CU's Welcomefest

Doors open to this back-to-school spectacular on Farrand Field Saturday at 5:30 p.m. Admission is reserved only for CU-Boulder students, with a valid BuffOne ID card, and is free. Students lacking proper identification will not be admitted.


The University of Colorado's Program Council lined up some big beats to perform at Farrand Field on campus Saturday for the student-only Welcomefest concert.

This year's event boasts a strong Boulder presence, including headliners Kill Paris, veterans EOTO and new guys in town, BEARSOHMY. Australian indie band, The Griswolds, are also on the bill.

CU Program Council, the student-run music and event group, has been a big force at the helm of Boulder musicians looking to launch into the national spotlight. Past Welcomefest concerts have included big shows from Pretty Lights, Paper Diamond and Big Gigantic.

This leaves Boulder electronic duo Johnny Mabie and Ryan Weisz from BEARSOHMY optimistic about taking the stage this year. We caught up with Mabie to see how it feels to play on the big stage at his alma mater, just one year after he graduated.

I understand that you have been involved in the Boulder music scene for a couple of years now. What other companies and projects have you worked with?



I came to Boulder for music and the people that it brings together. (Program Council) was a huge part of me being able to network and find some of my best friends who are into the same stuff as me. I have made and performed music for a long time, but nothing jump-started my ability to connect with industry professionals and other artists as my experience at CU.

You used to work for Program Council. How does it feel to come back and play the biggest show of the year on campus?


It's pretty crazy. Having worked on the shows PC puts on and knowing the amount of work that goes into them, especially Welcomefest, I'm stoked that I'm still able to contribute in my own way. Welcomefest is a big part of CU history. It's an honor to even be chosen to be on the bill.

What advice would you give a student looking to get involved in the music industry?


You have to just put yourself out there, and you can't do it by yourself. Make friends who are also inspired to do awesome things, and get involved with anything legit.

Student groups are an awesome way to band together and make moves. I've heard the Music Industry Club at CU is pretty awesome for artists and non-artists alike. Get out to shows, get involved with promoters or venues or local artists and offer to help them do what they do.

An artist named Paper Diamond used to facilitate a community of music and art lovers in Boulder by the name of Elm & Oak. Getting out to their events and hanging out really taught me how community is number one in the music business, and that lead to us starting our own artist collective to fill that void when Elm & Oak moved on. It's called Smak Pak.

Seeing how you'll be playing for a crowd of 10,000 people, would you say this is the most pivotal performance you guys have had thus far?


We have played some really awesome shows thus far, but sharing the stage with EOTO and Kill Paris is pretty dope. This show is a huge party for kids who are new to Colorado, or new to Boulder, and just want to let loose and go crazy to kick off their year. We are pretty stoked to give them that. That being said, we have some crazy stuff whipped up for it.

What do you guys' think will be running through your head's just before hitting the stage, knowing that Kill Paris and EOTO will be watching.


(He laughs.) Well, right before stage time is always a mix of nerves and adrenaline. Since we are both CU alumni I think we will be pretty comfortable on our home turf, ready to put on a huge performance for the new homies.

Have either Kill Paris or EOTO had an influence on BEARSOHMY?


Definitely. I mean, KP came around when dubstep was the big craze, and took it to the next level, proving that you can have love and emotion in any genre, no matter how "hard" it comes off as. This definitely has set a precedent for my own tunes. I always make sure there is some rooted emotion in our tracks, rather than just crazy turn-up. I think KP had a lot to do with that. And EOTO are just lords.

String Cheese (Incident) has always been one of my favorite live shows, and these dudes prove that electronic music has a soul and bring in a lot of kids that usually wouldn't be caught dead at EDM shows. I think that's the theme of this Welcomefest: EDM done different.

What does BEARSOHMY have in store for 2013?


Things have been moving fast, and they're getting faster. We have a ton of new music coming up — an original EP, and a bunch of heavy remixes. I have been working with a few other artists as well — singers and rappers. Collaborating is my happy place.

BEARSOHMY is also slated to perform at Welcomefest's unofficial afterparty at The Goose Bar, 1301 Broadway, on the Hill Saturday night.