With a lineup of predominantly female artists performing at the All Things Go Fall Classic over the weekend, crowds were energized after a week characterized by political strife.
The fifth annual All Things Go Fall Classic kicked off Saturday with an all-female lineup of pop hitmakers like Billie Eilish and Jessie Reyes, curated by the headliner Maggie Rogers and fellow act LPX. The two-day festival continued Sunday night with bubbly pop from artists including Carly Rae Jepsen, Betty Who and GW alumnus Cautious Clay.
The festival, which was hosted at Union Market, was started by alumnus Zach Friendly in 2014 as a spin off from his local music blog by the same name.
Students and recent graduates all praised the lineup as it deviated from what you might see with other major festivals, especially after Judge Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed as a Supreme Court justice earlier in the day amid sexual assault allegations.
Annaliese Keller, a sophomore studying political science, said she initially contemplated skipping the festival to join one of the protests that had been regularly stationed on Capitol Hill for the past two weeks.
“I was like, this is not gonna be fun,” Keller said. “But then seeing all the women performing, it really made it better.”
The political current appeared in many of the acts’ performances. Singer-songwriter Jessie Reyez led chants on immigration and the #MeToo movement that roused the audience of young teens. Reyez recalled a time when she was starting her career that a producer told her she would need to perform sexual acts to secure success.
When her tunes weren’t the sugary pop songs that brought her success, she performed throaty pop-rock ditties and a medley of rap covers.
Ravyn Lenae brought a more subdued attitude to the stage, performing songs like “The Night Song” and describing the importance of self-care and loving yourself. With her melodic voice that stretched into whistles on songs like “Closer (Ode 2 U),” the R&B act brought funk to a crew of shuffling teenagers.
Garrett Hoppin, who graduated in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in international affairs and 2017 with a master’s degree in public policy, said he was most excited for Cautious Clay to perform Sunday, but he said the all-female lineup on Saturday was “overdue.”
“It’s something that’s really great that I want to support and see more of,” he said. “Or at least more fifty-fifty lineups, and more lineups that aren’t 3 percent women.”
Hoppin said he felt a shift in the audience from Saturday to Sunday, as the crowd of 16-year-olds gave way to groups of older men who flooded Union Market for pop divas Betty Who and Carly Rae Jepsen.
“It’s a cool space that they developed that everyone can feel safe here,” Hoppin said.
Madison Paterson, a concertgoer from Long Island, NY., wore pink velour and rainbow-dyed hair, standing in the blistering heat of Union Market’s concrete. She said she enjoyed the political undertones of the weekend, and that she felt comfortable within the “cool, diverse” crowd.
“It feels good to be surrounded by powerful feminine people,” she said. “I feel very super welcome here, and as a trans woman, I don’t feel welcome in a lot of places.”
On Sunday, pop band MisterWives stood in for BØRNS, who was dropped from the lineup after allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced. The European pop band performed funky, blissful hits like “Our Own House,” but brought the energy up with “Oh Love,” a tune that references the Trump presidency.
Carly Rae Jepsen performed a slew of pop bangers to close out the night ranging from the rallying cry of “Run Away With Me,” followed by lovesick jams like “Emotion.”