On 99% of campus tours your tour guide will tell you about an event called FEST as you walk through the quad. FEST is the one day a year that the quad turns into an outdoor concert venue. Each year there are two supporting acts and a headliner out on the quad, followed by the winner of DePaul’s Battle of the Bands and another music artist at a second event in DePaul’s McGrath Phillips Arena called After Hours.
Although FEST doesn’t happen until May, throughout the entire year there’s a lot of buzz about it on social media. From attending FEST forums, to voting in the FEST survey, to gossiping about who the performer *might* be, students get pretty into it.
Clearly there’s more than just google surveys and rumor mills that make FEST come together? So how does it all happen? My freshman year I had the opportunity to serve on the FEST committee. With a chair and 13 assistants, the FEST Committee is a subsection of DePaul Activities Board (commonly known as DAB). Serving on this committee was a great way to get to know other students who enjoyed event planning like I did, as well as the interworkings of putting on a massive event!
The FEST committee plans everything from marketing, to what the performers will eat before they hit the stage, to coordination of staff to volunteer at the event. The committee members are very transparent with expectations, new ideas, execution of duties, and problem solving. However, there’s one thing that’s still kept as huge secret: the line up. There are very few people who know the line up before it’s shared with the entire campus (this year the Big Reveal occurred at Battle of the Bands on May 3rd). As someone who doesn’t like secrets I was actually really glad that this one was kept from me. It’s a unique experience to work toward a common goal with a group of people, but not exactly know what the final product will look like.