Federal Frenzy is back!

By Jordan Record

Federal Frenzy, the popular music and arts festival that  takes place in Downtown Youngstown, returned  to Federal Street for the first time since 2019! This  event took place April 23, 2022, and was a big hit  among YSU students and the Youngstown community.  After a long three years, the streets of Downtown were  filled with people, activities, food, beer and music!  

“The event was very well put together. There was truly  something for everyone,” said YSU 2020 graduate and  Pen Pro alum Morgan McGowan. “This event helped me  discover some amazing local talent. It was the perfect  way to spend my weekend in the sunshine! I’ll be back  for this ‘can’t miss’ event every year.”

While we all know the event, who are the people behind  it? Penguin Productions (also known as “Pen Pro”) is  a student programming board made up of highly dedicated undergraduates, grad students and faculty; and they are responsible for some of YSU’s most well-known  events. The committee works diligently throughout  the year to bring students events like Fall Fire Fest and Federal Frenzy. This year, Penguin Productions was able to coordinate in-person events for YSU students  and the greater Youngstown community that are entertaining and safe for all. 

In 2020, Penguin Productions was in the midst of  planning for the sixth annual Federal Frenzy when the  world came to a halt. Members were devastated that  the in-person event had to be canceled, but they still  found creative ways to highlight local talent, businesses,  and organizations through “Virtual Frenzy.” This online  event consisted of Instagram Live interviews, Facebook live streams with local bands, and video shoutouts to  vendors and food trucks. 

By 2021, the committee was more prepared and adept  at virtual events, so they took on a different approach to  keep their event alive. With the help of local breweries,  restaurants, bands and other student organizations,  

Penguin Productions produced and released “Frenzy Vision.” This hour-long “TV” special was released  to the public on Facebook and YouTube and continued to show off the talent and businesses within the  Youngstown community.  

This year, Penguin Productions felt that it was finally  possible to host an in-person event for their fans and  took extra precautions to ensure the health and safety of all attendees. Over 7,000 people attended this  year’s event, and everyone can agree that it was great  to be back in the streets of Downtown Youngstown.

With local artists, breweries, food trucks, vendors, and  three outdoor stages, Federal Frenzy celebrated all that Youngstown has to offer.  

The Bouncing Back Stage, sponsored by the Bouncing Back from COVID grant, featured bands from YSU  students, faculty and alumni, as well as well-known  local musicians. Some highlights from this stage included Chanelle Kazadi, Riley Burke, and The Super Babes. 

The Summit Stage, sponsored by the Summit FM, highlighted regional artists like Candace Campana,  The Shootouts, Black Wolf and the Thief, and J.D. Eicher.  

Finally, the Main Stage showcased other popular local  and regional musicians like the YSU Contemporary  Ensemble, Where’s Winona Now?, Fifth and Aurora,  Spirit of the Bear, and The Labra Brothers, who served  as direct support for the National headliner.

HUNNY, the rock band from Newbury Park, California, closed out the night with a high-energy, 60-minute set that left the audience wanting more.  

“I could not have imagined a better show,” said Pen Pro  operations lead Joe Atkinson. “Being given the opportunity to work with a wonderful team of students and  staff to put on an event of this size, and with the history  it has, was a defining moment of my time at YSU.” 

Overall, the return of Federal Frenzy was a massive  success, and the event was enjoyed by all!