Burgstock shines a light on up and coming talent

Performers and attendees reflect on experiences


Brevin Ross

Cigman Fraud frontman Andrew Parker takes the Burgstock stage.

Katherine Camarata, Lead Editor

Dozens of parked cars lined N. Alder Street as the electric sound of local bands and the illumination of rainbow stage lights permeated the night air on Oct. 1 during a free community event titled Burgstock.

The event included a culmination of several blossoming music acts and music department students who came together to create an immersive experience for the town.

Acts included the following groups: Melancholyrx, Plantfood, House of Ash, Tinted Red, Fluke Brothers and Cigman Fraud.

Event planning was spearheaded by Ellensburg High School (EHS) and running start students Corgan Smith and Elian Calderon who make up the group Fluke Brothers, a rock duo. The pair said having live music in the park was their focus.

“We just wanted to invite tons of people, especially with college coming into town,” Calderon said. “We wanted to get some exposure.”

According to Smith, the sense of community that was built through the event was a highlight.

“We enjoyed getting to know all the bands,” Smith said.

While Fluke Brothers are only brothers in concept, Plantfood is a local duo made up of Gus and Milo Crane, two brothers and EHS students who had an experimental, improvisational approach to their set.

“It was fun to really let loose, especially because we couldn’t see the audience,” Gus said. “I didn’t feel as much pressure.”

Milo said their performance was an emotional release that allowed them to express their feelings.

“The connection with the audience was almost stronger, because people were just moving and vibing,” Milo said. “I could see glow sticks going on and I thought that was really exhilarating.”

According to Andrew Parker, Cigman Fraud frontman and senior in the Theatre Department, this was the most intimacy he had ever felt with an audience. He said a lot of behind-the-scenes preparation went into it that the audience wasn’t able to see.

“People don’t understand the amount of coordination that goes into this,” Parker said. “We reached out to Chris Edgars and Soren Lundquist from the Theatre Department. Without those two, Burgstock would have never happened.”

Edgars is a music student at CWU and served as the stage manager, while Lundquist was the sound tech and board operator for the show. 

Parker said seeing all the local artists perform and “pour their heart and soul out into music in front of a live audience” was inspiring. 

Wyatt Martin, rhythm guitarist of Cigman Fraud and CWU alumni, said the music scene in Ellensburg can be limited which is why events like this are necessary. 

“In Ellensburg, there’s not a lot of places to play,” Martin said. “Old Skool’s [record store] is the place to play, so as much as we can expand on that, the better.”

Parker mentioned stories he heard of the Ellensburg music scene 15-20 years ago and how local bands like The Screaming Trees helped pioneer a worldwide grunge movement with a legacy that still lives on.

“The Screaming Trees, easily one of the top ten grunge bands of all time … They came from Ellensburg, they came from this town, so why can’t we do the same?” Parker said. 

Shaun Howard, Cigman Fraud guitarist and psychology student, said he hopes concerts like Burgstock encourage other people in Ellensburg to express themselves through music.

“We want to turn people into Cigman Frauds,” Howard said. 

Del Pollock, an Ellensburg local and EHS grad, said they were excited about the turn-out as people scattered across the expanse of grass in front of the covered area in Alder St. Park. They said they hope this event becomes an annual occasion. 

“I’m really proud of all these newer musicians and bands banding together and creating a community,” Pollock said. “It’s nice to see a bunch of friendly and familiar faces.”

Pollock said she is an aspiring musician and enjoys watching other bands play.

“I’m kind of shy and I want to start my own band at some point, so it’s kind of nice to watch it and see it,” Pollock said.

According to Martin, the combination of each individual Ellensburg voice at the event created a wave of voices.

“A big crowd of a lot of voices with a lot of music going on is something that we’re down for,” Martin said. “That’s what Burgstock is about.”