Carmel Valley native puts on 24 hours of indie music at Stanford on Feb. 12

By Claire Harlin

Since his days in the first graduating class of Canyon Crest Academy, Carmel Valley native Adam Pearson has always been an achiever. But this time, he may have outdone himself — the 21-year-old is spearheading a 24-hour concert at Stanford University featuring 29 bands from all over the country, and he’s doing it voluntarily.

The event, called The Day of Noise, will start at midnight on Feb. 12 and last until midnight on Feb. 13. It is a tradition at Stanford’s student-run radio station, KZSU, where Pearson is the station manager. But the people who had for years put on the music “festival,” which attracts listeners worldwide, had graduated and the event has been dormant for the past five years.

“I heard about it from people who were around back then,” said Pearson, who is working simultaneously on both a master’s and a bachelor’s degree in engineering. “I heard it was a big celebration, but there just needed to be someone to step up and do it, so I did.”

The event is of special interest to Pearson, who has been a deejay at the local station since he was a freshman, because it features bands in his favorite genre: a mix of ambient, free jazz and experimental. Being that his favorite bands are not mainstream, an independent, student-run station like KZSU is the only place for many to listen to that genre.

“I just love what we stand for and what kind of service we offer,” Pearson said. In addition to the music that will be performed in the KZSU studio, there will be radios amplifying the performances, along with projected visuals, set up throughout the campus.

Putting on 24 hours of music almost single-handedly may seem like a lot to handle for a college senior, but Pearson got started early in taking on leadership roles. He was designing roller coasters in middle school and working at SeaWorld in the engineering department at 16. He has also studied in Berlin, done research on California’s high-speed rail project, worked for a solar think tank in Germany and taught his own course at Stanford.

He attributes much of his ability to his interesting and unique high school experience at Canyon Crest, where he was treasurer of the school’s service organization.

For a full line-up and information on Stanford’s Day of Noise, visit To stream the concert online, visit