The 10 Best College Spring Festivals

Ahh, spring. The sun’s out, flowers are blooming, and most collegiettes are eagerly awaiting taking a day off from studying to attend their school’s spring festival. And while we will admit that it’s difficult for an on-campus music festival to be anything other than awesome, we at HC wanted to find the colleges that take their spring festivals to the next level. With weekend-long extravaganzas, citywide concert series, and even some that allow participants to party for a good cause, we’ve gathered the cream of the crop in our top 10 spring festivals countdown. Check it out to see if your school made the cut!

10. Springfest at University of Southern California

Springfest at USC promises one thing: an unforgettable concert experience. With performers like Big Sean and Walk the Moon at this year’s show, along with enough glow sticks to illuminate the entire city of Los Angeles, Springfest is perfect for those who are into pounding beats and flashing lights. We would certainly expect nothing less from our festival lovers on the west coast, and based on this video from this season’s festival, we’d say Springfest definitely lives up to the hype.

9. Slope Day at Cornell University

While its wintry name may be misleading, Slope Day is actually Cornell students’ way of celebrating their liberation from schoolwork and the frigid northern winter. “Everyone meets on a big grassy hill in the middle of campus for a big concert on Slope Day,” explains HC Managing Editor and Cornell alumna Cara Sprunk. “It is the only 'party' that everyone from all different walks of life at Cornell attends... and it really feels like a reward for making it through a hard semester.” This year’s headliner is Kendrick Lamar, and given the event’s location in the middle of campus, even students just taking a library break can enjoy the music and relax in the sunny spring weather. 

8. Last Day of Classes (LDOC) at Duke University

For most of us, the final day of lectures usually includes making a finals week study schedule and not much else, so we’ve got to hand it to the Blue Devils for offering a day-long diversion to help their students celebrate the last day of classes. And we must admit, there is probably no better feeling than walking out of your hopelessly boring history class for the last time only to be greeted by a full blown, on-campus extravaganza. Duke’s LDOC brings in major musicians every year to celebrate another school year (almost) completed, and with college festival favorites Kendrick Lamar and Steve Akoi as headliners for this year’s show on April 24th, we’re sure LDOC 2013 surpassed all expectations.

7. Rites of Spring Music Festival at Vanderbilt University

Given Vanderbilt’s location in none other than Music City, it comes as no surprise that their Rites of Spring festival made our list. “Rites is more than just your annual two-day music festival. It's the celebration of spring, the end of school… and a weekend unmatched by any other,” says Caroline Farkas, Vanderbilt student and contributing writer for HC Vanderbilt. With stars like Miguel and Mat Kearney performing for Rites this year, we’re sure this year’s show had something for all of the students at this iconic Nashville school. But what sets Rites apart from the rest of the spring concerts on this list is its backstory. The festival started after Vanderbilt opened its doors to Nashville residents who were interested in learning about music and its production. Because of its meaningful roots, Rites is still something that is appreciated by students and Nashville residents alike, making it a festival all can look forward to.

6. VEISHEA at Iowa State University

Once a year, ISU students from every one of the school’s original colleges, Veterinary Medicine, Engineering, Industrial Science, Home Economics, and Agriculture (or the much easier to remember acronym, VEISHEA), unite for a week of celebrating with parties, parades, and countless concerts. And judging by the vast number of articles cautioning students to “manage alcohol consumption” during VEISHEA week, we have a feeling ISU students do a little more than mingle with other students from different areas of academic expertise during this 91-year-old celebration. A week of festivities means a week of entertainment, and with performers like country singer Easton Corbin and B.o.B at this year’s VEISHEA, this part of ISU history brought students together in the best of ways again this year.