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  • Check out this dude jamming the hell out at WelcomeFest

    Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer

    Check out this dude jamming the hell out at WelcomeFest

  • CU's Program Council hosts a giant concert at the beginning...

    Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer

    CU's Program Council hosts a giant concert at the beginning of each fall semester called WelcomeFest.

  • A Program Council rep said the group's purpose is to...

    Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer

    A Program Council rep said the group's purpose is to help students make memories on campus by bringing fun entertainment.

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There’s no shortage of entertainment in a city brimming with live music venues and local festivals. But for more than 50 years, students haven’t had to stay far from campus for film screenings and big-name concerts.

The Program Council, in one iteration or another, has been the source of on-campus fun for decades, whether it’s local artists or major motion pictures.

Since its beginnings, the Program Council has lured big names to Boulder, from the Grateful Dead to Elvis Costello. More recently, acts like Macklemore and Ryan Lewis and Wyclef Jean have also made the trip. And just last year, Chance the Rapper and Kygo were on campus for sold-out shows.

And with events like Battle of the Bands each year, there’s a chance for up-and-coming artists to also make a name for themselves, sharing music with a crowd eager for entertainment.

Did you crowd surf at the WelcomeFest concert while Seven Lions, Joywave, Sunboy and Innerspacetore up the stage last weekend? That was thanks to Program Council. WelcomeFest is typically its largest event, where thousands of CU students cram onto Farrand Field to watch epic bands perform.

Of course, it’s not just live music that Program Council works to provide. Free film screenings (and the always-appreciated complimentary popcorn) have been drawing students away from their studies for a few hours of much-needed escape.

Just last year, they brought movies like “American Sniper,” “Into the Woods” and “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1” to campus.

Ultimately, the Program Council brings popular entertainment in for prices well within the means of a financially-strapped student population.

From the Buffs’ mouth

Program Council’s director of marketing Bryan Bakke sent us an email highlighting some of the campus group’s goals for the year:

Keep an eye out: Program Council is doing a lot of big things this semester and Bakke said there are some “massive concert announcements” in the works, so keep an ear to the ground or an eye on programcouncil.com.

Local bands: “Program Council is dedicated to helping locals reach their potential,” wrote Bakke. This means that Club 156 in the University Memorial Center (yes, there’s a live music venue on campus), will bring in many local acts to the stage this semester.

“We understand that (bands) need to start somewhere, and helping out our local friends is something we take pride in,” he wrote.

Film: Program Council’s film series department has always been known to bring big blockbuster movies to campus — even advanced screenings, recently released films and even flicks that are currently in theatres. These screenings are always free and open to students.

“We think films are important because not everyone likes the concert scene, and that’s OK,” he said. “We like to give students and public and great way to enjoy a night and for low to no cost.”

And in conclusion, Program Council is here to help Buffs “make lifetime memories,” said Bakke.

Visit programcouncil.com for volunteer opportunities or to join the street team.

Alexandra: twitter.com/ansieh

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