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Kansas State Collegian

Kansas State Collegian

The independent student news publication at Kansas State University

Kansas State Collegian

Bars, Beer and Bands: Frog Wizard Festival celebrates beer with live music

The first annual festival provides entertainment and production experience for students
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On April 20, Midwestern bands will perform downtown to celebrate the renewal of Manhattan Brewing Company and Switch Wicked’s iconic purple sour ale: the Frog Wizard.

The Velveteers will headline the event on the outdoor stage, following performances from Social Cinema, Horse Bitch and MellowPhobia. The indoor acoustic stage will feature two local Manhattan artists, Jefferson Pfannenstiel and Matt Wade, and Rich Yarges from Minneapolis.

On April 20, 2023, Manhattan Brewing Company released Frog Wizard Sour Ale in collaboration with Switch Wicked. This year, Manhattan Brewing Company and Switch Wicked turned the celebration into a festival, taking place on April 20. (Photo Courtesy of Blane Worley)

“It’s something for the college student demographic to enjoy downtown,” Dane Meloan, co-owner of Switch Wicked and director of Frog Wizard Festival, said. “I expect there to be 200-300 people. It’s super exciting to see just how popular the event has gotten. Last year, the bar was at capacity all night long.”

Meloan said after last year’s success with the Frog Wizard release event, MBC and Switch Wicked decided to turn the Frog Wizard Festival, presented by El Bandido Yankee Tequila and Kolde Concrete Construction, into an experience rather than just a show.

This year, TheraPie will sell mini pies, including its Chicken Pot Pie, Blueberry and Flakey Brookie pies, and KSDB-FM 91.9, which has promoted the festival and tabling events to K-State students, will emcee the event.

Dawson Wagner, graduate student in mass communications and assistant chief operator for Wildcat 91.9, helped hand out free festival tickets to students on behalf of the radio station.

“We got 50 exclusive tickets that were free to hand out to students,” Wagner said. “It’s $10 beforehand that people can purchase them for, or $15 at the door, but we have 50 exclusive tickets that we handed out almost all of them. But we reserved a few for … the Manhappenin’ Magazine release party at Yard Bar.”

Wagner said Switch Wicked reached out to Wildcat 91.9 to help promote the festival, an opportunity that gives students valuable experience.

“A lot of students were able to learn, you know, techniques of how to put together a promo and how to edit and put it out on the air; how to, you know, table and talk to people about an event and really go through the methods of, you know, curating and bringing attention to something like this,” Wagner said. “We are the main radio station attached to the event, helping welcome the bands. … We’ll be interviewing them on the day of and providing an inside look through some of the audio interviews.”

Wagner said he looks forward to the festival and is thankful for the experience it provides students.

“It’s a cool opportunity to provide for students to be able to kind of learn and figure out how to put on a festival and how to help promote it,” Wagner said. “I’m most excited about the ability to bring people together around not only local bands but also artists who haven’t been highlighted as much in the past. But I’m mainly just excited about the atmosphere that Manhattan Brewing Company is going to provide.”

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About the Contributor
Kaitlynn Faber
Kaitlynn Faber, arts & culture editor
A&C editor for spring 2024. Previously asst. A&C editor for fall 2023 and writer for 2022-23.
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