On Saturday, Feb. 24, WHRW, Binghamton University’s campus radio station, will host Cyber West Fest, a concert whose proceeds will benefit the Huntsman Cancer Institute.
The event is being held, in part, to honor WHRW’s longtime chief engineer, Tom Siglin, who died of cancer in January. Since the planning for the event began last semester, the event was originally going to be a fundraiser for only WHRW. But after Siglin’s death, Cyber West Fest took on the benefit title.
The idea for the event came from Abir Hossain, loud rock director for WHRW and a junior majoring in integrative neuroscience, in response to the station’s successful semesterly Cafe O’Spacis events. He said that members of the station’s board came up with the idea for a live music event, but on a smaller scale than Moefest, the station’s music festival held toward the end of every spring semester.
Cyber West Fest, held at Cyber Cafe West on Binghamton’s West Side, will be headlined by Elephant Jake and will feature bands natural born kissers, The Nesbitts and Stand and Wave.
“They’re all rock bands, some are louder than others, some are more pop-y, but they’re still rock music,” Hossain said.
Hossain said he held a contest to find the headliner — then turned to his friends.
“I had this contest [to pick the main act] through the loud rock department where I just had anyone who recorded their own music and was a part of the station to send in their stuff,” he said. “The other bands were people I knew.”
Mika Itkin-Weinstein, the singer for natural born kissers and a junior double-majoring in English and history, said that the four-piece outfit performs often in the local music stage and is excited to be in the lineup. Ryan Lupia, drummer for The Nesbitts and a junior majoring in integrative neuroscience, said his band is looking forward to playing for an audience.
“I think it is safe to say for all of us [in the band] that playing live is one the best experiences as a band,” he said. “We love pouring all our energy into our music and getting that energy back from the audience.”
Cyber Cafe West was suggested as a venue because of its popularity among station DJs, according to Jeffrey Goldberg, the general manager of WHRW and a senior majoring in geography.
“[Cyber Cafe West] has always had small acts come in,” Goldberg said. “They’ve got a great stage setup, and a bunch of WHRW people love going down to Cyber West on regular occasions.”
Jeff Kahn, ‘84, the owner of Cyber Cafe West, said he is pleased to be hosting the event at his shop.
“Cyber Cafe is closing in on its 5000th performance and we are glad this is one of them,” he wrote in an email to Pipe Dream.
Cyber West Fest will be held on Feb. 24 at 8 p.m. at Cyber Cafe West at 176 Main St. in the city of Binghamton. Tickets are $5 at the door.