The 12th edition of Ohio University’s annual #Fest took place this past Saturday in Athens, Ohio. Taking place in a desolate field called The Venue, the BYOB festival has become recognized as one of the nation’s premier college parties that OU students have looked forward to every year since its inception in 2003.
For the second year in a row, Prime Social Group produced and promoted #Fest building hype for this year’s event since January with an exciting and diversified lineup. Featuring heavy-weight artists like Griz, Wiz Khalifa, and Carnage, lesser known acts such as Yacht Club, Vic Mensa, and Stalley also show-cased their underrated music in front of a wild, music loving audience who couldn’t wait for #Fest to go down.
Relative to most festivals #Fest’s security check-in was a smooth process. The day wasn’t able to pick up until later in the afternoon, however, because of the heavy demand for the limited shuttle buses, which provided transportation between campus and the off-site location. Wait times for each bus were approximately 1-hour, and unless people walked the 1-mile, waiting for the shuttles was an unavoidable experience for everyone.
Upon arrival, students looked well prepared for the day. They lugged around booze-filled coolers, tents, chairs, and tables that were definitely useful once inside the festival. Although, the extra muddy field conditions and seemingly infinite lines to get inside presented great effort again on everyone’s part not to damage their own stuff or lose their crew. Nonetheless, these idle periods would prove to be worth the wait as attendees couldn’t have asked for a more ideal setting with the days sunny weather, and warm, 70-degree temperatures lasting into the night.
When my group and I made it past the check-in area, Vic Mensa was the first artist we got to see. By the time he went on, the vast area in front of the single #Fest stage was beginning to fill. In Vic Mensa’s hip-hop set, he introduced audiences to songs off his ‘ #INNANETAPE’ mix-tape. He even ended with his latest single, “Feel That”, a song, which tested the capabilities of #Fests high-powered sound system, before eventually joining the almost inebriated crowd via crowd-surf.
Stalley, who’s apart of Rick Ross’ MMG clan, followed up Vic Mensa’s performance with a classic set of his own laid-back songs. His DJ, Bandcamp was also entertaining mixing in mainstream rap song before Stalley went on. Donning a blue hockey jersey, Stalley played his newest “Man Of The Year” remix as well as his best songs like “Swangin” and “BCGMMG”. Stalleys music was enjoyable because his articulate lyrics broadcasted exceedingly well among the rapidly growing audience, who were still getting in as his set ended.
Much to the delightful off bass-music fans, Griz came on next playing his jazz-infused style of dubstep that the then drunken audience thoroughly enjoyed. His song selection was well planned and as Griz progressed through his most popular songs like “Feel The Love” and “Power”, the sunsetting behind the stage created a classic festival scene. The feel-good vibes and upbeat energy from his music effectively set a positive tone for the rest of the night to become memorable.
As Wiz Khalifa’s elaborate #Fest stage was then being setup, 20,000 spectators were definitely on site. Many of them had just arrived, while others were returning from food/bathroom breaks. They all pushed towards the stage for a clear view of the Taylor Gang rapper who brought with him a full touring band, and a DJ.
Glowing before his own radiant lights, Wiz Khalifa appeared before a chorus of applauses to the DJ Mustard produced, “Bout Me”. The bass from the west-coast tinged beat could be felt from anywhere inside the venue’s 100 acres, where everyone began to dance to the good vibes off the record. Wiz played an entire catalogue of hits including his biggest song “Black & Yellow”, the Miley Cyrus and Juicy J-assisted party track “23”, and his latest hype record, “We Dem Boyz”. It was refreshing to see the crowd respond enthusiastically to Wiz’s crowd-pleasing style of hip-hop by flailing their arms in unison with the music. Wiz put on a phenomenal show encouraging fans to scream “LOUDER” as his distinct choruses played on and even offering life-advice to the college student’s between songs.
While almost everyone would have been pleased after Wiz’s performance, DJ Carnage was the next and final headliner, who my group and I were especially eager to see. Carnage had played Coachella Music Festival the night before and Ultra a couple weeks prior, so we knew it would interesting to hear what he was going to play.
Kicking off with Showtek’s “Booyah”, DJ Carnage presence was definitely felt as the anthemic drop turned into a MASSIVE trap-music banger. As Carnage’s set was getting underway, PSG tossed glow-sticks into the crowd that colorfully lit up the night. Arguably one of the top DJs in the world, DJ Carnage’s impressive mic skills added excitement to his already powerful drops. He played a diverse arrangement of festival banging songs like “Pompeii” by Bastille, “I Can’t Stop” by Flux Pavillion, “We Like To Party” by Showtek. Carnage even worked in his own big-bass and trap productions such as his “Cannonball” remix rang miles in the distance. And when Carnage was done playing fire-work crackled in the cloud-less night sky indicating that the festival was nearing its conclusion.
For tickets that cost $30, OU’s #Fest was definitely worth the price of admission. The artists everyone saw were remarkable and in its 12 year, PSG set a record with attendance. While I haven’t attended many other college music festivals besides OU’s #Fest it was a great party and until proven otherwise in my opinion it is the premier college music festival in all 50 states.