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Sunday, December 03, 2023
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UB Spring Fest packs Alumni Arena

This year’s Spring Fest draws in large crowd and long line

<p>The Chainsmokers headlined this year's Spring Fest that brought in approximately 6,500 people to Alumni Arena.</p>

The Chainsmokers headlined this year's Spring Fest that brought in approximately 6,500 people to Alumni Arena.

UB students stood in line for hours waiting for this year’s highly anticipated Spring Fest lineup. Some students fell over barricades outside of Alumni Arena while others were turned away at the door for being intoxicated.

On Saturday, a crowd of 6,500 people packed Alumni Arena to see this year’s lineup, which featured The Chainsmokers, Mac Miller, Icona Pop and Coleman Hell. Saturday's attendance was a substantial increase compared to the 2015 and 2014 concerts and left approximately 500 students outside after the line was cut off.

According to Student Association President Minahil Khan, Alumni Arena reached legal capacity, but security was allowed to let two people into the venue for every three that left. 

The long line outside proved to be problematic while letting students into the arena. The line to get into the show wrapped all the way around the University Police Station.

Some people who bought their tickets could not get into the show. Some who were able to enter left almost immediately upon seeing the intimidating crowd filing into Alumni Arena. Doors opened at 5 p.m. and the show started around 6:15 p.m.

SA moved the concert indoors due to colder predicted temperatures. Since Alumni Arena is a smaller venue, SA cut off tickets to the general public last Thursday so that students, who pay the mandatory student activity fee of $104.75 per semester, could attend the show.

Concertgoer Rick Runfola was upset to find out he wouldn’t be allowed inside Alumni Arena after waiting almost an hour and a half in line. He described it as “unfair and a hectic process.”

“For a while they were letting in one kid for every few that came out of Alumni,” Runfola said. “But some [guy] just came out and said they weren’t letting anyone else in. It’s really a bummer, I waited in line like an hour and a half and now me and a ton of people aren’t even going to get to go in.”

After many hours of waiting, The Chainsmokers took the stage. The EDM-duo and final act shook Alumni, encouraging everyone to let loose and dance.

The pair played hits like “Roses,” “Until You Were Gone” and their newest single “Don’t Let Me Down.”

But just a few songs into the performance, the duo had electronic issues. They later tweeted, “Really sorry suny buffalo for that show. Feel like sh** didn’t go our way and made for a weird show.”

Some students left before The Chainsmokers took the stage and were pleased with the other artists’ performances.

Many concertgoers missed the first act by the time they finally got into Alumni Arena. Coleman Hell was nowhere to be found, but instead Icona Pop had taken the stage.

For those who saw Hell perform, they sang along to his breakout single “2 Heads” and other songs like “Take Me Up” and “Northern Soul” from his EP released in 2015. Many people didn’t know who Coleman Hell was, but enjoyed his mellow mix of rock and electro-pop.

Catherine Taun, a freshman geology major, said she really enjoyed hearing an alternative rock act to offset the rap act later in the show.

“I liked his songs a lot, I’m not very familiar with him but ‘2 Heads’ was really good,” Taun said. “I think SA did a really good job appealing to everyone at the show, but I hate rap. So it was nice to hear some rock before everyone went crazy for Mac.”

Icona Pop took the stage amongst a blizzard of flashing colored lights and strobes. The crowd sang and danced to songs like “Girlfriend” and their most popular hit song “I Love It.” The whole arena was energetic, jumping up and down to the beat and pumping their arms as the pop-duo rocked out.

As Icona Pop left the stage and Mac Miller was about to start, the crowd was bursting with excitement. For many, Mac Miller was what drove them to this year’s concert.

Blake Chen, a sophomore business major, said he couldn’t wait to hear Mac Miller perform and he wasn’t disappointed.

“I’m really looking forward to him playing [music] off his new album, but also maybe ‘Donald Trump,’” Chen said. “He was just here so I think it’d be funny.”

Loud cheers from the crowd welcomed Mac Miller to the stage. He played songs like “Loud,” “Nikes On My Feet,” and a fitting “Donald Trump” as the Republican presidential candidate was in Buffalo just last week.

Despite some microphone issues during his set, the crowd still enjoyed his performance. He was very animated; his music invigorated the crowd and most importantly got them ready to rave for headliners The Chainsmokers.

Chen commented on the rapper’s performance while waiting for The Chainsmokers to make their appearance.

“It kind of sucked that he had some mic issues, but besides that I really enjoyed his performance,” Chen said.

Ben Freeman, a freshman mechanical engineering major, said The Chainsmokers were the best act of the night.

“I wasn’t a huge fan of any of the bands before Spring Fest,” he said. “But after seeing The Chainsmokers play I’m probably going to go home and download all their music. I felt like I was at a popular summer music festival, the way everyone was dancing and getting into it, it was awesome.”

Tom Martinez, a sophomore business major, and Connor Dillon, a sophomore engineering major, both left during Icona Pop’s performance, because they felt that the arena was too crowded and they were too tired from waiting all day to stay any longer.

“It’s way too over packed in there, it should have been outside for sure, I get that SA had to make the call early, but if it was outside it would be a lot less cramped and a lot more enjoyable,” Martinez said.

Dillon agreed and noted that the length of the wait also played into the decision to leave.

“Alumni gets really hot really fast, we waited so long in line to see Mac Miller, and honestly it’s just not worth the wait anymore,” Dillon said. “We’re tired from waiting and want to go back to our dorm.”

Other students were upset that Mac Miller didn’t go first since many students came to the show to see him and didn’t care for the openers.

Although the long, hectic line steered many students away,those inside who stayed for the full show enjoyed it.

Max Kalnitz is the senior arts editor and can be reached at



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