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Aggieville event draws more than 80 bands for a day and night of music

By Burk Krohe

Aggieville patrons wandered from bar to bar Friday and Saturday nights, but this time they weren’t in search of the next drink or phone number. Instead, they were seeking the next band. In what has become a fall tradition, more than 80 bands took part in the district’s annual Aggiefest.

Sarah Cunnick, co-owner of Sisters of Sound Music, whose store serves as somewhat of a base of operations , said the festival ran smoothly. Cunnick said there were a lot more last minute ticket sales this year and there seemed to be more people coming from Fort Riley.

She added it’s great to see new bands and veterans of the festival make connections and support each other.

Red Velvet Crush, a pop-rock duo consisting of Jillian Riscoe (vocals) and Daniel Mendala (guitarist), played for the third year in a row. Riscoe played the last two years as a solo act, but made a connection with Mendala who joined her as a touring bassist. The Kansas City duo has been playing as Red Velvet Crush for about eight months.

“We were both on the same page musically and everything,” Riscoe said.

Riscoe draws her influence from pop vocalists such as Katy Perry, Taylor Swift and Ellie Goulding, while Mendala likes rock and alternative acts such as Guns N’ Roses. They believe the combination of styles makes the music accessible to most audiences.

They noted they’ve played in various parts of the country with indie rock, country and folk bands and have never had a problem connecting with people. Lately, they’ve been playing shows in the Kansas City area but enjoy the diversity of a festival like Aggiefest.

“Aggiefest has always been really cool because they do a multitude of different bands,” Riscoe said. “There’s something for everybody.”

Riscoe and Mendala said it’s great that so many different venues participate, allowing people to walk around and get a full experience. They credit Sisters of Sound Music and the Manhattan Music Coalition with the atmosphere.

This year, they played at Pat’s Ribbon Barbecue and Mojo’s Beach Bar, but in the past they played at Triangle Park and 1863 (formerly known as The Loft). However, Saturday afternoon, they were unsure how many other bands they would be able to watch.

“The list is so big, there’s so many bands,” Riscoe said. “We’ll be checking people out in between and after our sets.”

Riscoe and Mendala have plans to add more members by 2013 to achieve a fuller sound and are currently searching for the right producers and sound engineers to record new material. But for now, they’re just trying to branch out play more shows in the Midwest. Links to Red Velvet Crush’s music and information about the band can be found at

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