Once the sun took a seat on the freeway watching through The Barn’s dining hall, the show once again began. Tonight, November 3rd, the stage was set for Milpa, Aztlan Radio, and the main performer, Miriah Avila. What was once a recently renovated yet shallow venue due to closures brought upon the pandemic, now helms live music Thursday nights which spark again the spirit of community that was present as such when Lorenzo “Laurel” Aitken performed back in 1998. 

Milpa, a group with Afro-Indigenous rhythms and lyrics of healing and liberation, started off the night with cumbias that would instantly get crowds on their feet to the dancefloor. During their set, Milpas played their “Arte de Resistencia” songs “La Rana,” “Levantate,” “Doña Maria” and others that included Milpas member Cristal dancing on stage and with the crowds wearing Mascaras de Cartoneria that would correspond to the song being played by the group. The pace of cumbias and artful songs by Milpas, the guests found themselves enjoying the company of each other, celebrating among one another, and dining to the fruits of UCR at The Barn. At the end of their set the group joined the crowds who took the chance to refill their drinks and order more food while host and guest DJ Angel Baby from Aztlan Radio KUCR 88.3 FM warmed up the crowd with songs from Los Sueños, Thee Sacred Souls, Joey Quinones, and more.

As the night chilled and the sky darkened more guests began to take seats at The Barn. Finally Miriah Avila appeared on stage with everyone in the crowd cheering as the musicians took their place. She started with “Agree to Disagree,” a clear crowd favorite as most begin to sing along, and continued on the night with a combination of original songs, her rendition of Barbara Mason’s “You Never Loved me at All,” and songs composed by Joey Quinones, who performed at The Barn earlier this year for Cinco de Mayo celebration. Miriah Avila’s charm would pour out of the stage as she got down and sang next to her guests. The night would go on to be magical and the crowd ranging from all ages would get the chance for photos and autographs as well as purchase merchandise to close the evening at the barn. 

With the series of Thursday evenings with live music at The Barn, Moses Preciado-Senior Manager of Dining Services-looks optimistic to the future despite the closures The Barn has had to endure.

“With the recent renovations and closures at The Barn, there are a host of UCR community members that are learning about our offerings for the first time. With free shows this Fall we hope to attract students, faculty, and staff to learn more about our food, drink, and entertainment offerings. We look forward to providing memorable experiences for our students and campus community,” Preciado said. 

“All shows this Fall will be free for everyone. We are exploring the possibility of including paid shows alongside free shows in the Winter and Spring. At the conclusion of our Fall concert series, we will be sharing a survey on our social media profiles to gather feedback about the performances thus far, and collect information on what artist and genres people want to see perform next at The Barn.”

The Barn is open to the campus community and the public Monday to Friday from 11 A.M.-8 P.M. Guests can enjoy great food, local craft beer, and live music throughout the year. Follow their Instagram account @thebarnucr to keep up with their latest events and announcements.