Live and Local rocks Utah Tech campus with music, local vendors

Live and Local was held April 10 on the Encampment Mall featuring four local bands showcasing their talents with the community. The live music, food trucks and local vendors created a spirited atmosphere of belonging. Abigail Byington | Sun News Daily

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Almost two hours before Live and Local started, students were seen already waiting in line. Students were taking selfies and watching the bands practice before the event.

When the gates opened, students ran to the booth with free T-shirts for the first 300 students. The energy was enthusiastic as students laid their blankets out with their friends. Aside from music, there were food trucks, permanent jewelry, henna and more for students to enjoy.

Oliva Shoaf, a sophomore business management major from Columbus, Indiana, directed the event, and she reached out to each of the four bands.

The bands included:

  • Aiden Porter
  • Ernesto Caballero
  • Lighten Up, Francis
  • Some Girls

Sam New, a senior individualized studies major from Leeds and stagehand for the event, said, “I love meeting all the bands, and I love that the event brings music and people together.”

Aiden Porter

Aiden Porter, a junior exercise science major from Ogden, said he has been playing music his whole life. During Live and Local, he played as a solo artist, singing cover songs on his guitar.

“It was nice when the crowd knew the songs and sang it back to me, but I loved sound check the most,” Porter said.

It was Porter’s first Live and Local, and he said he had a great time.

Ernesto Caballero

Ernesto Caballero, a pop band, has played at the Live and Local event for three years.

“It’s really fun to connect with all the students,” said Cabellero, a junior music education major from St. George. “I love to play. It’s super fun to see everyone’s reactions.”

Ernesto started writing music in 2019 and then released music in 2020. He wanted to play live, so he gathered all his friends that he knew played an instrument and has been playing with them ever since.

Ernesto also released a new song, “Designer,” at the event as well.

Lighten Up, Francis

Lighten Up, Francis is an alternative rock band with four members including:

  • Whitney Royal, singer and bass
  • Tom Fitzhugh, singer and guitarist
  • Matt Checketts, singer and guitarist
  • Brad Royal, drummer

“I’m most excited to get a bunch of college-age fans,” Brad Royal said. “The crowd last year was awesome, and the students were surprisingly engaged in the music.”

This was their second year at Live and Local, and they said the energy from last year is what brought them back.

When Lighten Up, Francis started playing, most of the students in the crowd ran to the front of the stage to sing and dance to the music. Once the sun set, bulb lights turned on, creating a great atmosphere for students.

Lighten Up, Francis has a debut album in the works, and Ernesto releases new music often.

Live and Local is a great event for students to support local bands and vendors, as well as make new friends and enjoy a good time.