Grace Lerner, For The Miami Student

Miami students set up for Red Brick Rally 2009. The event brings in bands and closes down High Street for seniors to enjoy their last night in Oxford before graduating. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

Red Brick Rally, formerly called Red Brick Rasta, is an annual celebration held the night before graduation in May.

This year, the rally’s 11th, is to be held Friday, May 7.

The concert, which cordons off the block of High Street between Main and Poplar streets, starts at 7 p.m. and lasts until 2 a.m. This is the first year in which the event is being fully sponsored by the Campus Activities Council.

Sophomore Emily Nussbaum, chair of Red Brick Rally, said three bands will be performing for seniors this year — The Forties, The Maplestar Classic and The Ark Band.

The concert, which in the past has had a laid-back reggae feel, is expanding to three bands this year.

The Ark Band is a reggae band from Columbus that has been performing at Red Brick Rally for the past 10 years.

All three bands are Ohio-based and The Maplestar Classic is a band of Miami alumni.

“Shirts and beads will be handed out to seniors and anyone else who comes,” Nussbaum said.

Nussbaum said that while the event is aimed at seniors, anyone still in town is welcome and encouraged to attend.

Many current students and alumni view Red Brick Rally as a great way to celebrate their last night in Oxford.

“(It’s a) late night thing after finals and to be a last night out on the town,” Nussbaum said. “It’s the last celebration.”

Senior Abby Wyatt has attended past Red Brick Rallies, but is more excited for this year’s event.

“It’s the last one,” Wyatt said. “We’ll all be there and it will be more fun because we’ll all go together.”

Wyatt described the atmosphere of the event as unique.

“(Red Brick Rally is) a lot of fun … there were people everywhere but it still wasn’t too crowded,” Wyatt said.

Wyatt said people were floating in and out of the bars to go dancing in the street when she went to the event.

This year the stage will be in a new place.

“(The stage will be) parallel to the road and music will play towards campus,” Nussbaum said.

Wyatt said the event will be a little bittersweet though.

“This is my last everything,” Wyatt said. “It’s sad to think about because (Red Brick Rally) will be the last hurrah before we all graduate the next day.”

Miami alumnus Daniel Birnbaum calls the night “epic.”

“(It was) probably one of my best nights ever,” Birnbaum said. “It’s all people you know because the younger students have left … and it’s the last night of college and everyone treats it like the last night.”