Fall Crimson Nights Returns With Lollapalooza Theme


Xiangyao Tang

The crowd at the Crimson Nights at the University of Utah campus in Salt Lake City, Utah on Aug. 26, 2022. (Photo by Xiangyao “Axe” Tang | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Caelan Roberts, News Editor


The beginning of the semester at the University of Utah is here and that means Crimson Nights has returned once again.

The once-a-semester event is the largest event held by the Union Programming Council and drew a crowd of approximately 6,000 students this year, roughly double the amount that attended in August 2021.

The goal of Crimson Nights is to bring the entire student body together for a themed party held at the A. Ray Olpin Union. The theme that Adryenne Huo, director of Crimson Nights and fourth-year Marketing student, landed on for the fall semester was “Lollapalooza.”

“I think we were looking at the most popular trends this year and what was really interesting to us,” Huo said. “I really wanted to go to a music festival this year but they’re very, very expensive. So I was like, ‘let’s find a way to recreate that as best as we can.’”

This recreation included three different stages, all named after national parks in Utah, with their own DJ. At the Arches stage was Ricky Barrera, at the Capitol Reef stage was DJ Argus and at the Zion stage was Teo.

“We aren’t able to afford a big artist but the three DJs we have are all very well known in Utah, so that satisfied the music festival needs and wants,” Huo said.

She added she was most excited for Barrera, who had the largest stage of the three DJs and had been setting up since 7:30 a.m. “His setup is huge,” she said. “It’s really, really massive.”

The DJs were not the only attraction for students to attend the event.

“We also have a mechanical bull because those are very popular right now, a foam pit and then carnival games,” Huo said.

These games could be played to win tickets which were used as entries in a raffle in which students could win an Amazon gift card, a blanket or a projector. There was also free pizza, boba and mocktails.

“It’s a really cool event and I’m really liking it so far,” said Alex Pojero, a first-year Business student at the U. “We were playing pool earlier; we hopped in the foam pit. We were just doing a bunch of stuff.”

This was the first Crimson Night since before the pandemic that was opened up to students that don’t attend the U.

“I hope we get a ton of students from other schools since we’re opening it up this year, and just have a big dance party,” Huo said.

Though each Crimson Night is a one-night event, preparations take months.

“Since Crimson Night is our largest late-night event, we started planning in May as soon as I got to hire my assistant directors,” Huo said.

“That just starts with reaching out to vendors, picking out a theme and figuring out what energy we wanted to create,” Huo said.

Huo said working with those assistant directors turned out to be her favorite part of planning the event.

“The best part is just bonding with your board and seeing their skills,” she said. “A lot of my associate directors really pick up where I can’t.”

Huo explained that this past week leading up to the event was the most intensive in terms of preparations.

“We’ve had decoration parties all week,” Huo said. “Those are where we just work on all the different decorations. It’s really fun to just spend time with all of UPC and it’s a big bonding moment for the whole organization. I feel like that really starts us off on a good note.”

Setting up the event did not come without its stressors, though, Huo said.

“The most challenging part is it’s like non-stop,” she said. “I’ve probably been here at least a minimum of nine hours a day. The other day I was here for fourteen hours.”

The biggest draw of the event for students was what Huo had been looking forward to the most — the dance party.

“The DJs have been super cool,” said Matthew Flannery, a first-year Marketing student. “The DJs and the mosh pits. It’s been pretty fun in there.”

Now there’s a brief break before Huo and her team begin to prepare for the next Crimson Nights.

“We’ll probably start planning the spring one in October,” she said. “The theme hasn’t been decided yet but I’m hoping we’ll get a lot of people.”


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