KWUR kicks off annual fundraising event Hustle Week

Elizabeth Phelan | Staff Writer

KWUR, Washington University’s independent radio station, kicked off its annual Hustle Week fundraising event this past Monday, featuring events including a DJ showcase, performances by local bands and an all-night broadcast.

Jack Elliot-Higgins, general manager of the station, described Hustle Week as a KWUR tradition, as well as a crucial part of keeping the station going.

“Hustle Week is to help us with our emergency fund for when things break at the station, and it’s also just to build excitement for KWUR, so we try to get as many new DJs, as well as old DJs, to table and sling merch and have a nice time.”

The merchandise, on sale until Friday, features designs created by different members of the KWUR community. “Anyone can have their design be on the merch,” said KWUR Events Director Avery Johnson. “The designs are from the community, so all the DJs can send in a design and then we all vote on them.”

Certain merchandise items will be sold to benefit local non-profits. “We’re selling beanie hats with all the proceeds going to the Metro Trans Umbrella Group and the MICA Project, which does low-cost immigration law work,” Elliot-Higgins said. “So if you want to buy a beanie, all the money will go to those two great projects, doing good stuff for the local community.”

KWUR’s yearly all-night broadcast takes place on Thursday, where DJs play sets all the way through the wee hours of the morning. “We start at 8 p.m. and we have some live performances and we get pizza and have people in the station until 8 a.m.,” Elliot-Higgins said. “It’s a fun time, we try to do Metal in the Morning around 6 a.m., do a full hour of metal. It’s not good. By 2 or 3 a.m. there are five or 10 people left, but that’s the most fun time. Take turns taking naps, somebody does their show, it’s a really nice time.”

As part of the all-night broadcast, KWUR brings in local musicians to perform on the air. “We usually have two performances by local bands,” Elliot-Higgins said. “They’ll play 25-minute sets that will go out live, that we’ll also record and post on the internet later. And so we’ll usually start those around 9 p.m. so that a lot of people are still there, before they leave to do their work and go to bed. And those go until about 11. And things get gradually quieter and weirder until Metal in the Morning.”

Another event that takes place during Hustle Week is the DJ showcase. “Typically all the KWUR events are all very live-music oriented,” Johnson said. For this event, “the DJs get to show off. People will do 20-minute sets, and it’s really fun. There’s more dancing than any of the other KWUR things.”

Sophomore Maddie Alburtus, KWUR community relations director, said that Hustle Week also builds excitement for some of KWUR’s spring semester events.

“We do it to get people excited for KWUR Week, and it’s a good way to introduce freshmen to KWUR.” Alburtus also added that there was more emphasis placed on involving KWUR alumni in the fundraising process. “We’ve established it so that long-term there will be more of an alumni presence.”

Apart from being a fundraiser, Hustle Week is also a beloved annual tradition, dating back decades. “It’s a fun time,” said Elliot-Higgins. “We’ve done it pretty consistently for decades.”

Merchandise is available for sale until Friday, with tabling at the Danforth University Center and Bear’s Den.

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