the marketing staff,” Pedraza said. “I know I’ll be doing photography and running tables at the event and making sure [WGSU] gets exposure.”

Pedraza and the news anchors have also been incorporating advertising for Genny Fest into their news broadcasts. Saffran, Carlo and the rest of the WGSU staff have high hopes for the event. 

“We would consider it a success if there is good foot traffic, people are having a good time and food truck vendors are happy,” Saffran said. “If it is a success, which we expect it to be, we want to make it an annual event.”

Regardless, Genny Fest will surely be a great way for students to let off steam and enjoy some good food and music before finals.