KSDJ radio hosts end-of-year music festival



Just in time for a break before Finals Week, South Dakota State’s student radio station New Rock 90.7 KSDJ will host its third annual May Day Music Festival April 28 on Sylvan Green.  

The festival will have a variety of performers and music styles to fit audience members’ diverse tastes in music. The headliners are Omaha pop band Twinsmith and Sioux Falls’ Soulcrate, a soul and classic hip-hop group.

Other performers include Tenenbaums and No Sir, Not Me!, of Sioux Falls, and Brookings rapper Chris Bahr featuring Gordon Bird and Matt Siekmann. There are also four student acts. 

The May Day Music Festival was started in 2014 as a final celebration for the end of the school year. Additionally, the KSDJ staff wanted to give a local stage to new, up and coming Midwest bands.

Bobbi (Egeberg) Washechek, who graduated from SDSU in May with a degree in advertising, was on staff when the first May Day Festival was held.

“We wanted to give smaller bands a stage to play on right here, since we usually have to drive hours to a big concert,” Washechek said. “We wanted to show the great talent right in the Midwest, not just on the East or West Coast.”

Bret Werpy, KSDJ station manager, said working with the KSDJ staff to plan the festival has been a great experience. He said he feels honored to help make history with KSDJ.

In addition to musical artists, the festival will also include local vendors and organizations selling food and offering activities. SDSU School of Design students Luke Bryant and Rachel Funk, as well as graduate student Ming Stephens, will sell personal artwork created throughout the year.  

Festival attendees can purchase the “May Day Music Festival special” at Taco John’s on April 28, which includes one soft-shell taco, one small potato olé and a small drink for $2.99.

Taylor Donnelly, a graduate student in the Masters of Public Health Program, attended the festival last year and said she enjoyed the atmosphere and looks forward to going again.

“There’s plenty of space to spread a blanket on the ground, listen to great, local music and hang out with friends at the very end of the year, before everyone leaves for summer,” Donnelly said.

The festival begins at 4 p.m. and is free to the public.

Student performers:

Matt Kinowski, Zach Saltmarsh & Rachel Klein

Matt Kinowski, who is performing with Zach Saltmarsh and Rachel Klein, will be playing mostly originals with one cover. To Kinowski, the festival is an opportunity to share some music with those that want to hear it.  

“The festival is all about music and fun. I chose to join because I thought it would be a fun experience,” Kinowski said.

Taylor Walker & Rachel Kuhlman

Taylor Walker and Rachel Kuhlman will be a duo performing multiple pieces from varying genres of music. To Walker, the festival is a musical freedom of expression and a celebration of all the wonder music creates in people’s lives.  

“Singing brings me joy. It always has and I think that it always will,” Kuhlman said.


Asparagi is a four-member band comprised of music students Bret Werpy (lead vocals, guitar), Duel Shape (lead vocals, bass), Carson Vanduch (drums) and Coleton Ginger (keyboard). The band will perform songs from a variety of genres including rock, country and pop. 

“It’s a good way to reach the community and let them know there’s good local music going on,” Carson Vanduch said. 

Emily Kim & Suhyoung Kim

Suhyoung Kim and Emily Kim will perform American pop songs.

“I want the audience to come and enjoy our performance,” Suhyoung Kim said.

Student organization vendors:

Women’s Rugby 

  • Selling baked goods

Hobo Day Committee

  • Pictures with the Bummobile and selling buttons

Advertising Club

  • Selling baked goods and bottles of water

Love Your Melon

  • Selling baked goods and bottles of water

American Indian Science and Engineering Society

  • Kids science table and other science activities

American Indian Student Association

  • Selling popovers (stuffed frybread) for $5

Hula Hoop Club

  • Free hula hoop lessons

Collegiate Entrepreneur’s Organization

  • Selling baked goods and offering a beanbag toss