American Apparel, giant tents, sponsored beverages, concert T-shirts and harried security guards are all critical parts to large music festivals. In a much-anticipated campus anomaly, Stanford found its own legitimate music festival on Sigma Nu’s front lawn. One of the most widely attended events on campus this year, Snowchella showcased Stanford’s own Young the Giant (most know them as the Jakes), hipster hop duo Chiddy Bang and one half of DJs extraordinaire Designer Drugs.
Organized by and with donations from Stanford Concert Network, Sigma Nu and Kappa Kappa Gamma, Snowchella was a rare weekend night where students didn’t have to venture off campus to find a concert worth attending. The buzz built strongly on campus due to widespread posters and Facebook advertising, but things reached a climax on Saturday afternoon, with the professional tent, concert flooring, and audio and visual equipment proving to naysayers that this was actually going to be a big deal.
After a crowd had amassed and the lasers and snow machines were fired up, Young the Giant took the stage, playing both new material and songs that the campus sang along to, like “Texas Tea” and the crowd favorite, “Cough Syrup.” Lead vocalist Sameer Gadhia yelled between songs, “It’s so great to be back at Stanford!” and in traditional Cardinal pride, the enormous-for-an-opener crowd screamed their approval.
After Young the Giant, the guys of Sigma Nu pulled off one of the quickest set changes known to man, preparing the stage and the crowd for Xaphoon Jones, the affable producer half of Chiddy Bang, who got the crowd on its feet with a mix of the impossible-to-avoid “Party in the USA.” Xaphoon’s idle mixing was the perfect prelude to Chiddy’s (rapper half) entrance. Halfway through the set, Xaphoon declared, “My boy Chiddy is the best freestyler! They all say that in Philly, but Chiddy will prove it!” and to the absolute frenzy of the crowd, Chiddy rapped about Stanford, expertly tailoring their performance to the campus. After performing the anticipated “All Things Go” (a remix of Sufjan Steven’s “Chicago”) and “Kids (The Opposite of Adults),” where Xaphoon takes on MGMT, Chiddy Bang left the stage for Sigma Nu to do another set change.
The highlight of the night came around midnight, when half (Michael Vincent Patrick) of the up-and-coming and insanely popular Designer Drugs took the stage. Without any introduction or interaction with the crowd, Patrick began spinning mixes that were impossible to not dance to. It seemed as though the entire campus was raving together, with enough fist pumping that even the cast of “Jersey Shore” would be proud. Designer Drugs’ set was a non-stop party, with students dancing on stage a-la Girl Talk, and the bass thumping so that even Suites could feel it. Things reached their peak with Patrick’s mix of “Bad Romance,” a highlight for many concertgoers that night.
While everybody on campus knew that Snowchella was happening, many didn’t know why. The concert was thrown as a benefit for Support for International Change (SIC), an effort working toward the relief of HIV/AIDS in Tanzania. Intermission sat down with Taylor Ray, ’10, who spearheaded the event, to talk about SIC.
“SIC fights HIV/AIDS through three main programs – there are free volunteering and counseling services, the other is HIV-positive patient support and lastly through education,” he said. Ray, who has volunteered in Tanzania for the past two summers, says his time spent there was “honestly, one of the most fun times of my life.”
When asked about the charity choice for Snowchella’s fundraising efforts, Ray said, “SIC was the perfect beneficiary for this particular event because it’s a small NGO. It doesn’t receive a huge amount of funding from the government or anything. The amount of money for SIC is going to make a very tangible impact.”
As of print time, Ray estimates that the proceeds from Snowchella will amount to over $5,000.
With a strict no-alcohol policy and legions of security and police force standing by, many were concerned that potential trouble could arise. Outside of an appearance from Columbae residents in nothing but body paint, the show went off without a hitch. When the show abruptly ended at 1 a.m., the crowd dispersed, shocked that it was so late at night. One dancer was overheard saying, “That was one of the best nights I’ve ever had at Stanford!” After the success of Snowchella, something has become quite clear – Stanford could use way more music festivals.