Springfest 2022 to offer live concert experience, feel-good energy

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Springfest 2022 will offer in-person concerts, guest speakers and carnival activities for the first time since 2019. CUP executive board members hope the week of festivities will offer a sense of community and school spirit. Courtesy of CUP.

Katie Mogg, lifestyle editor

Springfest, a week-long series of on-campus events for undergraduate students organized by Northeastern’s Council for University Programs, or CUP, will offer several programs from March 27 to April 2. The springtime tradition is making an in-person comeback for the first time since 2019.

The event series is known for entertaining students with performances, lectures, themed merchandise, free food and fun activities culminating in the Springfest concert held in Matthews Arena.

Emily Kahn, CUP’s Springfest concert chair, said Northeastern has previously welcomed household names like Drake, Snoop Dogg and 2 Chainz. This year’s lineup includes Quinn XCII, Remi Wolf, Peach Tree Rascals and DJ Rilla Force. While these performers aren’t the typical hip-hop artists and rappers that have consistently taken the stage in the past, Kahn strongly encourages students to attend the $15, four-act performance.

“We’re just hoping to switch it up a little and get a different vibe and see how it works. I wanted to create a different feel with the show,” Kahn said. “The acts that we booked are very feel-good … Even if you don’t know them you will have a great time, which was the goal.”

Kahn, a fourth-year business administration major, hasn’t attended Springfest in person since her first year at Northeastern in 2019. She said Springfest made her feel connected to the Northeastern community, and after almost a year of behind-the-scenes planning, she’s excited to make other Huskies feel bonded, too. 

Because she often attends concerts outside of school, Kahn is familiar with the sense of connection live music offers. The event-planning process at CUP has fostered friendships for Kahn, so she’s looking forward to seeing the fruition of their collective efforts at the concert. 

“I definitely hope it, as cheesy as it is, just brings people together again. We haven’t had a big concert like this in a while,” Kahn said. “All my Northeastern friends [will be] at the show bringing people together over live music, and hopefully everyone has a good time.”

Springfest offers more to students beyond live music. Rakiesha Gay, CUP’s Springfest week chair, said Northeastern has seen a wide range of guest lecturers who share unique experiences that interest college students. Rather than hosting discussions focused on academic concepts, Springfest gives students an opportunity to learn from well-known pop culture figures including singers, comedians and YouTubers. 

“I know in past years Springfest [invited] Ali [Brooke] from Fifth Harmony, so she was able to just talk about her experience and what being a part of the group meant to her,” said Gay, a fifth-year psychology major. “We also had Nicole Byer one year, so that was different than academic lectures because she was able to give advice for people who wanted to go into the entertainment industry.”

“Entertainment is such a great thing because it connects people. Music connects people, comedy connects people, and that’s what we do. Those are the events that we put on”

— MaHong Bloom

This year Northeastern will welcome guest speakers that Gay hopes will inspire students as they explain how they overcame obstacles presented by the pandemic.

“The people that are going to be here have been significantly affected by the pandemic, and their careers have been halted by it,” Gay said. “We will be able to see their passions … as well as appreciate them taking the time [to] be here for us.” 

In line with the lighthearted and upbeat environment Kahn hopes to foster with the Springfest concert lineup, Gay said 2022’s Springfest will have a tropical theme. Just one week after the end of spring break, the series of events will give students the chance to feel like they’re on vacation again and prioritize relaxation, socialization and fun.

Alongside choosing the festival’s theme, Gay also coordinated this year’s Springfest carnival. The March 30 event will include traditional carnival foods like fried dough, popcorn and cotton candy, all free of charge. Gay said students will also have the chance to get their caricature drawn and play life-sized games like Connect Four and Jenga. 

“Last year we weren’t able to have the carnival, so what we just did in place of that was just a little [merchandise] giveaway on Centennial,” Gay said. “I’m excited about [this year].”

MaHong Bloom, president of CUP and a third-year combined business administration and communication studies major, explained that Springfest 2020 is collectively referred to by CUP members as “the forgotten Springfest.” Just days before the announcement of the 2020 lineup, students were abruptly sent home from the university as a precaution for COVID-19. Months of CUP’s event planning was instantly for naught.

Now, two years later, Bloom said the club is revitalizing what was lost by giving away for free the 2020 Springfest merchandise at this year’s carnival instead of wasting it. Gay added that they’re putting a “vintage” twist on the years-old merchandise by allowing students to tie-dye them.

Although Springfest offers a long list of tempting events, Bloom acknowledges that it takes place in the latter half of the semester, when student workloads may pile up in preparation for final projects and exams. Bloom encourages students to get ahead of their work so they have the time to enjoy the exciting, worthwhile events CUP puts great effort into coordinating.

“I’m on co-op right now, so sometimes we forget … students are in classes. They have a lot of work to do once classes are over. They’re not just done at 5:30,” Bloom said. “But I hope people are able to attend all the events they want … It’s been a lot of work and [executive board members have] been just absolutely stellar with it.”

Above all, Bloom, Kahn and Gay hope Springfest 2022 will reinvigorate school spirit after two years of diminshed events and help foster connection within the student body through diverse forms of engagement.

“Entertainment is such a great thing because it connects people. Music connects people, comedy connects people, and that’s what we do. Those are the events that we put on,” Bloom said. “We’re just hoping … [to] have people be excited to attend our events and meet new people and make new friends.”

Editor’s note: The story was updated Sunday, March 13 at 4:55 p.m. to correct that CUP will be giving away 2020 merchandise, not selling it.