Fall Fest fails to draw crowds

Poor weather and a lack of big-name headliners contributed to a sparsely attended Fall Fest Saturday afternoon in the Smith Center.

Program Board moved the annual event indoors from University Yard last week due to Tropical Storm Hanna. In addition to food and games, the festival featured performances from student organizations, The Canon Logic, Virginia Coalition and Wale.

“The weather is always an obstacle and weather always affects an event,” said Program Board Chair Tiffany Meehan, a senior.

Meehan estimated that about a 1,000 people attended the event throughout the whole afternoon, though many arrived within the first several hours.

“I’m honestly here for the free food and T-shirt,” senior Emily McNabb said.

Fall Fest received widespread attention last week when the University cancelled scheduled headliner Girl Talk and rock band Rooney dropped out. PB later announced that Virginia Coalition and The Canon Logic would co-headline, followed by an e-mail Friday saying that D.C.-based rapper Wale was a “surprise headliner.” Shirts given out at the event highlighted Virginia Coalition.

The Canon Logic took the stage around 5:30 p.m. and played to an audience of about 65 students. Virginia Coalition immediately followed with a smaller but enthusiastic crowd.

“I’d never heard of this group before but, interestingly enough, I thoroughly enjoyed their performance,” sophomore Meagan Allen said.

Wale and his seven-piece band followed Virginia Coalition, playing hip-hop music for about an hour.

Some students expressed concern that the event was not well-attended because of poor advertising.

“The promotion sucks; there is no one here,” said senior Devon Rose.

Other students had a more positive outlook.

“With the weather and everything, it sucks, but Program Board pulled it off after all,” junior Nicky Sampogna said.

The student performance groups showcased their talents in the afternoon before the headlining bands. A capella groups The Troubadours, The Pitches and The Sons of Pitch performed, while Capital Funk presented a dance routine.

Veteran Capital Funk member Brandon Rogers has performed at Fall Fest since his freshman year. The senior credits the event as an opportunity for the group to showcase an alternative to mainstream GW culture.

“I think it’s an honor because we are a relatively new club and we represent a unique urban art form,” Rogers said.

Meehan said she did not think the setbacks involving artists Rooney and Girl Talk had hurt turnout.

Meehan said, “I think Fall Fest is bigger than the music.”

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