Despite Small Turnout, Springfest Lineup Excites Crowd

Londre Holmes
and Stephanie Spearman

Theophilus London, a Brooklyn rapper, hypes up the crowd at the Springfest concert.

Amid hundreds of eager faces, CSU East Bay hosted its annual Springfest last Saturday on the lawn between Meiklejohn hall and the New Union.

CSUEB’s ASI Presents booked a plethora of artist from various genres who performed during the day-long festival, including Kendrick Lamar, Theophilus London, Diplo, Ying Yang Twins, and Ryan Leslie.

Springfest was a lengthy concert, starting at 2 p.m. with the headliner scheduled to hit the stage at 7 p.m.

Students could purchase Springfest tickets for $5 while non-CSUEB guests paid $15 in the weeks leading up to the event with prices rising to $10 and $25 at the door, respectively.

“Most people now listen to so many different types of music that you can have a diverse line-up like Springfest and still make it work,” said Diplo on the expansive line-up.

“It’s like people are looking to find the weirdest music they can.”

Diplo, a DJ based out of Philadelphia, gets the crowd jumping with his unique mashups of hip-hop, house, dancehall and reggae. He has collaborated with many big artists including Shakira, Kid Cudi, Bruno Mars and Snoop Dogg, to name a few.

In addition to the performances, Springfest also included a carnival put on by housing prior to the concert as well as a multitude of vendors on the outskirts of the perimeter, lending a true festival feel to the event.

Inside the Springfest venue were a few food and beverage venders to keep the crowd happy for the seven-hour event.

“It’s laid back on the west coast,” said Theophilus London about performing at East Bay. “It’s always a good vibe when I come out here.”

Springfest, ASI Presents’ largest annual event for the Spring quarter, always books a number of musicians with at least one big name headliner. This year’s headliner was R&B artist Ryan Leslie.

Ryan Leslie is a singer, songwriter, rapper and producer that plays a number of instruments, including the keyboard- which he played live on stage at Springfest.

Leslie delivered a particularly enthusiastic performance, keeping the energy high with his electric sound and guitar accompanist.

Though Leslie was about half an hour late hitting the stage, leaving an hour and a half break in between him and the previous act, concert-goers were nonetheless thrilled when he finally hit the stage.

Headliner Ryan Leslie’s hit song “Diamond Girl” got women in the audience riled up. Leslie is a high-energy performer who plays many of the instruments on his album, including the keyboard, which he played live on the Springfest stage.

Most of the crowd knew the words to his songs and the women in the audience grew particularly excited when Leslie played his hit song “Diamond Girl,” a song in which Leslie claims to have one special lady that he puts above the rest.

Though the concert ended rather abruptly after Leslie’s set, the day could be counted as a success for ASI Presents.

“I really enjoyed myself, this was the best Springfest I’ve been to since I’ve been a student at East Bay,” said Kameron Wicks, a third-year on campus. “The energy was crazy and I got a chance to find out about artists that I probably wouldn’t have listened to otherwise.”

Although the energy was high according to some attendees, one issue that stood out was the lack of participation from East Bay students.

“I just think it’s very disheartening that we struggle getting our students to go to events like these,” said Allen Johnson, assistant event coordinator for ASI Presents. “We get so many different types of artists to appeal to more demographics and it’s overshadowed by the lack of student attendance.”

Springfest 2011 did have a low attendance in comparison to previous years, but this could be due to many factors- like the weather and promotional materials being limited by the fact that ASI’s Marketing department just suffered a theft that slowed production.

Nonetheless, Springfest 2011 was a good opportunity for CSUEB students to see a variety of musical talents.