Though two headliners of the 2019 UCONNIC festival were cancelled, rapper Lil Baby still put on a great show and outside events were a success.
The event at Gampel Pavilion was supposed to be headlined by Sean Kingston, singer Summer Walker and Lil Baby, but ticket holders found out there was a change of plans while waiting for the doors to open at around 6:30 p.m.
It was officially announced that SUBOG cancelled Sean Kingston’s performance due to rape allegations against him and that ticket holders would receive a full refund.
Tamara Ernest an eighth-semester human development and family studies major, said she didn't mind the change because she was not looking forward to his performance.
“I only came for one song from him,” she said. “I’m not mad about it.”
Eighth-semester mechanical engineering major Hermana Henry said she understood the choice to cancel his performance but said she disliked that the changes to UCONNIC are often too sudden.
“They’ve always gotta change things last minute, like whether someone comes, someone cancels, someone’s late,” Henry said.
Another last minute change occurred later in the day when students found out that another headliner, Summer Walker would also not be attending the event. On her Instagram, Walker explained that she was stranded in Minnesota due to a cancelled flight because of weather and apologized for missing the show.
Dominique Gelineau, a tenth-semester pharmacy major, said she didn’t mind the change because she didn’t know her music that well.
The show went on, however, and the first opening act, a local indie-rock band Kids That Fly, performed at 7:15 p.m.
The band gave an electrifying, energy filled performance, playing songs off of their new EP “LOVESICK” as well as covers including the “Drake and Josh” theme song and a “La Bamba” and “Twist and Shout” medley.
After an hour intermission of gifs, memes and multiple Fortnite emotes being displayed on the concert screen all to the tune of bass heavy techno remixes of pop music, the next opener, a local singer named HVN (pronounced Heaven), performed a 20 minute set.
HVN captivated the crowd with her angelic vocals making everyone cheer and clap after every vocal run.
She also gave “heavenly” covers of multiple songs such as “Murder On My Mind” by YNW Melly.
The R&B singer also performed some original songs such as “New New” which was a 90s style- song about old flames coming back into her life after starting a new relationship.
HVN had two friends on stage with her as her backup dancers, one of which included fourth semester women’s, gender and sexuality studies and human rights major Twyla Green who said it was a breathtaking and unreal experience to perform at UCONNIC.
After a 20 minute intermission, confusion fell over the crowd because the Dejaying duo Groove Boston started their set remixing popular rap and pop songs instead of Lil Baby who was next on the lineup.
Half an hour into their set, about 30 people left saying they doubted that Lil Baby was even going to perform. The screen showing the lineup at the stage said in parenthesis, “Yes, he’s still coming” under Lil Baby’s name.
After a bass and energy filled hour long set by Groove Boston and much anticipation for the Atlanta rapper, Lil Baby arrived on stage rapping his hit song, “Yes, Indeed.” The long awaited Lil Baby performance invigorated the audience, with the crowd jumping along to the beat and rapping along to every bar. In Lil Baby’s 45-minute set he also performed songs such as “Pure Cocaine,” “Drip Too Hard” and “Close Friends.”
Along with the concert portion of the festival, there was also a section of Jim Calhoun Way in front of Gampel that was blocked off for food trucks and different activities. The food trucks included Lizzie's Curbside, Wing It On, Milk Craft and Big Mozz.
There were also multiple activities such as airbrush tattoos, a meme caption board, a photobooth, a silent disco earlier in the day and multiple carnival games. Turner Rodman, a fourth-semester music major and vice chair of concerts at SUBOG, said the outdoor portion of the event went smoothly.
“We had a great turnout,” he said. “The outdoor portion was so successful anit couldn't have been better.”
Sean Moore a second-semester marketing major who was in attendance said, overall, he was disappointed with the festival. Moore said he was frustrated with the long lines at the food trucks, the lineup being changed and the decision to have Lil Baby as the main headliner.
“Lil Baby just wasn’t the artist I was looking forward to,” Moore said. “I feel like they shot a little low, honestly. I’m glad I’m getting my money back because I was a little disappointed. But more than anything I’d rather just have a good show and pay the full price.”
Gladi Suero is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.