The Campus Activities Board set out to do something they had never done before; create a free concert event to welcome students into the Fall Semester. USF’s first ever Dons Night Out succeeded in entertaining students with both University and Bay Area artists. CAB President Czarina Livelo wanted the event to stand out. “We want it to be the catalyst for school and Bay Area pride on campus and to have that energy and spirit carry on throughout the year.”
Since this was a concert event, CAB needed to find a way to get artists. According to Livelo, this was a multi step process in which “the director of the event creates a list of artists that they have in mind while also taking into consideration who the student body is currently interested in.” CAB then brings in BLAP productions, who help select artists based on availability. The process of planning any CAB event takes from “one to six months […] we definitely have to think far in advance about our vision,” Livelo added.
The headlining acts for the event were Netta Brielle and hip-hop duo Zion I, and USF’s own DJ Devarock served as the opener. CAB promised fun, music, food, and a raffle for four tickets to Sacramento’s TBD fest in September.
McLaren Complex felt empty at the start of the night as student Royce Anies, aka DJ Devarock, played his mix of EDM, original mashups, and currents to a small audience. The crowd started growing about an hour into the event, right before Brielle got on the stage.
Wearing a red crop top and jeans, Brielle pumped up the crowd with her strong voice and electronic influenced R&B as DJ Vierra Vibe played behind her. The crowd got bigger and wilder as she sang her unique mix of soul and electronic songs. The audience particularly enjoyed her “3xKrazy,” which starts with the catchy lyric “Can I take you to the Bay with me?”, and “It’s the Weekend,” perhaps her most well-known song.
The main act of Dons Night Out was Zion I, an Oakland based hip hop duo. They jumped on stage to an energetic crowd that had only gotten bigger as the night wore on. The students danced and screamed as Baba Zumbi and Amp Live played hits from the last ten years. Zion I was so enthusiastic to perform for the crowd that they didn’t even let a small campus wide power outage stop them from making the audience dance.
CAB’s first event back was, all in all, a great event to welcome back USF students. Despite a few pitfalls–a power outage, an initially lukewarm crowd–CAB ultimately threw an entertaining event with the help of the talented performers, that had students craving more CAB events later in the semester.