Students blend music, charity and community with Huru Fest
Through the combination of a growing desire to do good and a declining bank account, Huru Fest was born.
Juniors Jackson Wooten and Blake Ruby wanted to create a way for college students like themselves to be able to make a difference in the world, even on a tight budget.
At first, they tossed around the idea of a small house show for charity, but massive support from local bands quickly grew it into a full music festival. They decided to start a festival with low-priced tickets, so students could enjoy music while donating to a worthy cause.
It created “a way for broke college students to make some kind of change,” said Ruby.
Wooten and Ruby held the first Huru Fest in April of 2018, bringing in 17 bands, 300 people and $1,000 for charity.
It was a feel-good show where the performers weren’t worried about image, and the audience was there to enjoy music and support charity, Ruby said.
“Everyone just got together and hung out all day and played music.”
All of Huru Fest’s proceeds go to the African Children’s Choir, an organization Wooten worked with several years earlier. The choir seeks to instill hope and equip the next generation of Africa with valuable skills.
“There are issues in America, and even here in Nashville, but they really don’t compare to what people go through in places like Uganda,” Wooten said.
Wooten and Ruby felt donating to the choir made sense because of its musical connection and sense of fellowship.
“The organization really emphasizes coming back and being a part of the community,” Ruby said.
With community in mind, Wooten and Ruby wanted to diversify this year’s lineup to include more local artists, instead of solely Belmont artists.
Along with Wooten and Ruby themselves, the lineup includes artists like The Pressure Kids, Wild Love, Parrotfish, The Thing With Feathers and Gatlin.
Wooten and Ruby’s dorm room conversation turned passion project is projected to raise $5,000 for the African Children’s Choir this year, they said.
Huru Fest will be held at The Pavilion East on Saturday from 1 to 10 p.m. Tickets for general admission are $10 and can be purchasedhere.
This article written by Sarah Crawford. Photo by Jackson Wooten.