Chaos within the mayhem

Shannon Stroud,
Metro Editor

It was a beautiful day on Saturday at California State University, East Bay, the sun was out, the music was loud and the crowd was dancing along to featured Spring Mayhem artists — it was like Outside Lands made its way to the heart of The Bay. While the day seemed picturesque, Spring Mayhem had some bigger issues.


Associated Students Incorporated held their annual spring outdoor festival — dubbed Spring Mayhem — event in front of the New Student Union, which was free and open to students and the community. ASI Program Coordinator, Marc Cochran, estimated 6,000 people in attendance, around half student body and half community, which he says makes this year’s event one of the largest events the campus has seen in the last 20-30 years.

While, Spring Mayhem may have been a fun college event, it wasn’t marketed that way — the profanity, the alcohol, the drugs, all might be okay for an 18 and older crowd, but there were many people who had their children at the event because it was publicized as an event for all.

Upon arrival, the first 500 students were offered ten dollars to spend on food trucks, provided by Food Truck Mafia, located by the Recreation and Wellness center. The lawn next to Agora stage was filled with activities like; jump houses, inflatable jousting, a mechanical bull, Zorbs and trampolines.

While the CSUEB campus was covered with different activities, Spring Mayhem’s main attraction was on the Meiklejohn Hall lawn where a stage was set up for performances.

A large crowd lined the stage as they stood under the hot sun, where the closest water source were fountains outside Meiklejohn or the New Student Union. Towards the end of the event, a student passed out. ASI event squad took water bottles from inside the building to hand out to some of the students in the crowd.


“Honestly it was a great show altogether. All I would change is maybe having a lot more water to give away,” said San Francisco State University student and event attendee Nelva Rivera. “They ran out really quick and not many of us had a chance to get any.”

Culture Shock Oakland’s younger dance groups Future Shock and Mighty Shock opened the show.

Following the dancers was the alternative rock band X Ambassadors, who ended their four-song set with their popular song “Jungle.” After X Ambassadors’ set, the rest of the Mayhem lineup lacked diversity.


Culture Shock Oakland, Problem, Travis Porter, Kehlani and T-Pain filled the lineup, while the artists may have fed hip-hop and rap lover’s appetite, many students who like rock, country, or Latin music were not represented.

“I didn’t know any of the artists other than T-Pain,” said CSUEB student Tammy Chao. “It was all okay, I preferred the line-up from last year with Radical Something and Los Rakas because of the diverse genres they had other than rap.”

Spring Mayhem was an all ages event open to the community and artists like Travis Porter turned the family friendly event into a nightclub. At one point during their set they called female audience members to the stage for a “twerking competition.”

Throughout the event, University Police and security didn’t handle the amount of alcohol consumed and marijuana smoked during Mayhem. In the middle of the event, ASI Special Event Supervisor Sydni Flemmer had to step on stage to remind attendees that smoking would result in ejection from the event, but that didn’t stop the clouds of smoke from leaving the crowd periodically.


“From a positive standpoint, when I had a conversation with UPD and Hayward police they said everything was smooth,” said Cochran. “They told me that it was incredible how that many people in one place and there was no fights and there was nothing that happened pre the event or even post the event in terms of leaving campus and traffic or none of that so from the police standpoint and I’m quoting the chief [Sheryl Boykins] she said it was a smooth event with UPD and Hayward PD they were amazed at how smooth the event went.”

The lack of enforcement was evident when featured performer and crowd favorite Kehlani had her backpack stolen from her dressing room. Her backpack contained personal items including medication as well as her laptop, which held all of her music, and songs set to appear on her upcoming album.

“ALL MY MUSIC FROM THE PAST TWO YEARS. GONE.” Kehlani tweeted out immediately after she found out her backpack was missing.

At the time of publication ASI Executive Director Erik Pinlac had not responded to inquiries from The Pioneer as to whether Spring Mayhem will return next year.