Alexander Luzula / Contributing Writer
After two years of lockdowns, quarantines, and a halt on in-person events, FIU SummerFest returned with a bang on July 14.
Held in Parking Lot Five on the Modesto Maidique Campus, the festival was a five-hour rave featuring several acts from popular artists, including performing duo Ship Wrek, a back to back set with DJs Wuki and JSTJR, and topped off by a performance from electronic duo Adventure Club, with a turn-out of over 4,000 attendees.
The festival was a first time event for many students, who are either incoming or enrolled at FIU during the pandemic and couldn’t attend previous years.
Incoming sophomore Alexis Cruz expected little more than a regular concert, but was quickly surprised with the scope of the event.
“It actually exceeded my expectations. It makes me excited to see the future events that FIU will hold, and as someone who’s transferring, it really does make me think that I made the right choice.”
To her, SummerFest is an important event for FIU, providing a space for incoming students to socialize with their peers.
“It’s the one big thing where you can meet new people that are coming to FIU, or you get to see your friends again right before school starts,” said Cruz.
Fellow sophomore Michael Canut felt similarly and was very happy with the event.
“A lot of new students attend these summer events and it really helps them see just how fun FIU can be,” said Canut.
The high turnout rate and overall success of the event was a surprise for many, including some members of the planning task force involved.
Senior Nicole Callez, marketing director for the event, was faced with the task of drumming up Panther pride for an event being held during the week. Like many others, Callez had not been able to attend prior SummerFests, and had little to work from.
Through promotional events and giveaways on campus, Callez and the council of 11 other students in charge of organizing the event were able to build up the event’s in-person and social media presence.
Even with all this work, Callez said that she was left in shock by the turnout.
“I think it’s one of those fun things to do in a safe environment,” said Callez. “You can dance like an idiot and no one can judge you.”