Lakeland hosted its first indie festival

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Diego De Jesus

Lakeland had its first Indie Festival at the Yard on Mass where local musicians came to jam out rock n’ roll in the outskirts of Downtown on North Massachusetts Ave. 

The bands either set up on the Mass Stage in the center or on the Parker Stage to the side under the canopies. There was a huge turnout with every table being filled to the point where some audience members brought their own chairs in an outside main area. 

Chris Torres, a Florida Southern College alumni, coordinated and managed the Indie Festival. In 2008, he graduated majoring in music management and business administration. 

Torres was involved in Greek Life, being a brother Kappa Alpha (KA) Gamma Pi (ΓΠ) chapter which is no longer on campus. He reminisced about being a college student and the surrounding of it. 

“Being a graduate, you miss a lot that’s happening off campus. Being able to have a music event outside, safe and socially distanced is what I wanted to give people,” Torres said. “Florida Southern College is a nice bubble, but it’s great to see what’s happening in town.” 

Torres organized the Indie Festival to give Lakeland artists a stage to display their craft. Lakeland’s unique flair was shined in each band’s performance. 

Torres wanted bands like Lady Moonway to share their infusion of old and new soul and CMPNY of ANMLS for their psychedelic rock. 

Each band highlighted an indie rock scene that most events don’t feature. They all are a close-knit community that supports each other. 

“I want to give friends, fellow musicians, and people something fun to do. We’re giving musicians, artists and vendors a chance to express their art,” Torres said. “We’re not just cover performers in Lakeland. We have a music scene that’s original. We have musicians creating and releasing art on multiple platforms.” 

Boduca, a local alternative rock band, was one of the bands that played at the Indie Festival. The members include lead singer-songwriter Rachel Pollock, drummer Brandon McGowan, guitarist Charlie Reese and bassist Stephanie Glover. 

Rachel Pollock is originally from Lake City, Fla. She explains that their music is mainly written from her personal experiences.

“My songs chronicle my life. Stuff that’s happened to me, using that to inspire me to write songs,” Pollock said. “They’re a reflection of how I feel inside.” 

The members of Boduca are all roommates. The band’s name, Boduca, came from a Washington city that Pollock read in a book. 

“He [Torres] reached out to us in November. I really want to put on a festival for indie rock. They’ve never had an indie music festival in Lakeland before.” 

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