After a year hiatus due to lack of funding, Flintstock, the “Woodstock of the Flint Hills” rocked back onto campus Saturday.
While the event originated in the ’70s and was traditionally held in Wilson Park, it was supposed to take place in Kellogg Circle this year but was relocated to Albert Taylor Hall in light of severe weather alerts.
This year’s theme was country music. Carlos Urgiles, junior biochemistry and molecular biology major and UAC member, said the last Flintstock in 2010 had a hippie theme.
“In the past, UAC has usually had local rock bands perform, but this year we wanted to do something different,” Urgiles said.
Urgiles said this was the last free music event planned by UAC for the semester, but there will be other UAC-sponsored events for students such as Night at the Movies at Flinthills 8 Cinemas on April 25, iPod Idol on April 26 and Aqua Massage on May 3.
Flintstock included food and activities such as a photo booth and a performance by Kansas-based bluegrass band The Skirts and country musician Travis Martin. Martin will perform at this year’s Country Stampede on June 22.
Martin hails from Ottawa and has been playing country music for over 15 years. He said his biggest influences are Johnny Cash and Garth Brooks. Martin and his band played songs from his self-titled EP and upcoming full-length album.
Members of Chase County based bluegrass band The Skirts include Elexa Dawson, Melissa Tastove, upright bass player Sarah Bays and banjo player Brandi Emley. There is a fifth member – mandolinist Emily Wilson – who was not able to make it to Emporia to perform with the other four on Saturday night. The quintet is currently recording for a future album.
“We play bluegrass, but there’s an influence from classic rock and ’90s pop,” Dawson said.
The Skirts formed in 2009 out of defunct progressive folk band Elexa and The Hitchhikers, of which Dawson and Tastove were members. Dawson said the members of The Skirts have known each other “a long time.”
“Since we formed three years ago, we have toured with White Ghost Shivers and Truck Stop Honey Man,” Tastove said. “We’re inspired by them and a lot of our peers.”
Bays is an ESU graduate student and teaches choir at Emporia High School. Bays said she will perform with musician Bob Haselhuhn at The Taste of Emporia at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday at the W. L. White Civic Auditorium. Tickets are $35, and attendees must be at least 21.
Dawson said The Skirts enjoyed playing for ESU.
“We love playing in Emporia,” said Dawson. “It was awesome to be able to play a free show for students.”