Finals Fest was hosted by Vandal Entertainment, and far surpassed the number of attendants from prior Finals Fests, said Camille Awbrey, Vandal Entertainment Board chair. She said the university sold more than 1,000 tickets to nonstudents, compared to 250 last year.
Awbrey said she took a lot of time and considerationwhenitcametimetopickthe Finals Fest headliner.
“I started looking at artists in August,” Awbrey said. “At first, I was handed a list of 3,000 artists to look at, and from there I had to narrow it down to about 40. From there, I focused on the relevancy of the artists, and that’s what led me to Post Malone.”
UI freshman Carlos Castro said he was surprised UI was able to bring in such a prominent artist to perform. “I like that the university has brought somebody in who is really mainstream,” Castro said. “I think that’s the best way to go to make people happy, and it seems to be what most people like.”
Castro said he wasn’t sure what to expect going in, he was pleasantly surprised by all of the performances. “I wasn’t very familiar with the other performers. I had heard some of Saba’s music, but not a lot,” Castro said. “I can’t say I had high expectations going into the concert because I hadn’t really heard anybody except Post (Malone) up to that point, but I think every artist did great.”
While some students were impressed by the genre of music selected, other students, such as freshman Logan Snell, simply enjoyed the concert vibe more than anything else.
“I enjoyed the event a lot, but not specifically because of any certain performance,” Snell said. “I just love concert environ- ments. The buzz of the crowd, stuff like that is amazing. It almost doesn’t matter what kind of music is, I just love the atmosphere. It was a great time.”
UI student Chuck Lopez said he enjoyed the event because Finals Fest felt like a real, bonified concert. “I loved the lights, and how loud it was,” Lopez said. “The speakers really kicked. They weren’t cheap. The production was just really good quality. It felt like (the university) went all out for us.”
Although he enjoyed Post Malone’s performance the most, Lopez said he became a big fan of Saba. “Saba definitely made into me a supporter of his,” Lopez said.
Andrew Ward can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org