As Hokies, we all know how important Relay For Life is at Virginia Tech. It’s huge — in fact, it’s the largest Relay For Life event in the world, as of 2018. If that isn’t lively enough, there’s a medley of music and performances by artists and groups all focused on raising money for cancer.
Headlining the event will be Chelsea Cutler, a Connecticut native in her prime who has been making music since her early teenage years, and made the Billboard viral chart when she was still in college. She has been featured by many musicians, and is currently promoting her latest album, “Sleeping with Roses” while having recently completed a world tour. She will also be performing at Lollapalooza this year.
Next up is The 5:55, a DC area rock band with a variety of songs sure to liven up the night. They are currently growing a larger fan base as they perform at venues across the East Coast. Interestingly enough, the band formed right here in the New River Valley during the members’ college years, and is composed of former Radford and Virginia Tech students.
Another band that is based out of Blacksburg is The Jared Stout Band, also performing during Relay. They are local to Blacksburg and perform at venues downtown such as Sycamore Deli and Poor Billy’s. As they are gaining a growing fanbase for their acoustic blues sound, they recently branched out and performed at the Tally Ho Theater in Leesburg, Virginia, alongside country music legend Phil Vassar.
Changing the pace up a little bit is Fordson Labs, a hip-hop collective based in Richmond. They have a growing following, most notably known for their song “Roots.” Despite being a hip hop group, they have a more organic sound to their music, blending contemporary jazz and traditional sounds with modern electronic beats for a more lo-fi effect.
Performing next is Drifter, a new rock band that actually performed at the 2016 Relay For Life, under a different name, Point of Origin. They have a very original sound, rooted in classic rock and folk, for a new wave rock feel. They are also currently working on producing their first album.
Also performing is Cole Massey, a singer-songwriter who is from Blacksburg and performs regularly in the area. He is a Virginia Tech graduate as well and released his own album, “The Foundation,” last year. With his alternative acoustic, piano riffs and inspirational lyrics, he should be very stimulating to the crowd as his music is full of heart.
Relay For Life will also host several other performances, such as the Flowmigos and the Low Techs, both dance groups at Virginia Tech. Two DJs, including DJ Youssef and DJ Flex, will also perform throughout the night. A Virginia Tech a capella group, Technotes, will also be singing for the crowd.
In addition to these performances, the Mr. Relay contest will also take place during the night, where contestants will compete in a beauty pageant-type event to raise even more money donated by on-site donors. There will also be a silent disco event, where the audience wears headphones that are all synced to a DJ’s setlist. Finally, there is going to be Zumba and an SAA spirit rally that is sure to get everyone in the spirit of Relay.
Thanks to the Virginia Tech Union and the sheer size of our Relay For Life, this event is going to be a blast. With great musicians, performance groups and thousands of people gathered together, Relay For Life will be an amazing night. If you are still interested in participating in Relay For Life, you can find information about the event through the website and Facebook.