Buffalo Bucket List No. 16-17: Music and comedy

The Buffalo Bucket List is a series of articles highlighting my journey to achieve the full college experience in Buffalo, from Buffalo wings to Oozefest.

UB’s most popular music festivals, Fall Fest and Spring Fest, and its Comedy Series – all put on by the Student Association – always give students something to look forward to. The entertainment is funded by students’ mandatory $94.75 student activity fee, which will be raised $10 per semester starting this fall.

You might as well go to these shows – you’ve already paid for them!

No. 16: Go to Fall and Spring Fest

Almost all colleges have a music festival and UB is no different. SA, as the student government at the largest SUNY in the system, is able to pull in some pretty big artists. Kanye West, Bruno Mars and Kendrick Lamar have all come to UB through SA’s annual Fall and Spring Fests.

Fall Fest 2014 featured a rap-centered lineup of Schoolboy Q, T.I. and Bas while this year’s Spring Fest featured an alternative-centered lineup of Young the Giant, In the Valley Below, Banks, Bear Hands and Royal Tongues.

“We had rap in the fall, and another thing that was highly rated in our polls was a rock show,” said SA President James Ingram in a previous Spectrum article. “We wanted to try to cover all our bases throughout the year, so rock seemed like the next logical choices.”

Previous Fall Fest acts have included the Goo Goo Dolls, Iggy Pop, Outkast, the All American Rejects and Childish Gambino, and previous Spring Fest acts have included Steve Aoki, Wiz Khalifa, Run DMC, Brand New and Reel Big Fish.

This Spring Fest tickets sold for $40 to the general public, but as a UB student, admission to every Fall and Spring Fest is free of charge. All you need is your UB ID card.

There’s really no reason not to go.

The crowd is filled with students dancing and singing together. You can meet interesting people and bump into old friends. Even if you aren’t a huge fan of the artists headlining, it’s still a fun way to hang out with your classmates.

Both events are typically held in the Alumni Arena parking lot, with the rain location being inside Alumni Arena itself. This year, UB’s food truck Big Blue was on the scene along with other concessions to keep students satisfied.

Many students feel that Fall and Spring Fest is a good way to spend their mandatory student activity fee.

“It’s a good use of the money,” said Kaitlin Wojak, a sophomore communication and psychology major. “They changed the genres up between the two shows which was smart – it lets more students get their moneys worth.”

Maybe you don’t agree but even if you don’t go, they’re going to be spending your student fee on it anyway. So you might as well.

No. 17: Go to a Comedy Series show

UB’s Comedy Series is in its 14th year and continues to be a popular tradition at UB.

This year, the Comedy Series welcomed Jessica Williams, a correspondent for The Daily Show. Last semester, the Comedy Series brought Aziz Ansari, famous for his role on the show Parks & Recreation, to the Center for the Arts.

Like the music festivals, these shows are free to undergrad students. But unlike the music festivals, you will have to get tickets by going to the SA’s office with your student ID beforehand.

The series has featured late night show hosts such as Jimmy Fallon and Jay Leno as well as famous comedians Chris Rock, Dane Cook and Gabriel Iglesias. Interestingly, John Oliver came to UB both through the Comedy Series in 2008 and the Distinguished Speaker Series in 2014, which is put on by University Life and Services and is not paid for by the student activity fee.

Whether you want to sing and dance or sit back and laugh, the SA has you covered with Spring and Fall Fest and the Comedy Series. Before you graduate, you should try to check out both. After all, they’re free!

Daniel McKeon is a features editor and can be reached at features@ubspectrum.com