Ever moshed with a bowl of cereal? Now You Can!

Nick Stovall is a businessman that works alongside Sophia Morekis, who is the founder of the Cereal Bash music festival. Photo by Sylvester Silver III | The Signal

Hearing the words, “enjoy your movie,” is almost redundant with the image of a half-torn ticket nestled between an individual’s palm and an oversized tub of buttered popcorn.

For something so ingrained within the history of consumerism, it is not every day that one would make an analogy of the classic combination “movies and popcorn” to something new. But one student envisions a different grouping just as distinguishable in the future: music and cereal.

Sophia Morekis is a senior at Georgia State majoring in media entrepreneurship and is now making that dream a reality. Morekis operates Cereal Events, a collective that creates music festivals showcasing local Atlanta artists while incorporating the culture of cereal. 

Initially, this business venture was merely an idea sparked from a class project with, Jude Baquet, her  business partner. But on Oct. 19, Cereal Events hosted CrunchFest, an all-day event with music that Morekis considers “crunchy,” including punk, trap and metal at The Bakery Atlanta.

This shift from idea to reality did not happen overnight. Joined by a second business partner, Nick Stovall, from another one of Morekis’ classes, the team encountered trial and error.

First, the group had an idea for a music festival weekend with two fests occurring simultaneously, “CrunchFest” and “SogFest,” based on the idea that people have strong opinions about both cereal and music. The fest would have attendees choose their alignment, creating a rivalry.

“Jude hates crunchy music and loves soggy music,” Morekis said, herself a “crunchy” lover. But as the idea seemed too ambitious, they later decided to focus on one music festival at a time.

Hoping to gain more experience before managing their first festival last October, Cereal Events curated four smaller shows that were “essentially house parties,” entitled “Cereal Bashes.” The first Cereal Bash was a hodgepodge of different genres, the team happy to get any artist they could at the time. Not planning accordingly for the dark of night, Stovall had to make a last-minute trip to buy floor lamps so that the bands could see when trying to set up. 

“I like failure,” Morekis said. “I have a pretty good relationship with [it].”

Since the first Cereal Bash, the team became more professional and streamlined, their proceeding bashes with specific themes, including psychedelic music, hip-hop and rock. Cereal Events sold cereal at the bashes, asking each performer to select a cereal they thought went well with their music. For example, one rapper was about to drop his album entitled “Sour Mix,” so Cereal Events sold Sour Patch Kids Cereal. 

Morekis had always been fascinated by the culture of cereal, captivated by the “weird” branding, a universe of cartoon mascots that seemed “unnecessary for something that’s just food.” She was also drawn to the breakfast’s use of buzzwords, leading to Cereal Event’s slogan, one of the first slogans for a Kellogg’s cereal, “enrich the blood.” The sentiment inspired Cereal Events’s logo, a fork dripping blood, which Morekis, Baquet and Stovall all have stick and poke tattoos of. The trio is “in it for life.”

“I don’t know if I would have done this by myself,” Morekis said. “That’s continuously been the best part of this experience … talking to people that are excited about it and having that support. That’s made it easier to keep going, and it’s been so motivating.”

Morekis also plans to create a podcast to talk to those who performed at CrunchFest while eating cereal and discussing the Atlanta music scene. She noted that although the podcast would not be a source of revenue, it would be another way to develop the community within the scene. 

Cereal Events plans on keeping ticket pricing for festivals at a minimum, not wanting to go much higher than the pricing for CrunchFest at $15 and remaining local. 

“I’d rather support a band that needs the gig who I believe in, rather than someone I know will pull a crowd,” Morekis said. “I want people who are actively looking for a community to be a part of. I’ve always been down for helping the underdogs.” 

Likewise, Morekis feels similarly about the crowd itself. 

“[The 150 people who attended CrunchFest] were all really engaged, and that means so much more to me than 500 people who aren’t moshing,” Morekis said. “I’d rather keep that energy than run the risk of maybe growing a little bit more but attaining passive people who won’t be hyped or support it.”

Morekis produced T-shirts for all of the bashes as well as CrunchFest by screen-printing them by hand, lacking the proper tools or skills and pulling all-nighters to complete the tasks.

Now with CrunchFest under its belt, Cereal Events will be focusing on planning SogFest, which will occur during this upcoming spring or summer. Along with continuing CrunchFest, SogFest and smaller intermittent shows, future plans for Cereal Events also involve creating promotion packages for independent musicians. 

“I have a lot of dreams,” Morekis said

Morekis has ideas to create personalized cereal for artists that could possibly be sold in stores around Atlanta with toys or concert tickets inside the boxes. The musicians would also be their own mascots fit with animated promotional videos. 

“There is a fine line of promoting yourself and seeming insincere,” Morekis said. “[Cereal Events] wants [artists] to feel comfortable being themselves without prescribing to a specific formula.”

Morekis also mentioned the possibility of selling Cereal Events’s business model to those in other cities wanting to host a cereal themed festival with local bands in the future.

Currently, Cereal Events is seeking individuals to do animations or graphic novels. 

“I’m psyched people want to be a part of it,” Morekis said. “ was looking for something to focus on. It kind of saved my life.”