Mark your calendars for May 18 for an afternoon with two simple yet quintessential Philadelphia words: Lawn Jawn.
Back in the fall of 2011, Drexel Flux — the university’s fully student-operated performing venue — opened in the former Drexel University Intercultural Center on 33rd and Chestnut streets. Artists like Modern Baseball and The Districts played at Drexel Flux before making their way to the national music scene, and the goal of creating a small and intimate venue for a diverse range of shows was hit upon almost perfectly.
However, in the spring of 2014 Drexel Flux’s doors had to close. The Intercultural Center was being torn down and turned into a new hotel. Where a place of diversity and inclusion once stood, there is now The Study at University City and CO-OP Restaurant and Lounge. The Intercultural Center was then moved to 3225 Arch Street, its current location, but the venue and Drexel Flux were lost.
After Drexel Flux closed, there had been a strong hope that its doors would one day re-open. This year, as students pushed to help bring Drexel Flux back, the idea of Lawn Jawn came about. Lawn Jawn is now a multi-purpose day — it is serving the role of a big springtime event on campus along with helping to revive the organization. Drexel Flux is now successfully returning, with a new location at 3401 Filbert Street and a brand new Instagram account.
The free event will be held on Race Lawn from 1-8 p.m. The two main hosts of this event are the newly re-emerged Drexel Flux and the Mad Dragon Music Group. Mad Dragon, Drexel’s student-run record label, have their artists and students help to thank for in making Lawn Jawn possible. The event is also in collaboration with the Westphal College and the music industry program, who are providing more Drexel support to the music festival.
Along with the three main supporters, Lawn Jawn has also attracted a big name brand: Vans.
“We will also be having Vans as a vendor, who will be bringing a lot of activities to keep busy with. Vans has been great in supporting our event and we are excited to have them be a part of it,” said Kaylie Minogue, the student in charge of Lawn Jawn.
The lineup consists of seven different performers throughout the afternoon and evening, and there will also be three DJ sets scheduled to perform.
The headliner, Del Water Gap, is Brooklyn-based songwriter S. Holden Jaffe’s solo project, inspired by “romantic encounters and dimly lit rooms.” He has singles on Spotify dating back to 2013, and has released two EPs, the first being released in 2017 and the second just a month ago on April 12. While Del Water Gap has slower music, Jaffe is known for putting on a killer live show.
The other six artists/bands are Philadelphia or New Jersey-based. The Philadelphia contingent is all Drexel related. 18-year-old R&B artist Scarlet Cimillo is a part of Mad Dragon, Drexel freshman j solomon has a voice in the realm of Shawn Mendes and indie rock group Mega Mango has been killing it in the local scene, according to Minogue.
The New Jersey bands, Strange Weekend and Nematode, are both heavy on rock but will be followed by the final Drexel artist, Z by Z, who will bring electric pop rock.
Lawn Jawn has a specific purpose this year in helping Drexel Flux return, the goal is to become an annual event. The event did take a lot of planning, which Minogue merely alluded to in an email exchange, but it is worth the effort. It is the culmination of a year’s worth of events hosted by Mad Dragon and now again Drexel Flux both on and off campus.
“Hopefully Lawn Jawn can be our capstone event every year, and it can grow so we can have the ability to bring any artist that the student body would like to see on campus!” Minogue said.
While Lawn Jawn will bring things together for the student organizations, the events aren’t finished. There will be a showcase at PhilaMOCA May 24 along with a showcase at Saxbys May 25. Accompanying those two showcases, Drexel Flux is putting on an event called Battlefest in the Black Box Theatre for an interactive live experience with many different bands May 30.
With Drexel being a big part of the West Philadelphia community, Lawn Jawn should attract a lot more people than just Drexel students, and offer a Saturday full of music and entertainment.