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HomeNewsCampus NewsASUCI Welcomes Students to Campus With Annual APAD Concert

ASUCI Welcomes Students to Campus With Annual APAD Concert

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ASUCI hosted Aldrich Park After Dark (APAD) with performances by Tavesta, Keisun Lucwith and Jaren Uch, JOYRYDE and Young Nudy on Sept. 26. As of Oct 6, over 9,900 undergraduate students registered to attend the annual event, which featured numerous activities, vendors, and goodies. 

Upon arrival, students were able to collect free water bottles, Rockstar energy drinks and tote bags at different stations — though the bags had a limited availability of 1,100. Concertgoers were also given the option to purchase food, such as hot dogs and french fries, from food trucks inside the venue.

Collectively known as Tavesta, fourth-year business economics student Jaden Patawaran and fourth-year biological sciences student Arshan Harizavi were this year’s student DJs. The two were the first performers of the night, taking the stage prior to Luc and Uch. Tavesta explained that they wanted to incorporate music into their set that they felt many people in the crowd could enjoy.

“We had some regular house music, some house music that was like a mashup with a throwback song, and then obviously we had our rap songs that everyone knew. We just wanted to cater to everyone [who was] in the crowd,” said Patawaran. 

Harizavi went on to state that, while Tavesta can’t always “hit the mark” and play music that aligns with every individual’s personal taste, he feels the pair did a good job on their first APAD performance.

“It took a couple weeks of just thinking what would work best, what didn’t work, trying to figure out the crowd that is UCI. There’s a lot of people, a lot different backgrounds, a lot different music tastes,” said Harizavi. 

Photo by Jennifer Cheong / Staff

Within the first few hours of the concert, a fight involving multiple people broke out in the crowd near the stage, causing student performers Keisun Luc and Jaren Uch to pause their set. Luc discussed his frustrations with what had happened and his concerns with concert safety.

“I started seeing a group of people pushing. I thought they were opening up a crowd, but then I saw someone started punching, and then they just started fighting … We did have to stop [the set] because we [didon’t] want any issues,” Luc said. “It definitely did kind of kill the energy moving forward; I felt like people were definitely more hesitant to kind of get jumping and moving.”

In spite of the damper that the fight put on the rest of his set, Luc went on to thank those in the crowd who remained calm. After the fight was defused, Luc was able to finish his set without further interruptions. 

Second-year environmental policy student Gianna Lumanlan said that a lot went into organizing APAD. As an Athletic Engagement commission intern, she helped out with the event and said that she was grateful to be part of it. 

“I know people set up last night at like 8 p.m., there are people here this morning at 10 a.m., people have been here all day. It’s a really long process, and it’s something that everyone puts a lot of work into,” said Lumanlan. 

As the night went on, people in the crowd began dancing and singing with some even attempting to crowd-surf and sit on each other’s shoulders.

Midliner JOYRYDE took the stage soon after the final student performance wrapped up. The crowd sang along, jumped and danced to many songs played by the DJ, with some attendees even throwing water on one another during his set. Many audience members left following his set, making the crowd smaller for the headliner, Young Nudy. 

Despite the smaller, though sizable crowd, both the audience and Young Nudy seemingly enjoyed themselves. At one point, Young Nudy even instructed the crowd to create a mosh pit, to which many happily obliged.  

Fourth-year environmental science student Alexa Almes explained that this was her first APAD concert as she was unable to gain admission into the venue last year. She said that it is “awesome” of ASUCI to host free concerts for undergraduate students.

“[APAD is] nice because there’s some students that don’t even get to go to concerts besides this,” said Almes. 

First-year biomedical engineering major Michele Kim said that while she didn’t know the artists prior to attending the concert, she was excited to listen to their music and plans to attend more concerts hosted by ASUCI in the future.

“I like that UCI has opportunities for us to get ourselves out there and go to concerts and stuff without any costs,” Kim said. 

She stated that the concerts are a way for students to connect with one another and allow them to “have a greater love for the campus.”

Historically, ASUCI hosts a second concert for undergraduate students in the spring called Summerlands. Although it will be quite some time before ASUCI announces confirmation of the event, as well as the lineup, many in the UCI community are already anxiously awaiting the next concert. 

Laiyla Santillan is a Campus News Staff Writer. She can be reached at laiylas@uci.edu.