Sun God Festival Celebrates 30 Years

    Planning for the annual event is a yearlong process. According to an email from Associate Vice President of Concerts and Events Oliver Zhang, ASCE started the booking process during Fall Quarter.

    “We literally inquire about several hundred artists, paying particular attention to those that are recommended by our students through a variety of methods,” Zhang said. “The booking process is very complex and artists may or may not work out because of numerous reasons, even though they may initially seem to be available or in our price range.”

    Zhang said he is proud of the team’s final product and believes strongly in the quality of live performances with the lineup for this year.

    “I truly stand by the claim that each act is going to absolutely blow your mind with their live performances and I really believe that this is one of the most diverse festival lineups we’ve had in the festival’s 30-year history,” Zhang said. 

    Sun God guest tickets sold out on Tuesday, May 15. For the first time in the event’s history, guest tickets were available for purchase online starting April 23. This year, the 3,000 guest tickets were available for $60 each, up from last year’s 3,000 tickets that sold at $50 each. Last year, guest tickets sold out in three days.

    Of the 20,0000 available tickets — the maximum capacity of RIMAC field — 17,000 tickets are reserved for students. Student wristbands will be available at Marshall Field starting today from noon to 7 p.m. and Friday at 10 a.m. In 2011, student tickets sold out in six hours after going on sale.   

    “Given the popularity of the festival in recent years, we expect that we’ll be able to distribute every festival wristband this year and for RIMAC Field to reach capacity,” Zhang said. 

    The open dance area, which replaced the dance tent in 2011, will return this year to play host to electronic music acts like Tokimonsta and Tommy Trash. According to Zhang, the dance stage will be modified from last year’s set-up to accommodate for the surge in popularity of electronic dance music. 

    “We got rid of the Dance Tent in 2011 because the popularity of electronic dance music exceeded the capacity of the dance tent structure that we had previously at the festival,” Zhang said. “Not going to lie, it’s going to look really cool this year.”

    The inflatable obstacle course and wrecking ball will serve as additional attractions for students. ASCE will also create an interactive art wall piece on RIMAC field and bring performance acts to the Midway Tent.

    “In our efforts to improve the [Sun God] festival look and feel this year, we’re bringing more performance-based acts to the festival such as Cirque Berzerk and the Burning Man-esque Billion Jelly Bloom,” Zhang said. 

    A.S. Council is collaborating with ASCE to raise grants to support music programs at local public schools. Students can contribute to the new “Sun God For a Cause” campaign through purchase of a special tank top, raffle entry or donations at the festival and its related events throughout the week. 

    As part of Sun God Week, University Centers presented a free concert at Price Center Plaza on Monday featuring San Diego indie-rock band Delta Spirit. KSDT hosted its first show at the Loft featuring Craft Spells Wednesday night as part of the weeklong celebration. Sun God Week concludes with Thursday’s fifth annual Up & Coming Student Film Fest that showcases student films selected by a panel of industry professionals. 

    According to University Centers Campus Events Manager Alex Kushner in an email, ASCE is working with Student Health Services on the “Don’t Miss the Music” campaign, which encourages students to make safe choices during the festival.

    “The health and safety of our students is our highest priority in planning this event and we make great efforts to ensure that this is reflected not only in the way produce the event but in the messaging and information and informational campaigns surrounding the Sun God Festival,” Kushner said.

    Zhang said ASCE works closely with its partners to ensure health and safety precautionary measures are taken. According to Zhang, this year’s festival will have similar numbers of security as the 2011 festival.  

    University police spokesperson Jeff Gattas could not be reached for comment as of press time.

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