ASI faltered in the way it handled this year’s Spring Concert at CSUF

In Arts & Entertainment, Lifestyle, Music, Reviews, Top Stories
Metro Boomin performs on stage at ASI's Spring Concert at CSUF
(Katie Albertson / Daily Titan)

Excited concertgoers invaded the grassy venue of the Intramural Fields at CSUF, expecting a night filled with food, fun and an exhibition of musical talent. Instead, flustered students and guests left campus disappointed, seeing the highly-anticipated event end with unfulfilled promises.

Associated Students’ Spring Concert featured outstanding opening performances by Gearheart and DJ Ivnasty, who went above and beyond at setting the stage. The two were followed by a mediocre show led by Metro Boomin, which unfortunately didn’t live up to the hype.

But the highlight (or blunder) of the night was the absence of rhythm and blues singer Kehlani and how the situation was handled by Associated Students.

Students like Alexa Hayes, a third-year criminal justice major, were met with an empty stage almost an hour after Kehlani’s scheduled 8 p.m. start, barring no announcement from Associated Students or warning that a cancellation may have been approaching.

I actually found out from two girls in front of me that saw (Kehlani’s) post online,” Hayes said. “Honestly, I would have been so much happier with an announcement, instead of standing there for hours waiting for her and hearing it from her and not from (Associated Students).”

The grammy-nominated artist was nowhere to be seen, taking to her Instagram story to apologize for what was coming.

After all the confusion and no announcements to the crowd, Kehlani’s voice was heard over the speakers, making an official statement and sincere apology to those in attendance.

“I love you guys and hopefully, I’ll see you soon,” an ill Kehlani said with a raspy voice.

A mixed reaction came from the crowd with the dissonant combination of cheers of forgiveness blended with boos of disappointment.

As far as the overall experience, students like Hayes were not happy with what was given to them Saturday, as Kehlani’s absence was only a small part of the mess.

Hayes said the event was too small for the number of people present, as some students waited in line for hours at a time just to enjoy the event’s attractions.

Not only were the lines too long, the area in front of the stage turned into a danger zone. Hayes came out of the ruckus with a sprained ankle.

I honestly was scared for my life at one point. There were hundreds of people around me just pushing, so I felt very unsafe,” Hayes said.

Some students at the front of the stage were trying to climb over the barricades to escape from all the pushing and shoving that was not regulated by security.

Gates were scheduled to open at 4 p.m., according to an email sent out to ticket holders from Associated Students. However, students were not let in until almost 5 p.m.

Apart from Kehlani coming down with a sinus infection, silence from Associated Students during the concert, long lines and unsafe conditions, the annual event kicked off on a rather different note coming in the form of Gearheart and their blended style of grunge and punk rock.

We’re the black sheep of this lineup,” said lead singer and guitarist Joey Chavez Ferguson. “The fact that they still liked a little punk rock means the world.”

Bass guitarist and backup vocalist Pedro Galvez described the feeling of being on stage as a unique and surreal experience.

“Seeing the people run to us is definitely an awesome feeling, kind of like when people see the chocolate factory,” Galvez said. “I’m like ‘We’re the chocolate factory, you know?’”

In a change-up of musical methods, DJ and fifth-year marketing major Ivan Labra, also known as Ivnasty, put on a performance that got the crowd jumping.

His set brought music festival vibes featuring a variety of songs from numerous genres of music, including “Deep Down Low” by Valentino Khan and “Work REMIX” by ASAP Ferg.

“(The crowd) wanted to dance, so I threw in that dance music,” Labra said. “People like music so it’s just a learning experience from here on out.”

Overall, the performances of Spring Concert got off on the right foot with stellar openings by Gearheart and Ivnasty. Other than that, the event went downhill.

Metro Boomin didn’t blow the fans away and Kehlani unfortunately was deemed too sick to perform.

Associated Students did not do a great job of handling the size of the crowds and waited until after the concert to apologize for their handling of Kehlani’s cancellation.

I felt very uncared for. I know that it wasn’t a lot of money that we paid for, it’s just the principle of it,” Hayes said.

Associated Students released a statement on Instagram and Twitter apologizing for the outcome of Spring Concert, but have yet to indicate whether or not they will be compensating concertgoers.

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