Marc E. Bassy and DOUBLECAMP steal the show at Fall Fest
October 12, 2022
As students filled the Mount Carmel Quad for Quinnipiac University’s annual Fall Fest tradition on Sunday, the smell of apple cider was in the air and laughter echoed as students watched their friends ride a mechanical pumpkin or climb a rock wall.
Members of the Student Programming Board and WQAQ 98.1 FM have put in months of hard work and planning Fall Fest, an annual event at Quinnipiac since 2013. The two organizations arranged an afternoon of free food, activities and performances with live artists on the Quad. Marc E. Bassy, the headliner of the event, and the opener, DOUBLECAMP, were this year’s musical guests.
“We like to refer to it as (a) festival with a side of concert,” said Brandon Assi, SPB’s mainstage chair. “If you want to climb a rock wall this year we have that. If you want to ride a mechanical pumpkin, we have that too. Overall, we just try to create a very positive atmosphere and try to bring the community together while also just putting on a logistical miracle.”
Preparing for the big day
Putting together Fall Fest is no easy feat. Starting production in May, both organizations had two weeks less to ensemble every detail of the biggest event of the fall semester, as last year’s festival was later in the month. WQAQ’s general manager and senior journalism major, Carly Mac Manus explained that despite some setbacks, orchestrating the event was a team effort.
Mac Manus said one of the objectives of Fall Fest this year was advertising this event to students through social media. From an infographic detailing the history of this event at Quinnipiac, soundbite videos of this year’s artists and an Instagram Reel to announce this year’s headliner, the two organizations put in just as much work promoting Fall Fest as they did putting on the show.
“We’ve been really working on marketing the event and getting infographics out and Minteractive content on our social media on both SPB and WQAQ,” Mac Manus said. “That’s been something we’ve really been focusing on because that’s where we get our most engagement is through social media.”
The main attraction of Fall Fest for many students is the free concert on the Quad. Previous headliners of the event include Jamie Lynn Spears, Timeflies, AJR and Rebecca Black, to name a few.
The process of finding artists for the festival started with SPB and WQAQ looking at who they could afford with their Fall Fest budget. Then both teams select an artist that is a good fit and appeals to the student population.
“We don’t just pick some random ‘Joe schmo’ off the street,” Mac Manus said. “We look into it. And this year I think there was a lot of background and a lot of collaboration of like, ‘oh, do we like this person and do we think the students would like them?’ Just because we like them doesn’t mean everyone’s gonna like them.”
Jennifer Moglia, WQAQ music manager and sophomore 3+1 media studies major, said the organization wanted an artist that is accessible and enjoyable for everyone.
“At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter if you know the lyrics, it doesn’t really matter if you know the songs, if you can go to Fall Fest and you can have fun, we feel like our mission has been accomplished,” Moglia said.
Moglia said she wants events like Fall Fest to be important moments students remember for years to come.
“So I think that’s really the focus is really just combining our student body with this live concert experience,” Moglia said.
Fall Fest is also an opportunity for students to find out what organizations are behind the creation and reporting of these events, so they can join in the future, said Mike Singer, WQAQ music manager and sophomore journalism major.
“I think students can get a great experience but also get exposure to the Chronicle who’s going to be there, WQAQ, SPB who sponsor the events, and get exposed to campus life and organizations on campus,” Singer said.
Santino Maione, WQAQ show programming manager and a 3+1 junior media studies and sports journalism double major said he started working on Fall Fest this semester, but other executive board members have been preparing for longer.
“It says a lot about what students our age can accomplish, especially people who have put even more time in than myself, because they already worked since last year so they’ve done this more than once,” Maione said.
Falling For Fall Fest
After months of vigorous planning, Oct. 9, couldn’t come fast enough. Students were greeted by smiling volunteers wearing orange t-shirts from WQAQ and SPB as they entered through a giant inflatable Bobcat.
Allison Regan, a first-year occupational therapy major, came to her first Fall Fest with Claire Brogan, a first-year nursing major and Sana Leal, a first-year health science major.
The group said that they wanted to have fun together while creating meaningful memories.
“I came here just to have fun and hang out with my friends and have a good experience,” Brogan said.
Most attendees beelined towards one of the three free food trucks present at this year’s event, forming huge lines across the Quad. The three varieties to choose from were Liberty Rock Tavern, Los Mariachis On Wheels and Moon Rocks Gourmet Cookies.
Julia Mathews, a first-year behavioral neuroscience major, came in company with Chris Ancelotti, a first-year computer science major and Erin Knapp, a first-year mathematics major.
Mathews exchanged her free food voucher for a steak burrito from Los Mariachis On Wheels and said that “it was actually quite good.” Knapp, on the other hand, got tacos from Liberty Rocky Tavern, to which she also gave a positive review.
Students looking to sample a taste of fall from QU Dining providing free apple cider, candy apples and doughnuts from Rockland Bakery, ranging from classic glazed to orange frosted with sprinkles. The doughnuts were meticulously decorated on a “SPB doughtnut wall” for anyone wanting to grab the treat to go.
After students filled their stomachs with an array of free food, many took advantage of the games laid out on the Quad including a giant Connect 4, corn maze, a frisbee and rope for a thrilling game of tug-of-war.
Guests looking to utilize their creative side made colorful sand art, while others jumped on the opportunity to ride a mechanical pumpkin, slide down an inflatable slide, make their way through a corn maze or, test their endurance by rock climbing.
