Owl Fest replaces annual Freaker’s Ball for spring concert event
Florida Atlantic’s first ever Owl Fest: an electronic dance music event with pyrotechnics and fireworks.
April 21, 2016
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A man wearing an armored, black robotic suit and a helmet with multi-colored flashing lights danced on stilts as fog drifted over a large crowd waving dozens of glow sticks to the pulsing beat of the electronic dance music duo, GlowKids.
The first ever Owl Fest was held behind the Student Union at the outdoor stage last night at 8 p.m. Program Board’s self-proclaimed “ultimate music experience” consisted of an EDM festival performed by the iExperia college invasion company.
The concert was the first at Florida Atlantic to showcase pyrotechnics and fireworks during a musical event, according to Program Board Director Jacob Sherbondy. The event sold 2,000 tickets and lasted four hours.
“I liked the fireworks, and I definitely danced a lot throughout the night,” said Aleksis Brabham, a freshman criminal justice major.
Tickets were free to students and $10 to the public. There were snow cones and chicken wing vendors, as well as glow-in-the-dark, neon body paint. Flashing multicolored lights, lasers and fog engulfed a sea of students while dancers and entertainers performed throughout the night.
“My job is really, really fun,” said Jess Pengwar, one of the performers who was wearing a blue wig, dark-blue lipstick, knee-high white boots and a white skirt. “I tour with the iExperia company and have been with them about two to three years now.”
Early in the evening, Pengwar also wandered through the crowd dancing in a mirror suit while DJs performed on stage and danced with hoola hoops on each arm.
Sophomore Nick Hatcher, whose stage name is DJ Gramps and sophomore communication major Lexi Terry, or DJ LX, won their spots to perform in a contest for opening acts.
DJ Luis Cabrera and NUFO also performed before the headlining act, GLOWKIDS, took the stage at 10 p.m. They were followed by JU LEE.
“I’ve never been to a rave or EDM festival before,” said Sandra Almanca, a junior studying anthropology, as she danced with glow sticks. “This is my first year attending FAU, I came here tonight because I was looking for something fun.”
Her friend Eric Manuel, a junior biology major, was standing next to her with glow-in-the-dark orange and green paint on his face.
“This is something different, it’s not the genre of music that I normally listen to,” he said. “This is just going to be a fun night.”
Early in the night, an artist named Staysealove was painting an owl with neon blue, purple, red, orange and green paints on a black canvas. Right before GLOWKIDS started, Moses, the front man of NUFO, showed the finished portrait to the crowd, followed by a video that introduced the headliners.
The self-proclaimed “intergalactic duo” GLOWKIDS took the stage in matching white jackets, pants and black T-shirts with masks over their eyes. As the beat to the music dropped, pyrotechnic fire would shoot from the top of the stage, fireworks would fire off and fog would drift out over the audience.
During the acts, two women in white lingerie climbed a purple drape and do a Cirque du Soleil-like acrobatic performance.
A man in white pants and a white vest came onto the stage with a hoola hoop that was roughly 6 feet wide and 6 feet high. He held it by his hands and feet, then spun around the stage in it while four female entertainers in white lingerie danced on stage.
Freshman psychology major Madeline Rudewicz felt the show was “slow in the beginning and middle, but obviously when GLOWKIDS started it got a lot better.”
Zuri Moench, a junior multimedia journalism major, expressed that the show didn’t play the typical music that she listens to and she would have liked to hear something a little different.
“It was nice, I enjoyed the atmosphere, the fire and light effects,” said Moench. “I wish they would have played a little bit more variety in music, something a little bit more ratchet like Future.”
Joe Pye is a staff writer for the University Press. For more information regarding this or other stories, email Jpye2015@fau.edu or tweet him @Jpeg3189.