Jeanine RussawStaff Writer
The University began hosting its annual “Fall Festival” more recently than expected. It is no secret that students such as OSLA employee Taylor Cortez think it’s one of the most popular events the university holds. A psychology major, Cortez plans on attending the event and is sure the turnout will be quite large, per usual. Regardless of how consistent the University has been in performance delivery, the question in the minds of students remains: what about this year will be any different? Hofstra Concerts is working closely with University Relations and is responsible for procuring entertainment for the concert section of Fall Fest known as “Vibe Live.” In the past year, this student run group brought artists and bands like Rick Ross, Salt N Peppa, Joan Jet and the Blackhearts, and Taking Back Sunday. This showing was merely a continuation of its start in 2010 where artists such as Trey Songz, Sha Na Na, Blue Oyster Cult, Lisa Lisa, Fountains of Wayne, and Public Enemy graced the outdoor stage built the same day. “Vibe Live” itself is only entering its third year. Trecia Lorelle is the Special Events Manager remembers how the concert series got started. “The tradition began when Jason Mraz performed in a concert called ‘Rock the Debate,’” said Lorelle. This performance was to celebrate the University hosting of the Presidential Debate for the first time in 2008. University Relations decided to have a similar celebration in honor of Hofstra’s 75th Anniversary in 2010 and keep it going in subsequent years. Lorelle feels this year will have the same “celebratory vibe” as the 75th Anniversary Concert, especially since Debate 2012 is two weeks later. This fall, students can expect live performances from rappers Snoop Lion (formerly known as Snoop Dogg) and Big Sean, the classic band “KC and the Sunshine Band”, and current dub-step group “Cobra Starship.” In addition to students getting free admission to see the bands, 60 students, chosen at random, will get to attend a meet and greet session Cobra Starship, Big Sean or Snoop Lion. The execution of the event is something different entirely, but the behind-the-scenes work of “Fall Fest” is more elaborate. Katelyn Birge, a junior business management major, explains the process of Hofstra Concerts and her standpoint as a participant. “Most of the work done is day-of-show,” said Birge. “We are mainly backstage during the making sure the artist has everything from coffee to the setting up of the greenroom. There will be brand reps running around in the audience this year as well.” However, University Relations says there is more to experience at the Fall Festival than just the music. While Sam Snow, the president of Hofstra Concerts, was holding a discussion on potential performers, University Relations made preparations for homecoming in addition to welcoming parents and alumni for Fall Festival Weekend. According to Lorelle, the entire weekend encompasses a parade, preshow, floats, and a carnival adjacent to the concert. She is excited to see the student reaction to the performers and the activities. “That is the beauty of trying to please everybody,” said Lorelle. “We try to please everybody knowing that we can’t. Ultimately, we just try to create the best experience for the students.” True to Lorelle’s words, global studies major Nicole Spencer is an actual fan of KC and the Sunshine Band, but is not attending Fall Fest for religious reasons, as the timing of Fall Fest conflicts with her Sabbath. “By the time I’m ready to go, the main event is over and all that’s left is the fireworks,” Spencer said. However, the general consensus among students is the all-inclusive nature of the event. Mariel Carbone, a junior broadcast journalism major and cheerleader, is looking forward to the hype more than anything else. “Fall Fest is bringing families and all of the students together for some school spirit. Even homecoming is a part of it,” said Carbone.