Thousands of UCSB students, faculty and staff piled into Harder Stadium yesterday for Associated Students Program Board’s annual Extravaganza music festival.
This year’s lineup incorporated a range of genres and featured artists such as Sprout, The Expendables, Talib Kweli, Rusko and headliner Cee Lo Green. For the first time, A.S. Program Board required attendees to present an ACCESS card to gain entrance, making the event exclusive to the UCSB community.
The change was met with mixed feelings from students but many agreed that wait times were significantly reduced.
Yasmin Sharawy, a second-year biology major, said she saw a marked difference in lines between this and last year’s events.
“Last year it took us two hours to get in,” Sharawy said. “This year it took us two minutes.”
Second-year linguistics major Dana Fallon said while she was disappointed that visitors were not welcome, the change positively influenced crowd management at the historically hectic happening.
“My friend from out of town came last year,” Fallon said. “It’s too bad she couldn’t come this year, but it was overall a lot faster and it’s more fun with only UCSB students.”
Local band Sprout, winner of this year’s Battle of the Bands, kicked off the event after gates opened at 1 p.m. Michael Wagman, an undeclared second-year, said the act set a good tone for the rest of the day.
“Sprout was great,” Wagman said. “We got here 15 minutes after it opened and saw the openers. The djembe player was amazing and fine.”
The next act, Santa Cruz-based ska group The Expendables, received similar praise for their diverse tunes, which incorporated styles spanning from punk rock to reggae. Sharawy said the set proved enjoyable to everyone from diehard fans to first-time listeners.
“I hadn’t heard of them until now,” Sharawy said. “But they’re really good live.”
Rapper Talib Kweli took the stage next, performing a diverse selection of tunes with music by other artists such as The Beatles mixed into his own songs. During his set, Kweli reprimanded Fox News for calling rapper Common “vile” and denounced the channel by calling it an entertainment source lacking in real news value.
English DJ Rusko followed with an hour of dubstep that set off a massive wave of dancing within the crowd but was nonetheless met with mixed reactions. Uce Nnadi, a second-year political science major, said the DJ gave a quality performance.
“He came and delivered,” Nnadi said. “It was dubstep in its purest.”
However, third-year mathematics major Eric Frydendal was not as impressed with the artist’s spins.
“I’m too sober for this shit,” Frydendal said.
Headliner Cee Lo Green then took the stage, opening with a rendition of Black Sabbath’s “Crazy Train.” The Gnarls Barkley singer covered various other rock songs before unveiling his former band’s top single “Crazy” and his own recent chart-topper “Fuck You.” Green closed the set with a rendition of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” to end the festival.
Sharawy said the artist’s performance was an improvement in entertainment from previous years.
“He started off slow, but it got really good at the end because we knew the songs,” Sharawy said. “It was way better this year. He was a way better headliner than Drake. He tried to please the crowd while Drake didn’t.”