Tigerfest 2015: Festival on four stages

Tigerfest Day One

By: Annie Sragner, Associate Arts and Life Editor

Photo illustration by Patrick Burke and Abby Murphy, photos by Patrick Burke and Sarah Hugel, graphic by Erlon Brasil/ The Towerlight
Photo illustration by Patrick Burke and Abby Murphy, photos by Patrick Burke and Sarah Hugel, graphic by Erlon Brasil/ The Towerlight

In the past, Tigerfest was concentrated into a one-day event with a large concert at the center. The last two years have taken the Tigerfest experience and stretched it into a weekend-long celebration to create more of a festival feel.

“We had multiple stages, just like a real music festival, and inflatables and food all over the union,” Campus Activities Board (CAB) Director Emily Walsh said. “There were students constantly heading in and out, walking around, seeing what was up and having a great time.”

Day one kicked off the weekend on Friday, April 24 with numerous activities, live performances, food, games and more, all free for those in attendance.

“I think Tigerfest brings a sense of community to Towson because this is the time where everyone gets together. It’s fun and it is a way to bond,” junior early childhood education major Meghan Schiller said.

The University Union was packed with activities and offered students the opportunity to visit two different stages, one in Paws and another on Potomac Patio, both of which featured live music.

Maryland-native cover band Under the Covers brought some familiar pop tunes to Paws for listeners to jam to and to hopefully provide students with fond memories to look back on.

“If you’re in college, you are making your own new experiences and that is priceless,” lead singer Brian Bourne said. “If you’re out of college and you come back for this, it really reminds you of your experience and this is such a great place to be in the spring, thinking about the college days with young people who are living it.”

The Paws stage also featured performances by Dale Z and the ZDubs, Dunson, Have Mercy and RDGLDGRN.

During Have Mercy’s set a small mosh pit began to form in front of the stage.

Corrine Kneis, and junior and clinical psychology major, said that the band’s sound reminded her of what she listened to when she was in high school.

“It was kind of like pop-punk,” she said. “I really liked his voice, it was raspy.”

As students moved out of Paws they were lured upstairs by snow cone stands and a table where students could bedazzle themselves with body art. Inside of the main entrance commemorative Tigerfest t-shirts were available for sale. Just past that, students munched on hamburgers and hot dogs in the Loch Raven room.

In the Susquehanna Terrace, students played water gun games and took turns riding the wild mechanical shark.

Freshman elementary education major Carolyn Haynes gave into the peer pressure of her friends and took her first ever ride on the shark. “It’s harder than it looks, and I cheated, I held onto its butt,” Haynes said.

Across the Union in Potomac, the room buzzed with students enjoying cotton candy, taking photos with friends, playing old-school Pac-Man games, shooting hoops and vying for raffle prizes. Students even got to take part in some human bowling where one fearless individual would get into the giant red spherical cage and friends could roll them down a lane toward giant pins.

On the Potomac Patio just outside a stage was set up to feature those student artists who won the Battle of the Bands contest in February.

DJ Matt G. Holden began the show just as the sun was beginning to warm up the patio. Hunter Hooligan took the stage next to play a few of his original songs like “Be Young” and “Tonight” as well as a cover of “Drunk in Love” by Beyoncé.

“I am really thankful for any opportunity to play, and it is always good to meet some new people, and when family and friends come out it is really nice,” Hunter Hooligan said.

The rap group HNE was next to take the stage and brought out a large and excited crowd. HNE members ran through the crowd to interact with them and hype them up.

“We want to give the experience that we would want to have at a show,” member of HNE, Eman the Heartbreak, said. “Because we have been to some great concerts before and it was a certain feel that the artist gave us so, us being artists, now we are trying to give that back to the fans.”

After their set, Baltimore rock group 3PM closed out the show with both original pieces and covers like Taylor Swift’s “22.”

The massive festival event featured outdoor venders as well on the path between the Union and Burdick Hall. According to Walsh, a total of 35 to 50 CAB volunteer staff members were stationed throughout the festival to help things go as planned.

“Honestly, it wouldn’t have been possible without them,” Walsh said. “I am so grateful for their support and time, and they are the reason day one was the amazing success that it was.”


Tigerfest Day Two

By: Carley Milligan, Arts and Life Editor

It wasn’t long after Krewella was announced as the Tigerfest 2015 headlining artist that senior and electronic media and film major Olivia Joseph heard from her friend in Minnesota, Anna Ballman.

“I flipped out when I saw that they were going to play here,” Ballman, who used to attend Towson through the National Student Exchange program, said.

Ballman, who continued to follow the Towson Campus Activities Board (CAB) Facebook page after leaving Towson, immediately contacted Joseph and the two set out to purchase tickets. Joseph waited in line for two hours the day she purchased her ticket, and was able to get the few floor tickets still available.

On Saturday their waiting paid off as Ballman and Joseph raced into SECU Arena when doors opened at 6 p.m. sharp.

For the next hour and a half, students and fans of electronic dance music duo Krewella and rapper G-Eazy poured into the arena for Tigerfest 2015 day two.

“It’s always amazing to see the way the whole arena moves together,” CAB Director Emily Walsh said. “You’ve got the floor and the lower bowl absolutely packed, and they’re all enjoying themselves and really getting into it.”

According to Walsh, an estimated 3,000 tickets were sold for this year’s concert.

