Freebies and fun attracted thousands of students from around New England to CollegeFest 2012 last weekend.
Starting on the sidewalk outside Hynes Convention Center, the event kicked off with staff handing out bags stuffed with free merchandise and coupons. With their vibrant orange shirts, employees scattered all around the venue. Event organizer, Jillian Huelser, estimated there were over 17,000 students in attendence.
A maze of vendor tables and booths was organized throughout two conjoined rooms. The main attractions were the money booth, jeans giveaways, and spin prizes for concert tickets or varied merchandise.
Freshman Amanda Poor said she loved that her bag was filled quickly with a pair of jeans, coupons, school supplies, and energy drinks. Poor said that her only complaint was the shortage of supplies for the large crowd, explaining that many vendors ran out of merchandise by 1 p.m.
Poor wasn’t the only one who had strong opinions on CollegeFest. Teresa Amoedo, a junior marketing communication major, said she didn’t like the event because of the large crowd.
“I was pushed and shoved the whole time,” said Amodeo. “I don’t think my height helped out either since I’m short.”
Brittany Taylor, a freshman visual and media arts major said she tried to see the brighter side of being surrounded by thousands of students.
“CollegeFest is a great way to meet people from different schools around you,” said Taylor. “That’s the real reason why I decided to attend.”
In comparison to last year’s events, there were two stages in each room, adding more space for performers. A list of concerts were highlighted on a poster board near the entrance, announcing times and locations. Headlining acts included Wale, The Cataracs, E-Marce, and Kap Slap.
Poor explained that none of the entertainers, in her opinion, were well-known. She also said that CollegeFest should get more varied and well-known artists, explaining that the acts got repetitive.
“Although this isn’t my type of music, it makes good background noise,” said Poor.
Among the performers was actor Kel Mitchell, formerly of All That and Kenan & Kel. Mitchell autographed orange sodas, a staple of his comedy in the 1990’s.
Amodeo said she arrived near the stage 30 minutes early, anxious to see Wale perform at 6 p.m. A flood of students rushed to see the performance.
“The atmosphere was awesome, a little hot, but awesome,” said Amoedo. “Everyone was jumping and rapping alongside Wale. I hope every year they keep getting good artists [while keeping] the price of admissions for $10. I don’t think you can get any better than that.”
Yasmine Julmisse, a CollegeFest staff member, said that CollegeFest was a success this year. She said it took over 100 staff members to make this happen and now it’s time to celebrate all the hard work that was put in.
According to Jillian Huelser, the event organizer, this was CollegeFest’s 27th consecutive year.