Freebie Fridays are back and better in the Black Swamp Pub

The Black Swamp Pub in the Student Union will offer students the opportunity to see a wide variety of musical performances this semester.

Alex Merced, a member of the promotions team at WBGU Radio, is in charge of organizing, planning and booking the musical acts that come to the pub on Friday nights.

“I call the bands, negotiate the prices and find the venues,” Merced said. “I love concerts. I started bringing the bands I wanted to see here to campus.”

Merced isn’t alone in planning these events. He works with the WBGU promotions team and the Musician’s Guild (an on-campus organization for musicians) in organizing the musical events for the Black Swamp Pub.

Tyler Jones, the drummer for Mammoths Melting out of the Ice!?!, is looking forward to upcoming performances at the Black Swamp Pub.

“The pub is a laid-back atmosphere,” Jones said. “If we have new material, the pub is a cool place to perform.”

Mammoths Melting out of the Ice!?! performed at the Black Swamp Pub last semester and will perform again Jan. 26.

“More people are getting actively involved,” Merced said. “For the first time this semester, people are approaching me to see if they can help.”

In addition to organizing musical events for the Black Swamp Pub, Merced also organizes concerts for other venues and writes his own music.

Merced wishes to one day work in the music industry.

“Ideally I want to be a musician, but I want to get involved with the business aspect as well,” he said.

To book musicians for the Black Swamp Pub, Merced contacts agents and managers.

“On any band’s Web site, you can find their agent,” he said. “Honestly, bands aren’t as hard to contact as most people think. Once you’ve been promoting for a while, the agents start coming to you.”

From communicating with agents, managers and bands, Merced has gained valuable experience and has made contacts in the music business.

Merced enjoys promoting concerts at the Black Swamp Pub because he genuinely wants to put on a good show for the audience.

He says that he tries to get different styles of musicians to perform in the Black Swamp Pub.

DJ What the Bleep will be performing this evening.

He will be the first of many DJs that will perform this semester.

Merced said he plans to have a DJ spinning in the Black Swamp Pub every other Friday night.

“I’ve learned to be a little more strategic about how I book bands,” Merced said on how he plans to improve from last semester. “I’m learning the value of local bands and the hot market of out-of-town bands.”

Merced indicated that the Friday night concerts might be moving from the Black Swamp Pub to the Falcon’s Nest in the near future.

A bigger audience would be able to see the musicians that way, he said.

As Merced perfects his knowledge of promoting and organizing events, students can enjoy free music every Friday night.