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Sammypalooza To Feature Vertical Horizon, Taking Back Sunday

Sept. 9, 2011
SHSU Media Contact: Meredith Mohr

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Last year's inaugural Sammypalooza brought such bands as Lifehouse and Jack Ingram to campus. This year's headlining acts include Vertical Horizon and Taking Back Sunday. Coliseum doors for the main acts open at 7 p.m. —Photos by Brian Blalock


Sam Houston State University will be transformed by outdoor stages and the smell of food from some of Huntsville’s most popular restaurants wafting through the air when it hosts the second annual live music festival Sammypalooza on Sept. 30.

"Sammypalooza at its heart is a music festival for Bearkats,” Department of Student Activities associate director Brandon Cooper said. “It's a great and innovative program that entertains our students while bringing them together in their musical tastes. It's an opportunity for students to take a break from their academic obligations and be submerged in a fun and lively environment where they also get entertained."

The event will feature four musical outdoor acts, an "eats and beats" food sampling section provided by local Huntsville eateries and other activities, including an appearance by the Texans Cheerleaders.

Taking Back Sunday, Vertical Horizon, Phil Pritchett and the Full Band and Oh, Sleeper will perform at Sammypalooza inside Johnson Coliseum and on outdoor stages.

Taking Back Sunday, an American rock band, will perform as a headlining band inside the coliseum at the event. Their latest album “Taking Back Sunday,” was released this year, and their album “Louder Now” sold more than 900,000 copies and peaked at No. 2 in the U.S. Billboard 200.

Vertical Horizon, an American alternative rock band, will also perform as a headlining band inside the coliseum. They are known for singles such as “Everything You Want” and “You’re a God.” Their most recent album, “Burning the Days,” was released in 2009.

Outside on stage, Phil Pritchett and the Full Band, an Americana rock band, will be performing. He has released 10 independently produced albums over the past 16 years and has gathered a fan following in Europe, South Africa and Australia.

Oh, Sleeper, an American metalcore band from Ft. Worth, will also perform on an outdoor stage. They have recorded three full-length albums. Their most recent album, “Children of Fire,” was released Sept. 6.

Phil Pritchett and the Full Band and Oh, Sleeper will play first starting at 3 p.m. While the bands are playing, students can listen to The Kat 90.5 radio station, talk to various student organizations that will be present, climb the ROTC climbing wall and visit with the Texans cheerleaders.

The doors will open at 7 p.m., with Vertical Horizon going on at 8 p.m. Taking Back Sunday will play last.

The event will undergo some major changes since the first Sammypalooza last year that Cooper said he hopes will “build from the momentum of the success in 2010.”

“One large change between this year's event and last year's is the time of year that Sammypalooza is being held,” Cooper said. “We moved it further into the fall semester after assessing students from last year's event and seeing what the majority of their wants and needs were. We are hoping that this date will allow more students the time and opportunity to attend, since the beginning of school can be somewhat hectic.”

Cooper and Tina De Ases, Recreational Sports senior assistant director, said that they have taken into consideration what worked and what didn’t last year to generate a larger crowd and a better overall experience, by incorporating larger stages, more outdoor activities and a greater presence from student organizations.

“Obviously one improvement we are working with is just a more ‘well-oiled’ machine so to speak,” Cooper said. “This program is really a collaboration between Student Services and some of its various departments, as well as a lot of student involvement, which is a true combination for success.”

Cooper said that they are hoping for a successful night, with anticipated increased attendance and more excitement and energy for the second Sammypalooza.

“Students are strongly encouraged to attend this event,” Cooper said. “It should prove to be very entertaining, in true Bearkat style."

The event is free, and students, faculty and staff members may pick up their tickets at the Bearkat OneCard office, the Student Activities Office and the Recreational Sports Office, in the Recreational Sports Center Room 104. Tickets will be available until Sept. 29.

To pick up student tickets, a current student ID is required. Students will be offered the choice of floor or general admission seated tickets, but they are all on a first-come, first-served basis.



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