Festival delivers for students


CSUB students show their adoration for Alessia Cara at Runner Nights on April 23. Photo by James Chavez/The Runner

Jonathan Wells




CSU Bakersfield hosted its first Spring Music Festival at the final Runner Nights event of the year Saturday night in the Icardo Center.

The event hosted Toronto based singer-songwriter Alessia Cara.

“I really enjoyed Runner Nights, for it being our first concert,” said senior biology major, Brandyn Taylor. “Even though I did not know a lot of [Cara’s] songs it had a really chill atmosphere with everyone singing along.

“It’s cool to see CSUB moving in the right direction and I hope it can be better next year.”

The festival went on from 7 p.m. to midnight and featured three opening acts: student-athlete Susanna Vera, CSUB alum Melissa Waldrop and surprise opener Craig Stickland.

Associate Director of campus programming Emily Poole was correct when saying the Icardo Center would not look like a gym.
With lights, a smoke machine, a full stage and DJ booth, the gym was transformed.

The event focused on entertaining students with cool music, free pizza, shaved ice and a dance floor. Many students felt the concert was a great idea, but CSUB could have hosted an artist they knew.

“I thought the lineup was too much,”  Ariana Abarca, human biology senior. “I was standing there for hours until she came on. I was there from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. I thought it was unnecessary to have an opening act and intermissions.”
For other students who attend, the event was a memorable night. The concert expected 1,000 students, but sold only 650 tickets. This may be due in part to doors closing at 9 p.m. but student participation was key when it came to hosting another Runner Nights concert.

Ik Mbagwu, freshman communications major, said “Runner Nights was a wonderful event…everyone was into the moment…everyone was vibing with her [Alessia Cara]. We could all understand that she was a young hustler. She’s around the same age as us so we could all vibe with her and if you didn’t go, you missed out.”

The event had a food and shaved ice truck, a snack bar and free PizzaRev for students to eat. Students also tried their odds on a roulette game where they had the chance to win free pizza and many other Pizza Rev items.

The Runner Nights staff and police watched the doors and kept students happy and in order throughout the event, even though there was no threat to the party.
The concert ended at 10 p.m. with Cara’s hour long performance where she opened with her hit single “Wild Things,” finished with “Here,” then was cheered back on stage for an encore performance of “You’re Beautiful.”

After Cara’s performance, DJ Sammie took over Runner Nights ending it with a dance party. Many students left after Cara performed, but the students who stayed for the dance party enjoyed dancing to the “Cupid Shuffle”, “Crank that” and many other songs.

“A concert is a great way to end Runner Nights for the spring 2016 quarter,” said freshman peak major Justin Lyons-Girault.


For a closer look at Alessia Cara and her journey as an up-and-coming artist, go to: https://therunneronline.com/?p=11784