The Big Gig’s return brings big crowds and a mosh pit to the library basement


Audrey Wuench, Staff Writer

Days before the dawn of study days and finals, on April 22, the Dewitt Wallace Library basement turned into a stage for five student bands to perform at the Big Gig, a collaboration between the library, WMCN and Program Board. Students spilled into the shelves on each side of the space cleared for an elaborate light and full band setup. Student bands Mixed Nuts, Just See Sky, Lazyhead, Bakermiller Pink and Killusonline performed – the last of which performed at the previous Big Gig in Nov. 2019.

“It was great, and honestly pretty surreal. I never thought I would be able to go to another,” Audun Sundeen ’22 wrote in an email to The Mac Weekly.

As more in-person events have been taking place on campus this year, library and WMCN staff have been aching to bring back the Big Gig. The library and WMCN initially started talks to put the event together in the fall semester. However, the uptick in Minnesota COVID-19 cases in Nov. 2021 put a halt to those plans. When the spring semester rolled around, those conversations sparked again, and the Big Gig became more of a possibility. After collaborating with Program Board for the recent Springfest, WMCN brought Maxwell Davis ’25, PB Concerts and Festivals Coordinator, in to help with setup and promotion of the event.

“I enjoy the collaboration and seeing the event come together,” Dave Collins, Instruction and Research Librarian, wrote in an email to The Mac Weekly. “With Richard [Graham, Audio and Visual Technician]’s sound, Maxwell’s lighting and organization, WMCN’s band curation and the library’s space, we ended up with a great event.”

Before the pandemic, the Big Gig was put on as a collaboration between the library and WMCN, but Davis enjoyed getting to help set the stage up as part of Program Board.

“During Bakermiller Pink’s set everyone started singing along, it gave me chills,” Davis wrote in an email to the Mac Weekly. “There is nothing like hearing a crowd cheer for a show you helped build.”

Ozzy Osborne ’24, WMCN staff member, acted as a stagehand during the event. They enjoyed getting to take part in the Big Gig after spending most of their first year online.

“As a sophomore, my first year here was so strange, and there were virtually no on-campus events, so seeing this huge awesome show being put on, by students, for students, was really awesome to see,” Osborne wrote in an email to The Mac Weekly. “Everyone was just so supportive of all the bands, and each other as well. The mosh pit was sick, too.”

Music erupted from the library basement up until the lights and stage had to be torn down before the library promptly closed at 10 p.m. Davis hopes that this collaboration between the library, WMCN and Program Board for the Big Gig is just the beginning.

“It was an amazing event and people better get ready for an even bigger Big Gig next year,” Davis said.

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Bakermiller Pink performing at the Big Gig. Photo by: Lily Turner ’24