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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Lawntopia 2023 delivered good music, dancing to the UC Davis community

ASUCD Entertainment Council’s annual spring quarter event garnered an impressive turnout  

 

By CLARA FISCHER — arts@theaggie.org

 

On Friday, April 28, the ASUCD Entertainment Council (EC) held Lawntopia at Dairy Field. The highly anticipated event, featuring notable American rap and hip-hop artist Isaiah Rashad as the headliner, saw a sizable and energetic turnout from the student body.

EC hosts several events similar to Lawntopia throughout the year, including Sunset Fest in fall quarter and Brainfreeze in winter quarter. These performances usually feature various openers, who are typically local musicians, and one more well-known headliner. This past weekend, Rashad stepped into that role.

Rashad is one of the most notorious musicians EC has managed to bring to Davis in recent years (especially compared to further back, when artists such as Drake, Florence + the Machine, Tiësto and more made stops on campus), with more than 4 million listeners on Spotify, collaborations with other mainstream artists like SZA and Kendrick Lamar and multiple Grammy nominations.

Third-year political science major Angelica Martinez expressed her excitement about the headliner, stating that the thing she was most looking forward to for the night was “definitely Isaiah Rashad, obviously.” 

The crowd at Lawntopia appeared to appreciate Rashad’s performance, with plenty of head-bobbing, jumping, cheering and moshing. Some in the audience seemed to know the rapper’s discography by heart, singing along word for word, and those that didn’t still brought ample energy. 

Even for those who weren’t super-fans of Rashad, the event had something to offer. Lawntopia featured performances by smaller artists, including Byemilo, DJ Mellax, Ladies First DJ Club and more, as well as pop-ups from local art vendors and information booths for various organizations.

One of the vendors selling art at the event was local artist and Sacramento State student Kendall Kennedy, who stated their excitement about seeing the opening acts perform.

“I’m excited to hear the openers,” Kennedy said. “I’m excited to hear the local bands.”

Roxy, a second-year environment and management major, has previously collaborated with Kennedy as a vendor at the Davis Art Market. She was given the opportunity to participate in Lawntopia through her previous work with Kennedy, playfully stating that she “got dragged in here with them.”

This year marked the first time Lawntopia was held at Dairy Field; previous shows were held at the Quad. The larger venue allowed for an increased number of attendees, but also caused lengthy entrance lines. Students were lined up around the block from when the doors opened to when they closed, and there was some confusion about which line was the correct one for students to wait in. 

Overall, this year’s Lawntopia was an exciting way to usher in the (much-needed) warm weather of spring quarter. The minor kinks in the organization of the event only served to remind concertgoers that there’s a possibility for an even better experience next year and were ultimately outweighed by the positive energy shared by the performers and the crowd.

“From last year to this year, it’s the perfect shift,” Martinez said. 

Her sentiment echoes the feelings radiating from the crowd at the event — students were, more than anything, happy to be spending time together to mark the start of the (arguably) best quarter of the year. 

Written by: Clara Fischer — arts@theaggie.org