On Saturday night, South campus was buzzing with the sounds of student bands gathered at the Horn Gallery, all for the purpose of showing support for the residential farmers. From 6 p.m. until after 10, waves of students wandered in and out of the Horn to listen to live music and to stand in solidarity with members of Kenyon Farm’s residential program, who were recently informed it is being discontinued.
Throughout the night, the Horn grew more and more crowded as eight different student acts performed. Each act was so much fun to watch; most played crowd-favorite covers that lifted the energy of the room. There was a rendition of “Country Roads” played on banjo which had the audience excited, and later on in the night, the music grew louder as the show evolved into more of a party. Around 9:30 p.m., Benny Enzo went on stage to close out the night in front of a tightly packed crowd. They had a great set, which had everyone singing with them. They played “Best Friend” by Rex Orange County, “Sunday Morning” by Maroon 5, “Mr. Brightside” by the Killers and a few other well-known songs that had the audience excited. The popular set list and lead singer MJ Farrell’s ’24 style made Benny Enzo one of the highlights from the night.
Another crowd favorite was Extra Butter, a student band that played second to last. They played an exceptional cover of “Harness your Hopes” by Pavement, which was another that had people dancing. Drummer Benjamin Brumley ’22 particularly shined, giving the whole set a distinct rhythm.
The turnout was overwhelming, showing how much the Farm residential program meant to students. The energy of the evening was vibrant; almost everyone was dancing in close proximity or gathered outside with friends.
Between musical acts, the Kenyon farmers came out to speak to the crowd. “We’re going on strike, and you should all go on strike with us too,” Jack Cheston ’22 said to cheers from the crowd. “If you’re not a worker at Kenyon, you can donate to our strike fund.” They stood in front of a poster saying “This is clucked up,” a blunt yet effective way they expressed their disdain for the way they have been treated.
One of the main goals of the night, in addition to simply advocating for students to actively support the Farm, was to raise money for the strike fund. In the basement of the Horn, bands sold merchandise, groups such as WKCO’s Eggvice raised money for K-SWOC and vendors set up stands. A number of T-shirts were sold with the printed message “save the Farm,” and there was even a stand selling soap molded into the shape of goats. All three organizations involved — K-SWOC, the Horn Gallery and Farm — collaborated on this effort. By the end of the night, the groups raised over $1,200 for the K-SWOC strike fund.
Overall, this entire event demonstrated to the College that the student farmers have cultivated widespread support from other students, alumni and the broader community. It was also a fun opportunity to showcase different student musicians and bands, since so many groups were able to play.