By Giovanna Brasolin
On March 29, Student Productions brought X Ambassadors to Plant Park for their annual Party in the Park. The event also featured a student opener, DJ Jax, free food courtesy of Mikey’s and Franklin on Twiggs, and teas from Yerba Mate. The concert was free for all UT students. Non-UT students had to pay $30 to attend, according to Anna Buccafuri, Student Production’s president.
“Party in the Park was fun,” Brandon Mendez, sophomore international business and entrepreneurship major. “I was expecting to have fun and to just enjoy the whole experience, which I did.I went with my friends and we listened to the music all night and enjoyed the free food and water.”
DJ Jax made remixes to songs that students knew, giving them a chance to jump around with their friends and enjoy the music. As soon as X Ambassadors took the stage, the atmosphere changed. The rock band’s setlist brought a more relaxed vibe to the concert and you could see hands up and bodies swinging to the sound of Jungle, The Devil You Know, Low Life, Boom, among others.
The energy and excitement of the performers was contagious, making those attending the event enjoy their Friday in a different way. Throughout the concert, the colorful lights went from shades of pink and purple to red and blue, creating a beautiful stage.
“It was really exhilarating! Everyone was jumping and singing along. They threw their hands up and got out their phone flashlights,” said Amanda Stover, freshman music major. “It was beautiful to see everyone having such a good time. My expectations were 100 percent met and the event was definitely successful.”
Adding to that, the main vocalist, Sam Harris, said that everyone is gorgeous despite the color of their skin, ethnicity, religion, gender and sexuality as an introduction to the song Gorgeous. The crowd took out their phones to register the special moment.
Students also got the chance to listen to Hey Child, a song that had only been played twice previously and will be included in their new upcoming album. The album is expected to be released in June-July 2019.
Stover became a member of Student Productions’ Concert Board this semester and said that getting into the board was her main reason to come to UT. She added that the hardest part of putting Party in the Park together was communication since they weren’t contacting X Ambassadors directly, they had to go through a chain of people. For that reason, she was happy to see how well it turned out.
UT students had the opportunity to try samples from three food vendors as soon as they walked into Plant Park. Mikey’s had a healthier version of hot pockets in two flavors: pepperoni and cheese pizza. The hot pockets catered to those who have celiac disease or are lactose intolerant, since they’re both gluten and lactose free. Franklin on Twiggs had small poke bowls, mac & cheese and tacos. As for Yerba Mate, there were cans of mint and blueberry flavored tea.
“I love Mikey’s, so the fact that they were handing out warm, free hot pockets was amazing,” said Melissa Chin, sophomore criminology major. “Also, the sushi taco was interesting. It was good but questionable at the same time.”
Throughout the Spring semester, Student Productions markets Party in the Park as a way to make sure all students get their tickets and enjoy the annual tradition, according to Buccafuri. She adds that whether you like music, that type of environment, or you just want to find a cool way to spend a Friday night, you should come out and have fun at the event. The organization was going for a more relaxed vibe this year, said Buccafuri.
“There’s definitely a community atmosphere and I think behind the scenes, too,” said Buccafuri, “I know some people come volunteer by themselves and they meet other volunteers, people with their same interests. So, community is the best way to describe this event.”
Giovanna Brasolin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org