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Alumna Catherine Coffey ’16 per­forms at Womb­stock music fes­tival. Matthew Kendrick | Col­legian

Joan Baez played “We Shall Overcome” as an encore to end the first day of Wood­stock in August 1969. On Sat­urday, Catherine Coffey ’16 gave the song its Hillsdale debut, opening for an event with a similar name but its own dis­tinctive vibe: Womb­stock.

“Hey, Womb­stock, we’re not doing nearly enough drugs for verisimil­itude here,” Coffey said. “We could change that, but let’s not. We’re already on shaky enough ground as it is.”

Womb­stock, Hillsdale’s very own music fes­tival, was named after the off-campus house of its founders, a group of men who have for years called their home the Womb. Fea­turing six hours of music from six local and regional bands, it was the first musical event of its kind in Hillsdale, and its musi­cians, sup­porters, and more than a hundred attendees hope it won’t be its last.

The event was the brain­child of members of the Womb, many of whom are active in bands on campus and back home: junior Nic Rowan and seniors Dean Sin­clair, Mark Naida, and Noah Weinrich. Bands came together from across the Midwest through their various con­nec­tions to Hillsdale. Three per­formers are past or present Hillsdale stu­dents, two bands are from Chicago, and singer Adam Jensen is from the far reaches of Ames, Iowa.

“You don’t usually expect acts at DIY shows like these to be this good,” said Joe Padilla, lead singer of head­lining band August Hotel. “I was really impressed by their talent.”

Prepa­ration for the arrival of an event like Womb­stock is no small feat: Junior Nic Rowan, who lives in the Womb, started a GoFundMe account to reim­burse the bands’ travel expenses, posted pro­mo­tional videos on the event’s Facebook page, and sought per­mission from the city to erect a stage in the Womb’s backyard — and to make a whole lot of noise all afternoon long.

A forward-thinking someone painted a sign, red block letters on white poster­board: WOMBSTOCK 2017. Opti­mistic, it assumes the fes­tival will live to see another year.

The optimism appeared well founded, because the scene couldn’t have turned out sunnier: tem­per­a­tures in the 70s, not a cloud in the sky, wannabe flower children weaving flower crowns in the grass. The audience lounged in blankets on the lawn, slipped off their shoes and wan­dered barefoot in the unkempt yard, and lux­u­riated in sun-warmed couches lugged out­doors.

It was a hipster’s dream of 1969 rein­car­nated and cleaned up to obey Hillsdale’s local ordi­nances. It was Wood­stock on a vintage Snapchat filter.

A healthy sense of irony tem­pered Wombstock’s pic­turesque aura: Mul­tiple members of the Womb attested to the event’s legit­imacy by pointing out the real, honest-to-God port-a-potty. And when student band The Wineboxes per­formed Limp Bizkit’s “Break Stuff,” con­sid­erate Womb­stock planners brought out empty card­board boxes so audience members could break stuff.

The music had a dis­tinctly 2017 flavor — a mix of indie pop, rock, some acoustics — it spoke more to Michigan in the present than New York’s Wood­stock in the ’60s.

“Ember Oceans played a great set, which cap­tured the essence of summer and pre­sented Hillsdale with a per­fectly carefree afternoon under the lofty green Michigan trees and clear blue Mid­western sky,” senior English major Jessica De Gree said.

The music was about more than the passing of summer; it was about the entrance of new acts into Hillsdale’s musical milieu, including an elec­tronic dance music set by freshman Declan Williamson (whose stage name is Declan James).

“When I heard that there was going to be an EDM artist at Womb­stock, I imme­di­ately pic­tured the typical main­stream EDM fes­tival goers — the frat boys in tanks with snap­backs and annoying fist-bump presence,” De Gree said. “I was pleas­antly sur­prised with Declan’s set, because it demon­strated his ability to make happy and summery sounds while at the same time drop some groovy bangers.”

By the end of six hours of music, the audience still wasn’t done: A cheer accom­panied the first bars of the final song, August Hotel’s best-loved single.

“I think the entirety [of the show] was pretty great,” Padilla said, “but ‘Valentine’ would be a high­light. Having the whole audience jump up and down to a song you wrote is pretty cool.”

And with any luck, this year’s head­lining band will have some august company: Womb­stock orga­nizers men­tioned a potential spring fes­tival fea­turing indie band You Won’t.

“Oh, Hillsdale,” said Ryan Lammers, August Hotel’s bassist. “It’s always so good when we play here. We’ve been here, what? Five times now?”

The band played at Broad­street last year, Padilla said, but the atmos­phere here was dif­ferent. Like Baez’s show the opening night of Wood­stock, the crowd wanted more.

And they got it with an encore of Bruce Springsteen’s 1975 ballad “Born to Run:”

“We’re gonna get to that place / Where we really wanna go / And we’ll walk in the sun / But till then tramps like us / Baby we were born to run.”

The classic tune bridged the gap between musical gen­er­a­tions: Wombstock’s attendees weren’t around to “Overcome” with Baez, and they missed the chance to chase Springsteen’s American dream, but Sat­urday, they got the chance to sing along and make some music of their own.