By Emily Gitten
When Texas Performing Arts Talent Buyer Will Shirey '15, attended the University of Texas, there were very few outlets for students to relax at the end of the semester.
Shirey will be introducing the Winter Wind Down this season, the first event of its kind for TPA. Celebrating the end of the semester through a self-care lens, the Winter Wind Down is a community concert featuring up-and-coming artists Bedouine and Sun June, and stress relieving exercises and practices.
“Holidays and finals can be a stressful time for students. I hoped planning this event for the end of the semester will fill a space that has room for development on campus. We’re offering students a way to celebrate the end of classes and prepare for finals that’s an alternative to partying or any other stressor,” Shirey said.
The headlining acts of Bedouine and Sun June were specifically chosen to create a comfortable relaxing atmosphere for the event. The two acts are on the rise known for their soft pop sound. Bedouine recently opened for Jose Gonzales and Fleet Foxes, garnering some notoriety in Austin, while Sun June calls Austin home as part of the Keeled Scales label.
“Unlike other parts of the university, our organization has access to venues and theaters that other entities just can’t provide. I’m proud to be bringing world class acts to students,” Shirey said. “These artists are easy to enjoy and they’re still building their following, which is really cool for audiences to witness.”
Beyond the music, Shirey hopes that students will take away some helpful tips and practices for self-care and mindfulness during stressful times.
“The concert is a way to treat students after classes are over, but I also want to implement demonstrations of self-care practices that students can implement throughout finals and beyond in their day-to-day lives,” Shirey said.
“I hope to reach out to students from other parts across campus like TPA has never done before with the Winter Wind Down,” he said. “I want to reach business majors, engineering students—the type of students we aren’t necessarily reaching right now.”
The Winter Wind Down will be on Dec. 10, at McCullough Theatre; the last day of classes for students. Student tickets are $5, but the event will be open to the public for $20 per ticket. Shirey hopes the ticket price will attract students to the Winter Wind Down and future TPA events like it.
“Our ticket prices are going to make the Winter Wind Down an accessible event for students.” Shirey said. “I’d love to see this concept take off and really connect students to more TPA events like it in the future, and I think how we’re approaching it can really start that trend.”