FlashFest 2012: ‘This is what college is about’

Brittany Hill

Cigarette smoke, outstretched arms and giant beach balls filled the air above Manchester field during Kent State’s 2012 FlashFest Thursday.

Students soaked up the warm springtime sun while playing poker, eating hot dogs, catching hot air balloon rides and, of course, enjoying the free music.

Amy Fedor, freshman exploratory major, won nine raffle tickets playing blackjack, roulette and poker that she planned to enter for the iPad raffle. She said it was a cute and fun thing for Kent to do, especially because they didn’t have to spend their own money.

“It was cool,” said Fedor. “I texted my mom and was like, ‘Uh, I’m gambling right now.’”

The bands at the festival could not have been a more eclectic mix. Mr. Gnome was a cute couple that swayed in the breeze while Walk the Moon painted their hipster faces and bounced around. Carolina Liar was an enthusiastic group of gentlemen with button-up shirts strategically unbutton to mid chest , while Third Eye Blind came on stage all wearing sunglasses like the rock stars they are.

Nina Price, freshman dance major, said, “I think they made a really good choice because everyone was expecting rap, but this is something everyone can relate to and a throwback everyone can enjoy.”

“Ah, springtime at Kent,” said Stephan Jenkins, lead vocalist of Third Eye Blind to the FlashFest crowd. “I’m so happy to be here. I think this is what college is about.”

Director of Undergraduate Student Government Programming Jeff Hammond said his number one goal for the semester was to get FlashFest back outside and free for the students, but having it outside limited their choice of acts.

Hammond said the city police had to OK the act to play outside because they didn’t want too big of an act performing on the field for security reasons.

“A few years ago when we had it outside, those bands weren’t that big, but everyone just enjoyed the atmosphere” Hammond said. “So [I felt] having a band like Third Eye Blind, well-known but older, would be a better show because it could be outside and free for the students. We want to give back to the students, and that’s pretty much the main goal of FlashFest.”

Mikey Weitzenhoffer, junior music major, said he really enjoyed the show but probably wouldn’t have attended if it weren’t free.

“I’m a poor college student,” Weitzenhoffer said. “And I just got my car towed the other night.”

Some people weren’t as excited about the choice of headliner.

Danka Udovicic, sophomore chemistry major, came to see opening act Mr. Gnome, who she has been a fan of for years, but left when Third Eye Blind started to play. “I’m not really into ‘90s music,” Udovicic said. “And people were crowd surfing and kicking me in the head.”

Hammond said because of the city’s noise ordinance, the show had to be over by 9:30 p.m. to avoid being charged fines.

Opening acts Walk the Moon and Carolina Liar had their sets cut short to ensure the festival finished on time.

In addition to having his set cut short, Carolina Liar vocalist Chad Wolf had some technical difficulties on stage, which he said, was disappointing, but he loved the crowd.

“Fuck, I just wanted to deliver for them,” Wolf said about the crowd, but said that those are just things that happen during outside sets. “These things are like rodeos.”

Contact Brittany Hill at [email protected].