Ancelotti took a chance with fate by making his way through the green walls of the corn maze.
“Might have almost got lost, but thankfully, I eventually did find the exit,” Ancelotti said. “I’m glad to be here and not still lost.”
Noah Zuckerman, a junior applied business major, took his chances riding the mechanical pumpkin accompanied by his friend, Ryan Penrose, a first-year health science major.
“It’s been a great time, 10 out of 10, we’ve just been racing on all these little things, competitiveness, environment’s great, awesome experience,” Zuckerman said.
Jeffrey Fish, a first-year film, television and media arts major, did the corn maze, mechanical pumpkin and enjoyed a burrito from the food trucks.
“It’s a great day to be outside and just enjoy everything,” Fish said.
Juliana Kenna, a junior film, television and media arts major, experienced her first Fall Fest this year alongside her friends, Isabella Caria, a junior film, television and media arts major, and Sasha Karzhevsky, a sophomore media studies major. Also in attendance was Kenna’s one-year-old dog, Saige, who was wearing a red plaid outfit, perfect for the fall theme.
“I didn’t go freshman year because of COVID,” Kenna said. “Then last year, I took a semester off in the fall. I didn’t get to go so I really wanted to go, so that’s why I’m here.”
Karzhevsky explained that she decided to join her friends for an afternoon of festivities because she “likes the fall and loves free food.”
Though the group missed out on getting a ticket for food from one of the food trucks, their first experience wasn’t rained on too much.
“We got a bunch of free stuff,” Kenna said. “And everyone’s been coming up and petting the dog, so we’ve been having fun.”
The main event
At around 3:30 p.m., attendees began to gather in front of the stage as Joe Neary and Jordan Burmeister of the indie-pop duo DOUBLECAMP began their 45-minute opening act.
After driving a whopping 16 hours from Nashville, Tennessee, Neary said the energy during the performance was fun and energetic.
“Before we went on stage we were like, ‘This might be the last show we play this year. So let’s just have a blast.’” Neary said.
Neary said he enjoys performing for college students because they are always listening to current music. If the students have a positive reaction to their performance, they were the perfect audience pick.
“I’m not really listening to everything that’s coming out at this moment,” Neary said. “And so I just think if you can go play (at a) college and see people react to what you’re doing, then you’re hitting something that’s potentially current.”
Neary said another benefit of working with a university is that its students can mature with them as artists.
“You guys all grow with us,” Neary said. “So it’s like, we come back and we play a club venue. You guys saw us at a college. It’s like, you love the music. Like you’d be a lifelong fan.”
The audience cheered and danced while DOUBLECAMP sang songs like their 2021 single “All My Friends Are Strangers” and their 2022 song “Think About You.” They ended their concert with their 2020 single “Smoke and Mirrors.”
“I think about it because we could be literally like, working a day job or doing anything, but we’re here just playing music,” Burmeister said. “And that’s what we want to do. It’s a blast.”
Allison Canahui, a first-year graphic and interactive design major, enjoyed her experience at the performance with Gianna Dupont, a first-year film, television and media arts major.
“I’ve never been to a concert before, so it’s definitely something that’s fun,” Canahui said.
At 4:35 p.m., the headliner of the event, Marc Griffin, known by his stage name, Marc E. Bassy, finally made his way onto the stage, causing students to gather around in anticipation of what was to come.
He is credited for writings songs for artists like Sean Kingston, Wiz Khalifa and Cee Lo Green, however, fans of the artist might be more familiar with his pop and hip-hop sound through notable songs like “You & Me” from his Gossip Columns album or G-Eazy’s song “Some Kind Of Drug,” which Bassy is featured on.,
Bassy described the energy of his performance as “very enthusiastic and calm at the same time.”
He got into music during high school when students in the jazz band invited him to try performing. Bassy said he has been in love with it ever since.
Kim Can, a senior law in society major, is a big fan of Bassy and quickly ran from Sunday’s men’s ice hockey game to catch his performance. Her favorite song is “You & Me,” and she said hearing it live connected her to her high school self when she first listened to it.
“Even though I was only here for a good portion of it, I really enjoyed it and he performed his first EP,” Can said.
Mathews hasn’t been to concerts for a while because of COVID. She said this was her chance to not only attend a free concert but also see Bassy live, who is one of her favorite artists.
“I’ve been listening to his music all week,” Mathews said. “Because I know a lot of them but not all of them so I was just trying to get a feel for what some of his other songs were like.”
Bassy said he enjoys performing for a college audience because it allows him to see college students come out of their comfort zone and experience new music for the first time.
“College shows kind of remind me of when I first used to do shows, like they don’t know who you are, having to win a crowd over there’s a lot of pride in that,” Bassy said.
A bigger turnout
Assi said the turnout this year was greater than last year, crediting Mac Manus and all the members of SPB and WQAQ who were also a part of planning Fall Fest.
“The creativity, connections, and brainstorming power they provided really helped ramp up student engagement this year, and greatly improved student turnout,” Assi said.
He also attributed the success of this year’s festival to the framework that Zack Iwatsuki, the former mainstage chair for SPB, had set after planning last year’s event, the first Fall Fest after the pandemic.
“I truly do not think this event would have been as successful without both the past Fall Fest to base it on and Zachary’s input throughout the planning process,” Assi said.
CORRECTION 10/12: A previous version of this story said the apple cider and doughnuts were donated by Rockland Bakery.