Springfest’s culminating concert returns to Northeastern


Remi Wolf performs in Matthews Arena April 2 in the Springfest concert in front of a sold-out floor. Photo courtesy of Abby Uy.

Grace Comer, news staff

This year marked the return of in-person Springfest, and along with it, its crowning event — the Springfest concert. After two years without in-person celebrations, the Council for University Programs, or CUP, brought the event back in full force with a concert in Matthews Arena April 2. 

The Springfest concert has long been an affordable way for Northeastern students to see big names in music, from 2 Chainz to Kesha. This year’s line-up featured opener Peach Tree Rascals, followed by co-headliners Quinn XCII and Remi Wolf, with sets from local DJ Rilla Force interspersed between performances. CUP organizers selected the opening and headlining artists based on requests from the students themselves. 

“Each year, we do surveys on Northeastern CUP’s Instagram, and through these surveys, we gather data from Northeastern students about what artist most of the school wants to see as well as what artists are up and coming,” said Brandon Korn, a second-year mathematics and business administration combined major and CUP operations chair. “All our events are catered to the survey data of what the Northeastern population wants to see.”

According to CUP’s Springfest concert chair and fourth-year business administration major, Emily Kahn, the concert organizers decided to include a DJ to keep the energy up between performances. 

“We’ve never had a DJ before … normally it’s just quiet playlists from someone’s phone, and it’s just not the same vibe that you get from a DJ,” Kahn said. 

Some students wished Rilla Force had been more engaged with the audience, like the other performers, to improve on the music between sets. 

“Compared to regular concerts, where you’re just sitting there and there’s just music, it was kind of the same as that,” said Trisha Barua, a first-year business administration major. “Maybe if there was a way to engage the crowd more, it would have been more seamless.”

With posters in many campus buildings, social media promotions and a signed poster and free ticket giveaway leading up to the event, Northeastern students rushed to buy tickets when sales opened. According to Kahn, over 2,000 tickets were sold in the first hour. Kahn also noted that floor tickets, which were standing-room only for the first time, sold out within the first 45 minutes. 

While the open floor was packed with excited students, CUP did not sell out of all available tickets this year. Korn thinks this may have been due to the previous two years’ COVID-19 cancellations. 

“In terms of it being the first Springfest in [two] years, I think that was obviously a struggle. We didn’t sell out instantly, but we still had a big turnout,” he said. 

With space for over 5,000 attendees in Matthews Arena, some students felt the arena was oversized for the crowd. 

“It just felt a little empty for some reason, so maybe [organizers could] consider how the space is going to impact the energy of the room,” Barua said. “Maybe if it was more packed, or if they just sold floor and bowl tickets, then it would have been more of a concert feel.”

Despite crowd size issues, students still enjoyed the concert, as Barua and others noted how well the performers engaged with the audience. 

“I loved Quinn XCII’s crowd. Whatever he was doing with the crowd worked so well. I’ve never seen a crowd interact that much with an artist. It was phenomenal,” Kahn said. “If he said ‘put your hand up,’ everyone put their hands up, like everyone everywhere. It was just such a great feeling, and I could physically see that everyone was having a good time, which made me happy.”

The organizers were thrilled that the hard work they put in leading up to the concert paid off for the attendees. With easing COVID-19 restrictions around the country, many artists are returning to tour and CUP had to begin planning nearly a year ago to secure the artists that students were interested in. 

On the day of the concert, Kahn said over 70 volunteers stepped up to make the whole event run smoothly. 

“We have 48 hours from start to finish. We had people helping setting up the day before, all the way up to helping out with ticketing, helping out with stage crew and helping with getting the dressing rooms ready,” she said. 

Students saw CUP’s efforts reflected in the concert and enjoyed being able to come together in celebration after a long gap in in-person events. 

“It’s really nice seeing the feedback and seeing how many people in the Northeastern community actually enjoyed what we put on,” Korn said. “We as an organization have been spending months preparing for this, so after a 12-hour day of setting up for the concert and setting up the previous day, it’s nice to see that things went smoothly and we could actually make an impact on the Northeastern community as a whole.”