By: Jess Dela Cruz, News Writer
Rumour has it that SFU is boring. Period.
Vice President of student life, Jessica Nguyen, wanted to challenge the negative stereotypes that have been brought upon SFU. Nguyen hoped to achieve this by bringing back Fall Kickoff and expressed, “we wanted to show that SFU can have fun.”
Fall Kickoff was last held in 2017. But this year, SFSS events committee chair Monish Farswani said, “Fall Kickoff 2017 had many incidents that reflected badly on the SFSS and SFU.”
But this year, Farswani and the events committee “wanted to create [a] sense of engagement for first year students and allow them to experience the fun activities the SFSS has throughout the year right within their first month of school.”
This year’s lineup was Snakehips, MadeinTYO, Outr3ach, Manila Grey, Illyminiachi, Eric Reprid, and Fuji Kyle. In collaboration with Timbre Concerts and CRESCENDO1, an events and entertainment company, SFSS “wanted a Rap/EDM vibe that would get students out and bring a festival type atmosphere,” said Andrew Araneta, who was also on the events committee prior to graduation. In previous years, the concert took place in Convocation Mall. However, due to construction, it took place in Strand Hall lot.
Student safety was SFSS’ priority this year. There was heavy security, first aid, and an ambulance on standby. Farswani said, “we wanted to make sure that everyone inside the venue could enjoy their experience and feel like they were in a safe space.”
The rappers and DJ’s had a hard time getting the crowd energetic in the first few hours. This was evident as the lot was fairly empty in the beginning hours and attendees had their own little groups spread out all over — talking to each other whilst the performances were going on. At one point, Illyminichi asked the crowd to come closer to the stage and said, “I need more energy!” The vibe was low and the transitions from performer to the next were long.
When asked about what they were thinking of Fall Kickoff so far, student Amin Sharifi said, “lame, lame, and lame.” Ahmed, another attendee who preferred not to give his last name, commented, “I’m ready to bust out all the moves. . . [but] people are not dancing as much as I expected.” Things quickly turned around, however, as more students came and the sun started to set.
As Manila Grey, Outr3ach, MadeinTYO, and Snakehips performed, the crowd became larger and larger; there were always groups of people trying to snake their way through the front. At this point, it was so crowded that the only move that one’s own body could physically do was just stand and pump their fists in the air.
“The best part was when everyone was singing loud, dancing, and just getting lost in the music,” said Medy Sin.
Multiple mosh pits happened throughout the night consisting of a lot of pushing, falling down, and getting up to do it all over again. The crowd made an effort to sing, dance, and record this moment with their friends and lovers. The timing of the lighting, which was flashing in tune with the music, and the loud bass that one could feel in ones chest, gave the latter part of the evening a feeling of intensity.
Ending right at nine o’clock with Snakehips’ All My Friends (ft. Tinashe and Chance the Rapper), those with after party tickets headed to The Study for drinks and more dancing to a DJ hired by the SFSS.
Following the event’s conclusion, students had many opinions. One student, Pooria Arab, expressed her gratitude for the event in “providing [her] mind, [her] body, and [her] hips with a break.” Arab stated, however, that “if [Kickoff] had started later, like around six and ended at midnight, then it would have been a whole other experience.”
Some students like Bradeon Van Gorkom, however, decided not to attend Fall Kickoff. His decision was because of the ticket price. He said, “I didn’t want to spend money on an event that I would stay up all night for and possibly get sick. . . Fall Kickoff seemed fun and I would have gone for a little while if it was free.”
Another student, Shana Edalat suggested to include more food trucks, designated areas to sit, and the performers’ merchandise to purchase for next Kickoff. However, she was overall satisfied with the event.
“I expected it to be a concert or rave-like event and was not disappointed.”