Nearly 5,000 people crowded University Yard Saturday for Program Board’s annual Fall Fest event, the executive chair of PB said, making this year’s festival one of the largest in recent GW history.
The event featured performances by big-name rapper Wale – a D.C. native – and Travie McCoy, who performed at GW’s Spring Fling in 2008 as the lead singer of the band Gym Class Heroes.
“This year’s Fall Fest was the largest in recent history,” said Wesley Callahan, the executive chair of Program Board. “It was the best one that I have ever seen.”
Students and guests began lining up at the H Street entrance to the event beginning at 3:45 p.m., PB officials said, adding that attendees flowed in continuously throughout the event, which ended around 9 p.m.
“No one’s been leaving so far, [which we] can monitor since there’s only one entrance and one exit,” said Rob Maxim, executive vice president of the Student Association, which gave a $25,000 co-sponsorship to the event. “I think closing off the other gates and leaving only one open was a good idea.”
Despite the threat of rain as a result of Hurricane Earl, Callahan said that “nothing better could have been asked for” in terms of the weather, as a cool breeze and sunny skies lasted throughout the day.
Travie McCoy took the stage as scheduled at 7 p.m., with an audience that was on its feet and dancing throughout the performance.
“This is one of the best crowds that I’ve seen in the last few months,” said McCoy, who led festival goers in a sing-along to his summer hit, “Billionaire.”
After McCoy exited, Wale took the stage.
Performing for almost an hour, the D.C. native led the crowd in a rendition of the chart-topping song, “D.C. Chillin’.”
“It was clear that the crowd loved every group that performed,” Callahan said.
Other students agreed.
“I didn’t mind waiting for the concert, everyone’s having a good time,” said Donovan Allen, a sophomore who attended last year’s controversial concert with singer Sean Kingston, whose performance was cut short after students threw glowsticks at the performer. “The music is really good this year, everything is much better than last year.”
The event was not without some trouble, however.
In the middle of Wale’s performance, five GWPD officials were questioning a young male in the right corner of the yard. After about fifteen minutes of talking, the male attempted to run away, jumping over the hedge before being tackled by the officers.
“I saw him start running towards H Street and before he left the yard, the officers tackled him,” sophomore Will Thompson, one of a few witnesses, said. “They were really quick and there seemed to be a lot of [GW police officers] at the event, which made it feel more enclosed and safer.”
The concert came to a close at about 9 p.m., but Callahan said the overall memory of the record-breaking attendance and jam-packed day would be felt throughout the entire year.
“Program Board could not have been happier with the event; everything went according to plan,” Callahan said.