Even though there were fewer acts performing at this year’s Extravaganza, there were more people attending the concert than in years past, event coordinators said.
Associated Students Program Board (ASPB) hosted the free concert from 1 to 7:30 p.m. in Harder Stadium, and the event drew roughly 9,000 people throughout the entire day, ASPB Commissioner Travis Heard said. Roughly 7,000 people attended last year’s Extravaganza, which featured more acts on three different stages. This year, there was only one stage, but the lineup featured artists who were better known. Performers this year include the Hairbrain Scheme, the Walkmen, Rjd2, Damian Marley and headlining musician Busta Rhymes. Heard said Extravaganza was amazing and was everything program board expected and wanted.
“It’s the biggest crowd we’ve had in at least the last four Extravaganzas,” Heard said.
Kelly Brennan-Kleyn, ASPB special events coordinator, said she was pleased with the crowd’s reaction overall, and she said that this year’s Extravaganza was a success because of the work program board members put into the event.
“We were lucky that we had a great crew this year and a lot of support from all around the university,” Brennan-Kleyn said.
The sunny and warm weather Sunday afternoon created an unofficial dress code for many of the attendees — shirts were optional for guys, while many gals wore miniskirts and bikini tops. Revelers laid on blankets and beach towels throughout the Harder Stadium field, while others played Frisbee or hacky sack. Vendors from local Isla Vista business, such as Precious Slut tattoo parlor, and student groups lined the sides of the stadium, offering their wares to Extravaganza attendees.
Officer Mark Signa, UC Police Dept. spokesman, said the event went smoothly overall. Only one person was arrested for public intoxication, while three other people were separately given citations for possession of marijuana.
The show’s featured artist, Busta Rhymes, took the stage at 6:30 p.m. A stream of concert revelers entered the stadium from lines that stretched back for at least 75 feet from the main front entrance. Heard estimated 6,000 people were in audience when Busta Rhymes played his set.
“Everyone was really accommodating in the lines,” Heard said.
Although Busta Rhymes was scheduled to perform at 5 p.m., Heard said ASPB delayed the show to allow all of the people in line to get into the stadium before Busta Rhymes started his set.
“We knew that the lines would hold people back, so we pushed [Busta Rhymes] back a little bit so everyone could get in,” he said.
The crowd of people standing directing in front of the stage while Busta Rhymes performed slowly warmed up to the rapper’s beats. The performer had to repeatedly tell the crowd to throw their hands in the air, but halfway through the show, the concert revelers became more active — singing along with Busta Rhymes and dancing to the music.
Damian Marley, son of the late reggae musician Bob Marley, entered the stage around 4:30 p.m. As he performed, a member of his crew waved the Jamaican flag on stage alongside Marley.
The scent of marijuana could be detected in the crowd in front of Marley as he played. Large crowds of people in the front row danced as Marley performed reggae music on stage.
“Reggae hit it off. That type of music just got the festival going,” Heard said.
Fourth-year law & society major Lauren Vazquez, UCSB chapter of National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) president, was dancing in the crowd in front of the stage while carrying a large, oversized, fake joint.
“We’re here to show Damian Marley what NORML is all about — freedom, justice, civil liberties and the legalization of marijuana,” Vazquez said.
Although the majority of people were college age, some parents brought their toddlers to the concert as well. Santa Barbara resident Amanda McColpim said she brought her daughter, two and a half-year-old Aiyana, to Extravaganza to expose her to a life of music and to see people joining in unity.
“Why shouldn’t a child be exposed to people having a good time together?” McColpim said.
Although third-year global studies major Will Crick said he liked Busta Rhymes’ show, he said he wanted to hear more of his older songs.
“I wanted him to play ‘Tear the Roof,’ but he didn’t,” Crick said. “I kept yelling at him to play it every time it was quiet [in the audience].”
Jessica Johnson, a first-year psychology major, said she was impressed with this year’s lineup.
“It’s tight that they came to our school,” she said. “It was shocking that Marley’s son was here. It was epic.”