Hear it Here First: 10 of the Best College Music Events in the Country

  • Spring Fling—Binghamton University

On Saturday May 7th, Binghamton University will be buzzing with spring fever as collegiettes™ dance away end-of-semester stress at the annual Spring Fling festivities. Far East Movement, Taking Back Sunday and Super Mash Bros will bring their unique talents to campus in what Binghamton collegiettes™ hope will be the best Spring Fling yet.

“You will probably see everyone you’ve ever met in college at Spring Fling,” said Raven Rivera, Binghamton University collegiette™. “You'll want to be up early so you can really enjoy the entire day outside.”

Don’t worry about any long lines or red tape here. Spring Fling at Binghamton is a giant outdoor dance party stretching from the Lecture Hall to the University Union, and everything is free. The philosophy at Spring Fling is the more the merrier, and everyone is there to enjoy the music and gorgeous spring weather after a long New York state winter.

We never want to encourage procrastination, but with Spring Fling outside your dorm window you won’t have a choice but to leave books behind at least for a few hours.

  • Extravaganza—University of California Santa Barbara

What’s so extravagant about Extravaganza? Try the free admission for all UCSB students, or the fact that it’s an exclusive student-only event that celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2009. It started out as a small event for local bands, but is now a standing-room only concert featuring some of the biggest names in music.

The key is to show up early and wear California casual chic—think shorts and short sleeves—because bands play in Harder Stadium, UCSB’s sports field, and hours out in the sun with thousands of other students can get pretty heated.

“Although it may get hot, the audience is able to enjoy the gorgeous Santa Barbara weather while listening to their favorite artists,” said Michelle Tokunaga, UCSB collegiette™. “It can get a little crowded with eager students rushing the stage, but it is an overall great experience for our campus!”

Extravaganza is on May 15th this year, and rumors are that Cee-Lo Green will be there to tell you just what to say to that ex of yours. Ludacris, Girl Talk, and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes are just a few of the musical greats who have made Extravaganza as memorable as it is in the past.

  • Ivies Weekend—Bowdoin College

Bowdoin College knows that its students deserve not just an afternoon to unwind before finals, but an entire weekend. Starting on Thursday night with Racer-X, Bowdoin faculty’s 80’s cover band and running straight through to the parties on Saturday night, Ivies is the ideal way for Bowdoin collegiettes™ to celebrate the end of another (hopefully) successful year.

“There's a sense of campus camaraderie that accompanies Ivies,” said Quinn Cohane, Bowdoin collegiette™. “I've found that you meet so many new people during Ivies that you instantly bond with, because the majority of the campus is all at one big party instead of lots of small ones.”

Passion Pit, The Cool Kids and Reel Big Fish came to Bowdoin last year, and this year saw even fresher acts. Janaelle Monae, Mac Miller and Dr. Dog serenaded crowds at Bowdoin’s 146th Ivies Weekend, proving that although it’s an age-old tradition, it was not your grandmother’s Ivies Weekend.

If you like the sound of a three-day long music festival in Maine but you won’t call Bowdoin your alma mater, don’t give up hope yet. Find a Bowdoin collegiette™ to escort you and you’ll be in the clear.

“If you have any friends that go to Bowdoin you should definitely try to get to Ivies at least once!” Quinn said.

  • VEISHEA—Iowa State University

First off, VEISHEA is pronounced “vee-sha”. We wouldn’t want you trekking to Iowa for this one-of-a-kind weeklong festival only to mess up the pronunciation of it. VEISHEA stands for the original colleges at Iowa State University when the festival was founded in 1922: veterinary medicine, engineering, industrial science, home economics and agriculture.

On to the fun part—VEISHEA celebrates spring and students by offering a parade, international food fair, carnival games, guest speakers that have included former presidents Ronald Reagan and Harry Truman and of course, major musical guests.

Let’s hope the excitement-packed week hasn’t worn you out, because concerts during VEISHEA are held on Friday and Saturday nights. This year Big Boi, Cloud Cult, Love and Theft, Jon McLaughlin, Cedar Avenue, and Volholla played on Friday and Gloriana, The Ready Set, Neon Trees, Downtown Fiction and Deluka and the River Monks played on Saturday.  Student tickets are only $10 for one night and $15 for both nights!

“I think it's cool that a pubic university in the middle of the Midwest can bring in such big names and host great concerts,” said Jessica Hansen, Iowa State University collegiette™.

  • Spring Fling—University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania might be best known as a prestigious Ivy, but don’t think for a second that Penn students don’t know how to have a good time. In 1972 Penn held their very first Spring Fling festival, and 39 years later the tradition runs strong.

Over 10,000 Penn students pack the quad each year to see major headliners, local bands and student performances. This spring’s crowd saw Lupe Fiasco, just in time for the recent release of his album.

Once the sun goes down, the fun is just beginning. A DJ takes over to get the party started, and free food from area vendors is available all night. Spring Fling is set up across campus, covering the quad, College Green, Hill Square and Wynn Commons.

  • Fun Day—Skidmore University

Skidmore got it right when they decided to hold Fun Day festival right before the coffee gulping, anxiety inducing, nail biting start of finals week. It’s essentially the kind of collegiette™ carnival that dreams are made of, complete with cotton candy, a dunk tank, various games, a barbeque and live music. Clowning around is not only welcome, but encouraged.

In a tradition all its own, Fun Day features student bands rather than the biggest names in music. This gives the guys in 2B who are always keeping you up with their guitar solos a chance to shine as well as encouraging Skidmore to support local music. The bands have to compete to land a slot in the Fun Day lineup, so you’ll only hear the best of the best in student entertainment.

“It’s one of a handful of days every Skiddie looks forward to,” said Audrey Nelson, Skidmore collegiette™.

Have you been to any of these famous fests before? Think your school should have made the cut? Sound off below!


College women from across the country