Mash-up master Girl Talk took the stage for almost two hours Sunday at Fall Fest, showering crowds with confetti as he turned University Yard into an open-air nightclub.
The lines for Program Board’s annual event began at 7 p.m., wrapping around the sidewalk at the corner of 21st and H streets, as students waited anxiously to get in. Even in the boiling heat, students swarmed the stage for the opening act, OCD: Moosh & Twist, and by the time Girl Talk finished his last set, crowds stretched from the GW Law School patio to the steps of the Media and Public Affairs building across the street.
“This was by far the best attended Fall Fest I have seen during my time at GW,” Associate Dean of Students Tim Miller said.
About an hour into the show, the artist released two giant bags – each filled with at least 100 balloons – into the mob. After a few minutes of surfing the crowd, the bags popped, sending hundreds of balloons over the heads of students and into the sky.
Twenty students were selected to dance with Girl Talk on stage, Miller said. One of the students selected for the impromptu dance team, sophomore Jamie Fanous, said her night was unlike any other.
“It was a crazy experience,” she said. “I’ve never done anything like that before.”
After dancing for over an hour, Fanous, who called Girl Talk “the coolest guy on the face of the earth,” said she was exhausted.
“I am dead. I’m completely worn out," Fanous said.
Miller, one of the staff coordinators for the event, said Girl Talk is known for pulling audience members on stage to dance and the University created waivers for students to sign before they started dancing. Throughout the performances, Miller and the hired security staff blocked unregistered students from jumping the safety barricades.
One of Girl Talk’s managers, who goes by his stage-name Lord Grunge, said he was impressed by the enthusiasm of the crowd.
“I thought tonight was exceptional,” he said. “This is one of the best ones for sure.”
Students also enjoyed performances from the electric-rap duo OCD: Moosh & Twist and GW’s hip hop dance squad Capital Funk.
“It was amazing. It was a great experience,” DeQuincy “Moosh” McRae said.“It’s so good to be here.”
Moosh and Twist both said the intensity of crowd amazed them.
“It’s just cool when people get excited about it, because then we’re excited about it,” Oliver “Twist” Feighan said. “That’s probably the best thing about music.”
The night also featured free food and samples from campus favorites, including FoboGro, Crepeaway, Haagan-Dazs and Whole Foods. There was also a beer garden for the 21+ crowd at the event for the first time at the event.
Freshman Natalie Ficco said Fall Fest was the best way to kick off her college career.
“After the first week of classes, I was like, ‘Oh, this is going to be so much work,’ but this event showed me the fun involved," Ficco, who was also selected to dance on stage with Girl Talk, said.
Program Board’s executive vice chair, senior Megan Davison, said the goal this year was to choose an artist who would “engage what the GW community wants.”