By Bobinec, Greg on September 10, 2018.
The University of Lethbridge Students’ Union (ULSU) annual Fresh Fest event took over the campus on the weekend with two days full of live music, entertainment and activities to kick off the new semester.
The festival, in its eleventh year, encourages new and returning students to interact with people they wouldn’t normally interact with, help build relationships and start the university experience off in a positive and fun way.
“It is directed towards our first-year students coming to school because it is just a good way for them to get engaged right off the bat,” says Jessica Jones, Vice President of Student Affairs.
“I think that it is such a good way to get everyone together and to help build a positive culture at the beginning of the semester.”
The festival brings about 2,000 people to the campus each night, which mingles a quarter of the student population before the semester begins. The university draws a large number of people from out of town or internationally, and event manager, Riley Miller says Fresh Fest is a great way for those destination students to get comfortable in their new surroundings.
“We have a lot of people coming from out of town so this is an opportunity for us as a students’ union to put on familiar and inviting faces to act as role models and be active on campus and this is a way to do that,” says Miller.
“Having extra-curricular activities on campus really gives people an opportunity to get outside of the classroom and meet people that aren’t in their programs. It also breaks the ice for people coming to the campus for the first time, if they don’t know anybody.”
ULSU every year listens to what the students are listening to for music and draw from that for what acts they would like to have at the festival. This year’s bands came from all over North America and drew some good attention from the students, and included acts such as Max, Wintersleep, Jocelyn Alice, Hollerado, The Zolas, The Static Shift, Valley, The Silkstones, Biloxi Parish, Zodiaque, and University of Lethbridge student Tyson Ray Borsboom.
“From years of practice and just listening to what Lethbridge vocalized and told us what they like, I have noticed that Lethbridge really likes indie rock and so we knocked it out of the park with Mother Mother, Coleman Hell in previous years,” says Miller. “It is a unique opportunity in Lethbridge because there isn’t very many outdoor concerts that are happening, and in contrast to other festivals that happen in Alberta.”
This year the ULSU set up a meet-and-greet with the performers at the merchandise booth to mingle and get signatures from their favourite artists and to have an even more unique and exciting experience.
As the festival came to an end Sunday night, new students felt more comfortable, made new friends and have some happy memories to start off their year of long study nights, endless assignments, and working hard in the classroom.
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