By Derek Devine
Newstock returned to New College of Florida March 2 as 15 musical sets took the stage and entertained a crowd of New College students and community members.
Inspired by the famous Woodstock musical festival, the New College Student Activities and Campus Engagement (SAuCE) office sets out to provide a similar atmosphere on campus for festival attendees. The result? A wonderful opportunity for local artists to create a beautiful display of musical expression and talent.

A performer plays during Newstock March 2 at New College.
A performer plays during Newstock March 2 at New College.

For many students, Newstock is a favorite campus event. They spread out on blankets, picnic tables and hammocks to take in the full day of performances. First-year student Akiva Packouz and second-year student Michelle Voight love sitting in the grass with friends and listening to the sweet music as the night plays on. Second-year student Emily Garcia makes sure the calendar is clear when Newstock comes back around.
“We come every year because it is one of my favorite New College events,” says Garcia. “This year, the acts have been awesome!”
Garcia was one of many students excited to see Myles Optimystic cap off the night. The fourth-year student has performed at every Newstock since their first year on campus and took full advantage of the spotlight again this year.
“I would describe my music style as psychedelic rock meets rap,” saidMyles Optimystic. “Some of my biggest influences are the Flaming Lips, Frank Ocean, old Eminem and Nas.”
Beyond enjoying the musical acts, the crowd also had the opportunity to explore student vendor tables, play yard games such as cornhole and an oversized wood stacking gamer similar to Jenga, and eat food provided by the SAuCE team. The event pulls students from other institutions in the greater Sarasota/Bradenton area as well.
“My boyfriend and I came to see students perform,” says second-year student Kendall Southworth. “It is cool to see everyone hanging out on their tapestries and dancing — it feels like you are a part of a family.”
For more upcoming campus events explore
— Intern Daisy Talbert contributed to this story.
— Derek Devine is social media manager at New College of Florida. 

Founded in Sarasota in 1960, New College of Florida is a top-ranked public liberal arts college and the state’s Honors College of Florida. New College prepares intellectually curious students for lives of great achievement by providing a highly individualized education that integrates academic rigor with career-building experiences. New College offers 45 undergraduate majors in arts, humanities and sciences, a master’s degree program in applied data science, and certificates in technology, finance, and business skills.

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