For many who bought tickets, like freshman Jessica Crisostomo, it was their first Tigerfest experience.

“There’s a lot of people here,” Crisostomo said. “I’ve been waiting to see Krewella since I bought my ticket, so this is awesome.”

At 7:30 p.m. the lights in the arena dimmed, and the crowd cheered and screamed as music exploded out of the speakers.

Fans of G-Eazy danced and sang along with songs like “Let’s Get Lost” and “Tumblr Girls” before the rapper closed his set with one of his most popular hits “I Mean It.”

G-Eazy spoke about how excited he was to be in Towson while also reminding the audience that, as a California native, he represents the “Bay area” in his songs like “Almost Famous.”

While many students like freshman Michael Castera felt that G-Eazy’s set was “insane and amazing,” others did not.

Junior and criminal justice major Sara Saez said that she “liked G-Eazy until today.”

From her place in the stands, she said it was difficult to hear his lyrics over the heavy bass. She also said that because G-Eazy’s music following is much larger in the West Coast than in Maryland, his set did not connect well with the Towson audience.

“He is bringing it to the wrong crowd, this is not his scene and he is not popular here yet,” Saez said.

Between sets, there was a 30-minute intermission where students were able to purchase food or use the restroom. There were a large number of S.A.F.E guards stationed around these concourse areas, and throughout the venue, to keep students mobile.

The security staff for this year’s concert was increased, and wristbands were issued for each of the three levels of seating in the area.

“We decided to increase it because we’ve realized Tigerfest takes a good amount of crowd control and we wanted to avoid issues while allowing students to have a safe and fun experience,” Walsh said.

The security was much stricter than last year’s and made to accommodate a very large crowd. Freshman Elizabeth Walls said she was surprised by the amount of people in attendance at the concert.

“Towson knows how to throw a party,” she said.

“It’s really fun because of all the people that are here,” freshman and family studies major Marie Ellen Kemp said. “I’ve never seen this many Towson people together at once before, it’s pretty awesome.”

Saez said, however, that the concert attendance and setting was not what she expected.

“I think it was crazy that the floor tickets sold out and less than half of the floor was full,” she said. “The environment of the concert would have been more lively if people were allowed to come down from the stands.”

At 9, as Krewella band members Jahan Yousaf and Yasmine Yousaf came on stage, the arena came to life with flashing lights and heavy bass. Students in the stands and on the floor crowded together to jump and dance to the upbeat music.

Between their own original songs, the duo incorporated clips of other well-known tracks like “Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes, “No Type” by Rae Sremmurd, “7/11” by Beyoncé, and even “Chop Suey!” by System of a Down. They also dedicated their song “Legacy” to their goddaughter, a two-time cancer survivor.

As the night drew to a close, Krewella ended their set with their newest single “Somewhere to Run” while students wildly screamed the lyrics.

“I really truly believe Tigerfest 2015 was the best CAB has done so far,” Walsh said. “We are so proud and excited about it all, and we feel that it was an amazing experience for students. The only thing that can top this is Tigerfest 2016.”

Tigerfest International Festival 

By: Christine LaFrancesca, Staff Writer

While many Towson students were in the University Union last Friday enjoying the Tigerfest Day one activities, others were observing the student performances at the Tiger Plaza stage.

In between the Liberal Arts building and Burdick Hall, individual students performed with a number of clubs also associated with the International Student Association.

Pasión, a Latin-based dance team and one of the first groups to perform, exited the stage as the crowd cheered powerfully.

“Pasión’s dance was pretty awesome, I love the music they used,” freshman and Tigerfest attendee Leah Therres said. “Inside the Union was fun but we wanted to be outside while it was nice out.”

After Pasión was Towson’s own all-female a capella group Tiger Tones. Jessica Maddy, President of Tiger Tones, was excited that the result of their hard work was seeing the number of students who came to see them perform.

“I’m really glad this Tigerfest was our first,” Maddy said. “The only thing that was a little difficult for us was choosing our songs. We just kind of get everyone to throw in their own ideas and we listen to other a capella groups to find stuff.”

When K-Pop Dance Squad took the stage, they entertained the crowd with popular Korean music and a strict dance routine.

“We didn’t have long to rehearse,” biology major and K-Pop dance team member Linda Njonkou said. “Some of the girls are going back to their home countries and we wanted to show Towson what K-Pop is about. We chose a lot of popular Korean songs, we wanted people to know that there is good, fun Korean music.”

The African Diaspora Club brought performances from both their dance team, Les Hommes D’Afrique, and La Voix Celeste, their a capella group.

“We want to promote cultural competency,” junior and La Voix Celeste member, Vanessa Agbar said. “Creating a supportive community for all African ethnic groups is really important to us. Performing at Tigerfest was a chance for us to broadcast our voice and have a good time all in one.”

The last portion of the International Festival ended with a performance from Kassim Okusaga, followed by the Towson Hoop Club who donned spandex outfits and light up the night with their LED hoops.

Okusaga brought a large crowd out to the stage where he and his live band 20NVR collaborated with HHO. The live music combined with electronic beats and fiery lyrics warmed up the crowd in the chilly night air.

“Everything was awesome today,” Abgar said. “Towson did a good job of getting student performances together and giving us performers a chance to show everyone what we’re all about. It’s hard to get up on this stage and have people watching you but I think everyone had a great time today.”


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