By Julia Train
Several minutes before Rock Fest began, over 100 students were lined up along the driveway leading up to the Ben Cohen Turf Field parking lot. Groups of students formed clusters as they joined their friends that were waiting for them.
As soon as the clock hit 7:30 p.m., Rock Fest was underway, and the line started moving. Students hurried to the tables containing free shirts. Past the table was a tent with artists drawing caricatures and a station where students could make molds of their hands. A slide, basketball game, mechanical bull and an inflatable obstacle course lined one side of the parking lot. On the other side were food trucks with crepes, barbeque, cheesesteaks and more.
Near the entrance were face and body painting tables. Students walked away with their painted faces in a variety of designs and colors.
Madeline Shaw, a junior acting major said, “The band is better, and the lighting and special effects is really cool and brings it together.”
At the back of the parking lot was the stage where “Steal the Sky,” a Philadelphia-based cover band, performed throughout the night. They covered a mix of pop, rock and dance music from today’s hits, like Masked Wolf’s “Astronaut in the Ocean” and classic songs, like Joan Jett and the Blackhearts’ “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll.”
Before COVID-19, the festival was held at the end of the spring semester as a summer send-off with a band and bonfire on the Campus Green. As COVID-19 has started to dissipate and people are getting comfortable being in crowds again, more has been added to the event.
“I think a lot more people are more comfortable now with COVID kind of going away,” said Shaw.
“Now there’s a dance pit, inflatable games and food trucks,” said Sofia Fileccia, a senior criminal justice major, while in a large line for the Ben & Jerry’s truck.
As the sun set, the purple and green stage lights flashed upon the trees in the parking lot. Students shifted their focus from the food trucks to the activities and band. The crowd in front of the stage slowly grew as students sang along and danced to the music, both in the audience and lines.
When the band finished with their set, the night ended with a fireworks display as Katy Perry’s “Firework” played from a speaker.