University of California, Santa Barbara students gathered at Harder Stadium on Sunday, May 15, to attend the most anticipated music festival the school has to offer: Extravaganza. The show was much more than just music and crowds, as many of the school’s clubs and organizations offered concessions to satisfy the appetites of hungry students. With great performances and uplifting vibes, 2016’s Extravaganza was one of the most memorable events organized by UCSB Associated Students Program Board.
The line to Extravaganza was lengthy, and many students (especially the latecomers) waited up to an hour to get into Harder Stadium. The reason for these lines was that students were patted down to make sure illegal substances or any other things were not permitted into the stadium. Security was extra tight and did not allow students to bring anything into the stadium besides phones, keys, and wallets. Items such as water bottles and skateboards were prohibited. For this reason, many students who made it to the front of the line and were sent back or had to discard their items.
“I didn’t know I couldn’t bring in my skateboard so I had to get back in line after putting it away,” said second-year sociology major Jay Lee.
After the worthwhile wait, students were able to enter the stadium. There were many concession stands for food and drink and also stands for henna and face painting as well. Besides the stands, there were two distinct pieces of large art near the entrance of the stadium. One resembled a spider and the other a butterfly/dragonfly, grand structures that people took pictures of and with. People also took pictures in front of the graffiti that was done in Storke Plaza to advertise Extravaganza as well as the large Extravaganza banner in the middle of the stadium.
Beyond the secondary attractions, the live musical performances were the highlight of Extravaganza. Emancipator started off with casual and laidback music that got everyone settled into Extravaganza. His style was great for an opening act, as it livened the atmosphere while providing a refuge for the inevitable hectic start of the event. Zella Day performed next, and her indie style followed through with the previous artist for a great listening experience. Zella Day and Emancipator were great choices for opening acts and really prepared the crowd for what was to come in the future artists.
Anderson .Paak and the Free Nationals were the mid-liners for Extravaganza 2016. .Paak and the band really livened up the atmosphere to another level, as their music included groovy basslines and catchy riffs paired with an amazing drum performance from Anderson himself. Having Paak as the middle ground between the hyped ODESZA and Rae Sremmurd was a phenomenal decision as he really put the show into gear for the majority of the students, especially for the ones arriving at later times.
After Anderson Paak and the Free Nationals came one of the crowd favorites, Rae Sremmurd. The rap duo wanted to have a good time, and it clearly showed in their performance as they gave away beach balls, crowdsurfed and even invited students onto the stage to dance with them. Rae Sremmurd performed their hit songs and even gave the crowd a sneak peek at a few songs from their upcoming album Sremmlife 2.
Lastly, ODESZA really blew everyone away with their musical performance. The electronic group went all out and even brought trumpet and trombone players to play along with their drum set. ODESZA was so great that Rae Sremmurd even got back on stage and danced to the beat. This group was clearly the most anticipated by the students, and they did not disappoint; the crowd put their hands up and danced with no shame to ODESZA’s music.
Extravaganza as a whole was a well-organized event filled with mind-blowing live performances from every single artist that performed. The event ran smoothly, with no significant time gap between the artists on stage and no mishaps in security or any of the performances for the most part. It was clear that A.S. really took time to double-check and tie all the knots to make Extravaganza 2016 a great experience for the students. As first-year chemical engineering major Josh Lee put it, “Definitely not a regrettable decision and worth all the wait through the line.”