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Bearstock wows the crowd with big names and new format

Waka Flocka Flame performed several of his infamous hits at Mercer University's Bearstock After Dark.
Waka Flocka Flame performed several of his infamous hits at Mercer University's Bearstock After Dark.

Bearstock saw many changes this year, and it was met with some skepticism. But, many are singing the praises of this years event.

“I thought I was going to hate the move to Hawkin’s arena,” junior Meghan Veuleman said. “Overall, it was my favorite Bearstock that I have been to.”

Quadworks puts on the annual event with this year seeing a split between venues. The day band portion was held at Tattnall Square Park and drew crowds from Macon and Mercer.[related title="Related Stories" stories="21507" align="right" background="on" border="none" shadow="off"]

A local favorite Hindsight got people off their blankets and up to the stage to interact with the band.

The group of guys from Macon were excited to be able to play the event for the first time.

As the day portion wound down, lines began to form outside of the University Center for the headliners Waka Flocka Flame and DJ Mustard. But Quadworks made an announcement that Mustard’s flight from Miami was cancelled and that he would not be able to make.

“DJ Mustard’s flight from Delta Airlines was cancelled on Saturday morning from Miami, and he was unable to make it to the show,” Quadworks president Nate Flowers said. “Because of that we had to try and scramble and find another artist to fill the time.”

Insert superstar hip hop artist B.o.B. The Decatur, Georgia native, Bobby Ray Simmons Jr. was announced as the replacement for DJ Mustard, despite being in Mississippi for a concert earlier in the day. Quadworks middle agent Babco Entertainment was able to set everything up for B.o.B to perform that night. He was able to catch a private charter airplane to the Macon airport in time to go on at 11:15 p.m.

“I commend Quadworks for getting B.o.B on such short notice,” sophomore Royce Clark said.

Flowers says that logistically the cancellation and quick turnaround to find a new artist was a nightmare but that they were dedicated to making it happen for the students.

Many students were able to enjoy Bearstock whether it was their first time or they were a veteran to the event.

It was amazing. It was my first one, and I can honestly say it was the best experience I've had here in my two years at Mercer,” sophomore Darrell Dunham said. “I can't wait for next year's event."

While some were here for the first time, everyone was having to adjust to the new format.

The switch in format came after a rise in crime at last year’s Bearstock, according to Quadworks officials. While the announcement wasn’t received well by everyone, some students said they felt more comfortable being inside the friendly confines of Hawkins arena.

“I prefered having the headliners in Hawkins because it seemed safer for students so we can enjoy the music more,” Clark said. “If you prefer to sit back and enjoy the music, you could do that as well in the stadium seats.”

While this year's Bearstock was a success, Quadworks is already busy analyzing how it can be improved for next year.

“One of the things we have considered is the daytime portion may have lost some of its numbers toward the end because we opened doors for the evening portion early just to try to get people in the door so we may consider pushing that time back or changing up the format just a little bit.” Flowers said.

Overall, the feedback on Bearstock seems to be that it is moving in a positive direction, Flowers said.

"I absolutely loved Bearstock. I went last year, and had a great time, but this year's event was on a whole other level,” sophomore Edward Bridgewater said. “You could clearly tell that everyone was loving it. I cannot wait to see how Quadworks tops itself next year."

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