Students host “Berning Man” fundraising concert for Sanders 2020 campaign

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Courtesy David Villani

"The Odyssey," a band from Rockville High School, performs at Berning Man.

By Sam Mulford

Whitman’s Young Democratic Socialists of America club hosted “Berning Man,” a fundraising concert for the Bernie Sanders 2020 presidential campaign at Glen Echo Town hall Feb. 28.  

The concert featured bands composed of Whitman students as well as student bands from across the county. Over 150 people attended the event, and the YDSA raised over $2,000 for the Sanders campaign. 

Senior David Villani, president of Whitman’s YDSA, founded the club at the beginning of his junior year. The club, which meets once a week, works to promote democratic socialism from/through the perspective of students. 

This year, Whitman’s YDSA voted as a club to support Sanders’ presidential campaign. In order to help raise money for Sanders, Villani came up with the idea of hosting a concert-styled fundraiser. 

“I considered the strengths the Whitman student body has, and so taking a little bit of inspiration from coffee house, I thought this would be a good way to raise money,” Villani said. 

To publicize the event, club members made posters and advertised the event through Instagram; members also reached out to bands from outside of Whitman. 

Bobby Fellman, a junior at Rockville High School, first heard about Berning Man after a friend from Whitman contacted him and asked if he’d be interested in performing. Fellman and his band, The Odyssey, composed of other Rockville students described the energy at Berning Man as “insane.”

“It was probably one of our best shows,” Fellman said. “It’s hard to find a crowd that excited. It was awesome to be able to share our music and also just hear other local bands.”

Aside from being a fundraiser, Berning Man was also an event where students could go to enjoy music and have a good time, said senior Arielle Klein, who performed with Whitman band Sugar High.

“We have so much musical talent here and so many people who like getting involved in Whitman music,” Klein said. “You barely have to ask people to come to a music event like this — they just want to come.”  

David Villani is a metro editor for The Black & White.