Cal Lu Palooza celebrates student musicians and businesses

Anna Norwalt, Reporter

On April 22 from 2-7 p.m. a variety of student organizations hosted Cal Lu Palooza, featuring live music, food, a swap meet and more for students to enjoy.

The event was put on by iCLU Radio, Associated Students California Lutheran University Government, Music Production Club, and Musicians club. At the event, students could get free merchandise including a Cal Lu Palooza t-shirt, tote bag or iCLU Radio drawstring bag. Students could also receive free food and drinks at Rice Balls of Fire, Kona Ice, Churro Champ, Makenna’s Koffee Truck and Rock’ N Roll Burgers.

After two years of having live performances postponed due to COVID-19, event planners Joshua Nekoba, Alexandra Infante and Kurt Trocino, said they were excited to see people enjoy the live music.

“I’ve always wanted to do something like this on campus because I know that the music department doesn’t have a very big presence with public events other than the required music forums,” said Nekoba. “Because there’s a lot of talented musicians on campus who don’t get the opportunities to play live events, I feel Cal Lu Palooza creates an environment for the musicians on campus to get experience playing to live audiences.”

It wasn’t just students with musical gifts being showcased at the event. President of Entrepreneurship Club, Trocino, organized a student-led swap meet, featuring several student businesses.

“I didn’t know too much about the palooza, most people I’ve talked to weren’t here when they used to do it but, it sounds like a really cool atmosphere that they create with the different musicians doing live music and we’re doing a swap meet at it,” Trocino said.

The swap meet showcased different products that students had made, and gave them the opportunity to sell in their own community. The vendors sold products varying from personalized graduation caps to baked goods to vintage clothing.

Entrepreneurship club also took donations for Sarah’s House, a maternity home located in Simi Valley.

Infante, a junior ASCLU programs board representative lead for Cal Lu Palooza, said that she was excited about the different kinds of vendors and food trucks that came to the event.

“I’m excited cause we’re bringing some new entertainment that we’ve never had before, like I wanted henna, and we have a tarot card reader there, and I thought that would be super interesting, we’ve never had a vendor like that before. We’re also bringing a flower truck,” Infante said.

Students could get henna tattoos, have their tarot cards read, character drawings of themselves, create a bouquet of flowers, play games brought by Tabletop Gaming Club and Computer Science club, climb a rock wall and more.

The event was set to be Cal Lutheran’s longest event going from 2-10 p.m., but was shortened to 2-7 p.m. due to a conflicting choir event at 7:30 p.m.

Still, 15 different performances went on stage at Cal Lu Palooza with performers rotating every 20 minutes. Music genres included pop, rap, alternative rock, metal, EDM, and ballads. Those on stage were seen smiling as they performed in front of the crowd.

“I made up the solo today, so that was kind of fun,” said Dmitrii Tabala, a musician playing the violin and keyboard for multiple performances.

The event was a success in bringing the community together for a large gathering, enjoying live music and local vendors.

“I really hope that this is an event that people enjoy and will look forward to going to next year. I really hope this generates more interest in planning the event,” Nekoba said.