As the summer days are winding down, campus activities are only ramping up. The Associated Students of the University of Utah contributed to the fall festivities with their annual Redfest. This year’s headliner, Jeremih, a figure in the hip-hop genre, and he looked ready to roll from the moment he stepped on stage.
Before he was able to do so, openers Roc Worthy and Isaiah Rashad delivered strong performances. Rashad in particular drew praise from many of the students in attendance. A U student stated, “The [ASUU] really hit on the performers tonight. The openers were great, especially Isaiah Rashad, who brought a different vibe from the other performers. All three of them really mixed well and brought something different.”
Having an opener like Rashad made the wait for the headliner more bearable, with help from the comfortable atmosphere that certainly helped as well. Students found places around the Union plaza lawn to relax and get settled for the night, and the stage was set in an area where all attendees could get the most from the sights and sounds of the night.
It took around two hours, but Jeremih finally found his way on stage and his performance did not disappoint. He was quick to get to his quintessential tracks with “Oui” and “Don’t Tell ‘Em” radiating through central campus. He wasted no time getting the crowd involved with an interactive performance that featured shout-outs to Salt Lake City and Utah. He also brought two fans on stage. A fan in attendance said, “I honestly thought it was a good show. Jeremih put on a good performance; he balanced his own songs with other songs. And I thought he kept the crowd into it, you know, he brought people on stage and people were into it.”
The Chicago artist was feeding off the energy of the crowd and was confident on stage. He had a well-balanced repertoire that showcased his talent, not only as a singer but as a performer. The 2015 Redfest featured many local artists, and it was clear that with 2016’s edition, ASUU was aiming to steer in a different direction with the up-and-coming Isaiah Rashad and the known commodity in Jeremih. One thing remained clear: ASUU’s goal with the Redfest is to provide students with an entertaining night in a safe and welcoming environment. They hit it out of the park this year, and set the tone for many more Redfests to come.
Update: Unfortunately, not everything ran smoothly for Friday night’s performance. On Saturday, Sept. 18, the U released a statement that reads as follows:
“During Redfest on Friday night, our headliner Jeremih brought two individuals on stage during his performance and did not treat them with respect. ASUU had no prior knowledge of Jeremih’s intention, nor his behavior in bringing the two concert attendees on stage. We realize the severity of this situation and we hope that everyone will take this incident just as seriously. We will continue this conversation of sexual assault prevention and consent with the It’s On Us campaign in October. There are resources with the Office of the Dean of Students and Support Advocates available to all students on campus. Thank you for your attendance at Redfest, and we hope to see you at future ASUU events.”