JumBonnaroo performances raise funds for Relay for Life

Relay for Life raised $4,838 last weekend during JumBonnaroo, an event that spanned Thursday through Saturday nights and incorporated six fraternities.

Two fraternities hosted ticketed parties each night with musical performances by Tufts students, which created a music festival-type atmosphere, according to Special Events Co-Chair for Relay for Life at Tufts Benjamin Silver.

“Every night we wanted to give people two different options,” Silver, a sophomore, said. “People were offered two very different kinds of party experiences and could go between them. It’s kind-of like a music festival where you have an eclectic collection of music and people go between stages.”

In the past four years, Relay for Life has hosted Party for Life in November, Silver said. The event typically lasts three nights and raises around $2,000.

JumBonnaroo altered Party for Life this year by highlighting Tufts talent with student bands, rappers and DJs, and bringing together twice as many fraternities, Silver explained.

“Basically, I wanted to re-brand Party for Life,” he said. “[I wanted to] move the focus away from the drinking culture and re-brand it as a music festival.”

Sigma Phi Epsilon (SigEp), Zeta Psi, Alpha Tau Omega , Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi), Delta Upsilon and Zeta Beta Tau each hosted one party for the event, Silver said.

“It really incentivized the fraternities to want to participate because all the money that was raised was then divided and given back to the fraternities for their Relay for Life team[s],” ATO Philanthropy Chair Gracie Peck, a sophomore, said.

Silver said that event organizers sold 550 tickets as either one-night or three-night passes. The JumBonnaroo crowd included students who typically do not attend fraternity events, according to SigEp Philanthropy Chair Sam Berzok.

“We definitely noticed a different crowd than we usually have at our parties,” Berzok, a sophomore, said. “We are trying to make an inclusive environment out of a philanthropy event.”

Peck agreed that there was a different atmosphere at JumBonnaroo than typical fraternity parties.

“With a live band there is a really nice atmosphere,” she said. “Everyone is having a great time listening to the music and dancing.”

The event also gave Tufts musicians and performers a chance to showcase their talent to the community, according to Silver, who promoted the artists on the JumBonnaroo Facebook event page with links to their music and information about booking.

For senior Andrew Berman, DJing at Zeta Psi on Thursday night was his first time performing at Tufts in two years.

“I’m getting picked up by a booking agency right now, so I’m going to have to start playing a lot,” Berman said. “This was a good opportunity to get back into it.”

In addition, the collaboration of the six fraternities promoted inter-Greek unity on campus, Silver said.

“The more we can collaborate and connect, the better off we will be and the more good we can do,” he said.

Berzok agreed that Relay for Life is the perfect opportunity to promote inter-Greek collaboration on campus.

“Almost every chapter on campus gets involved with Relay for Life,” he said. “I think that is a huge uniting factor. It wasn’t artificial.”

The annual Relay for Life, which raises money for the American Cancer Society, will take place this year on April 11 from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.

“Relay for Life is a great community event that brings together people who have had experiences with cancer or know people with cancer,” he said. “It is a great way to honor survivors and people who have passed away, and it is also a lot of fun.”

Silver said that, overall, JumBonnaroo was a success, and he hopes to host a similar event again next year with additional nights to include more fraternities and musicians. He also suggested that in the future, Relay for Life could host an event similar to JumBonnaroo each semester, rather than only in the spring.

“I think the fact that we had things going on every night that weekend really elevated Tufts’ nightlife for a lot of reasons,” he said. “There were a lot of different kinds of talent and we brought out a lot of people who don’t regularly go out to these kinds of things. We had all kinds of scenes. There was definitely something for everyone, and everyone had a lot of fun.”