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Thursday, June 13, 2024
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Record crowd turns out for Fall Fest

When Kanye West told the crowd to get its hands high, about 6,000 pairs of hands responded, making this year's Fall Fest one of the most successful in recent memory.

The Alumni Arena box office sold out all 1,100 of the general admission tickets and gave away all but a few hundred of 5,000 free student tickets for Friday's concert.

According to SA President Dela Yador, the turnout was at a level UB hasn't seen in years.

"We didn't get the final numbers back, but I believe there were about 300 to 400 student tickets left over that weren't given out," Yador said. "Those are the biggest numbers in a very long time. I expected them to be a little bit more, but they're definitely the biggest we've had in a long time."

During the past two years, SA brought in big names like Snoop Dogg and Incubus, but the crowds for those Fests paled in comparison to Friday's.

"The only thing I can recall on (the) same scale as this was Fall Fest 2003, when we had Godsmack and Little Kim performing outside," Yador said. "All 1,100 of the general admission tickets were gone, and this is the first time in a long while that's happened. Kayne's the hottest thing out right now, and I think people realized that and that's why those tickets flew."

Students at the concert agreed the hip-hop star was the biggest draw of the evening and said his popularity fostered a diverse crowd.

"I saw some grandmas in the crowd. It was impressive," said David Horesh, a sophomore geology major. "This was definitely a bigger crowd than for Snoop or Fat Joe. It (was) totally packed. I waited on line at least half an hour. It went back pretty far. I would say SA definitely drew a bigger crowd because they brought in a more up-to-date act. I mean, Kanye's an up-and-coming star and everybody knows who he is."

Kate Johnson, a freshman business administration major, said people who came out were just looking to have a good time at a good concert.

"There were a lot of non-UB people who came just to see Kanye, and you can tell most people (came) here for him," Johnson said. "I went to see Incubus last year and this is a much bigger crowd."

Some audience members said they traveled from Rochester and other cities in New York for UB's Fall Fest.

"The truth is, I went on the Web site and got the tour dates and talked my brother into getting me tickets," said Andrew Cassidy, a high school senior at Webster-Schroeder High School in Webster, N.Y., whose brother Ben is a sophomore at UB. "I definitely would've come to see Kanye even if Ben didn't go here. Anything he does is gold. By far, Kanye was the biggest draw. I know a bunch of people who came from different places and saw lots of kids from my school and other kids from Rochester."

Peter Roberti said the only drawback of the night was the lack of what he called a "balancing act."

"I saw a lot of older kids and a lot of parents in the crowd," said Roberti, also a senior at Webster-Schroeder High School, "Kanye was the biggest draw, but you needed someone like Common, though, to do more songs. Like, someone who's not quite as big to balance everything out."

The rapper Common dropped off the tour a week before Fall Fest, but judging by the crowd's reaction, it's safe to say SA can mark down Fall Fest 2005 as a success.

"I think it was a great crowd," Yador said. "It was a very diverse crowd - definitely what I was aiming for. I was on the floor for parts of the concert and for the most part, it definitely seemed like students enjoyed themselves."



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