Summer Sunset Shindig shows off local artists, fundraises for Voices Against Violence

John Melendez

Voices Against Violence hosted a fundraising event for students and the community to listen to music and to promote its organization Saturday afternoon.

The event, Summer Sunset Shindig, was held at Space 24 Twenty to raise money for the organization’s other events and for the Survivor’s Emergency Fund, which provides financial assistance to student survivors of sexual violence, relationship violence and stalking, said VAV member Kaitlyn Murphy.

“I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to grab a bunch of the community,” said Murphy, who organized the event. “It’s fun for everyone, and it’s a form of self-care. It’s always good to get out and hangout with your friends, but it also benefits this amazing group that does so much for UT.” 

The event featured six local bands and musicians: Kokopelli, Mussel, laissez faire cassette, Trace of Lime, Darja and SMiiLE. The bands performed for free to support VAV and its cause. 

Artists and organizations such as Free Rent ATX, Feminist Latinx and PhamNism were also there to promote themselves. Steel City Pops set up and donated 20 percent of its proceeds to the organization, and Frank restaurant’s hot dogs served guests all evening.

“I was just going to come here with one friend, but I ended up coming with about seven,” theatre freshman Kaci Pelias said. “The live music definitely draws people in, especially with local bands. The fact that it’s in a space like this has a really chill vibe.”

Murphy said she considered the event a big success, with more than 200 people attending throughout the day. Over $500 raised in donations from the event will go to VAV’s organization fund for future programming, including relationship violence prevention month in October, as well as for their larger annual events, such as Breaking the Silence and Take Back the Night.

Murphy said she took it upon herself to create the event because VAV always relies on outside funding.

“My goal is … to get (people) out to see we know how to have a good time and draw attention to a super, super important thing, because not everybody knows about what VAV does,” Murphy said. 

Psychology sophomore Ileene Salazar said the event was enjoyable.

“I think they picked the perfect spot,” Salazar said. “It’s a beautiful day, and I’m really enjoying the music.”