WinterFest draws 6,000

    An estimated 6,000 students attended this year’s WinterFest which featured musical guests Louis XIV, Talib Kweli and Switchfoot, at RIMAC Arena on March 5.

    David Ung

    “It was a big success, especially with the crowd that came,” WinterFest Co-Coordinator Sean Mandel-Torin said. “It went very smoothly; there were no injuries. It was a mellow show and all the bands were cool.”

    The concert featured a variety of music genres including alternative rock and rap.

    “Our original thinking when planning a show is to make as many people happy on campus and basically just to get what the students want most,” WinterFest Co-Coordinator Rishi Shah said.

    According to Shah, A.S. Programming attempted to contact over 100 bands to find out who was available on March 5, for what price and who wanted to perform at the UCSD.

    “Basically, we contacted every band on the same level as these artists,” Shah said. “It’s so hard to book these bands who will bring a large turnout to show.”

    Local band Louis XIV was added to the musical guest list a few weeks after A.S. Programming announced Switchfoot and Talib Kweli.

    “We always had Louis XIV in mind, but they were added so late because we had lots of options possible that we still had to confirm,” Shah said. “We would get in contact with the managers who would say the band could do it, then find out later that they couldn’t do it for some reason.”

    Louis XIV opened WinterFest, followed by headliners Talib Kweli and Switchfoot.

    “I don’t know much about the other two bands; I’m really going just to see Talib Kweli, who I’m really excited to see perform,” Earl Warren sophomore Naomi Saelee said. “I would have wanted to see Chingy or Fabolous, but I don’t think UCSD would be able to get them.”

    The crowd of students at the arena floor screamed as Kweli performed songs from his new album, The Beautiful Struggle. He ended his set rapping to music from bands such as the Beatles and Al Green.

    Students ran down the stands to the arena floor as Switchfoot prepared to take the stage. A wave of outstretched hands and lighters overtook the crowd as the band opened the act with their single “Dare You to Move.”

    During Switchfoot’s set, the audience members began crowd surfing and formed mosh pits.

    Switchfoot lead singer Jon Foreman attended UCSD and dedicated his performance of “The Loser” to all the people who, like him, have yet to graduate.

    Switchfoot wrapped up the event with a performance of “Chem 6A,” a song about the lower division chemistry class at UCSD.

    “Talib Kweli and Switchfoot kept our heads bopping and our feet jumping to the music the whole night,” Eleanor Roosevelt College freshman Gene Kim said. “I enjoyed Talib Kweli; his lyrics aren’t just hate speech — they have meaning — so it’s not all that odd that he was joined with Switchfoot.”

    Louis XIV lead singer Jason Hill said he was excited about the students’ reaction to their set.

    “Playing for UCSD was great,” he said. “The reaction we were getting from the crowd made it fun.”

    WinterFest drew a larger crowd than organizers had expected.

    “We hope to continue that on a larger scale at Sun God,” Mandel-Torin said.

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