A Hopeful Outlook on my First and Last Sun God

Rosabella Debty, Staff Writer

If you guys followed my writing last year, you would know that instead of going to Sun God Festival, I went to a book festival called YallWest. I didn’t know the Sun God lineup, had already planned months in advance for the book festival, and unfortunately, Sun God fell on the exact same weekend. Now I sit here, seeing my graduation date on the horizon, thinking about the only opportunity I now have to experience UC San Diego’s famed music festival.

If you follow anything about Sun God, you probably first connect it to the haters. I think there is valid space for criticism, as we do pay for this festival with our activity fees, but I also feel like there is unnecessary hate towards the students who run it — and the artists who decided to come. While this is my only one, I do worry that in the future, artists won’t want to come because students at UCSD will always find something negative to say. I will admit that last year I was one of those people who said, “Our headliner is a feature artist?” I don’t know if it’s really because it is my last chance at a good Sun God, so I’m trying to be positive — or if it’s because I’ve had character growth of my own (probably the former, let’s be honest), but I did start to get annoyed at all the comments.

Because while you might not know Smino, you need to know him. If I had to recommend a song, “Amphetamine” is amazing — just be warned that it feels like two songs in one, which I think might actually be my favorite part. His flow is incredible and his beats will have you vibrating from the bass. If you like Brent Faiyaz, SZA, or Hotel Ugly, you would like Smino.

And if R&B isn’t really your thing? The Sun God leaks predict COIN: amazing for the person who likes upbeat, alternative tracks. If you haven’t been blessed with hearing “Crash My Car” you need to put it on your playlist now. They remind me a lot of Dominic Fike and Aidan Bisset, and even if you don’t know the lyrics to their songs, you will still be able to scream and jump to them.

I wasn’t too familiar with the other artists they had lined up. My first impressions of Khai Dreams is that I believe they will sound good, but I do personally like a more upbeat artist when at a concert, so I might use their set to rest my feet and chill. Knock2 sounds promising, especially with the support of all of my rave-loving friends. The one I am most curious about is Podcast but Outside, because I don’t know about you, but I don’t know if I want to be standing around in the hot sun listening to a podcast. It will be interesting to see how that plays out.

I mentioned above about the hate comments that rolled in, but I found it funny when they finally announced the headliner how many people changed their tune. I had the honor of seeing Dayglow when Sloan came to San Diego last October, so when ASCE announced that they would be the headliner, my phone started blowing up from all of my friends while I was in the middle of a work shift. I knew there had to be another artist as there is usually five who perform (I won’t lie, I was manifesting Doechii), but I am very excited for Dayglow. If you are a fan of Sloan, you will definitely enjoy them, as well.

I think that the lineup this year is way more diverse than it was last year, which was my main criticism for Sun God 2022. We have lo-fi, R&B, EDM, alternative, and surf rock. While it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, that’s okay; not everyone has to like all the artists. I think we should all recognize, however, that there might have been other artists that A.S. asked for who declined, and also that Sun God has always been known as the festival people play at a little bit before they blow up. It’s unlikely that everyone will have heard of them past a song or two, but after hearing more from each artist, I am confident that my one experience at Sun God will be memorable and fun. So even if you’re not going crazy for Sun God, grab your cowboy hats, sunscreen, and cough drops (because let’s be real, you’ll need them the next day) and have fun!


Photo taken by Kathleen Shiroma of the UCSD Guardian.