“There is only one thing better than a good concert and that is a good concert that is free.”
Troy Gulbrandsen, a U professor, was not alone in those sentiments. Over 4,000 concert-goers attended ASUU’s Grand Kerfuffle Friday night to mosh in the cold to performances by hip-hop newcomer Hoodie Allen, rap royalty Talib Kweli and Salt Lake-based act Burnell Washburn & The Druthers.
The event, which was held on the Union lawn, was different from past concerts put on by ASUU due to some new features. The MakeMind corner, a small stage that was set up on the Union patio, hosted local rap artist DopeThought in between major acts to keep the music flowing, while students distracted themselves by uploading their pictures to Instagram and watching them pop up on the huge, inflatable screen by the main stage.
The Grand Kerfuffle, along with Redfest in the fall and the Lunchbox concert series throughout the year, is put on by ASUU’s Campus Events Board. As concert manager for a second year, Allie Vangeison, a junior in nursing, knows just how much work goes into putting the concerts together.
“We do a student survey at the beginning of the year and through the survey we’re able to find the different types of artists,” Vangeison said.
But despite a call for big artists like Wiz Khalifa and Macklemore, the board’s budget of $50,000 per artist mostly allows for up-and-coming performers.
“We try and catch artists right before they hit big…right when they are starting to get hits on the radio,” Vangeison said.
While Allen is newer to the hip hop scene, Kweli is an established rapper and has been active since 1995. Although some people were upset that Allen was headlining and Kweli was opening, in the end it did not stop the massive audience from having a wild night.
The night was not over after Allen’s hour-long set of both original and covered songs. DJ Fresh Direct kept the party going by providing the crowd with high quality moshing music, resulting in water being thrown and some potential dancing-induced injuries.
But despite the cold night air and long time on their feet, few concert-goers were complaining by the end.
“The only way to finish a concert is to hit the lights and drop a beat and let the crowd dance for the next hour,” Gulbrandsen said.