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Spring Splash 2024 made big waves before crashing to an abrupt end

Spring Splash undoubtedly holds a special place amongst University of California, Riverside (UCR) concerts. For seniors, it’s their last hurrah before graduation and for underclassmen, it’s their introduction to musical performances by big artists, multiple attractions and more. To all, it stands as the biggest Associated Students Program Board’s (ASPB) event of the year. This year’s Spring Splash was hosted on the Highlander Union Building (HUB) Lawn on Saturday, May 18, 2024 4:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., open to all undergraduate students who have registered and obtained their wristbands for the event. 

Theme

This year’s Spring Splash centered on a stormy theme, an aesthetic that was aided with motifs such as “Demon Slayer” inspired torrents and lightning. The theme was seen in their designed stage, venue artworks, Instagram posts and desirable merchandise. The merch, in the form of a soft baby blue shirt, played well with the manga/anime theme at the back of the shirt, separating the artist’s name with panels in a darker blue and completed with a centerpiece anime-styled pair of eyes. Overall, the decorations around the venue also displayed the theme very well, submerging UCR students into the aquatic world.

Line

If there’s ever any size measurement of an ASPB event, one can take such a measurement in observing the event’s line situation. Spring Splash’s lines were gigantic. The line to enter the event started from the Student Business Services building and wrapped around the lawn, before snaking all the way to the Arts building. Those who were at the front of that line came as early as 7:30 a.m. and just a bit further down were those that came at a more modest 11:30 a.m.

As expected, many were motivated by the allure of the promise of free merchandise if they lined up early — and they were indeed granted a wristband that could be shown at the merchandise booth to claim a 2024 Spring Splash shirt. This system has proved to be strategically effective, as not only does it help quell the disappointment of those who used to wait in lines for the merchandise only for it to run out, but also allows concertgoers to devote their efforts to other amenities and attractions if they did not receive one.

Fashion

Despite the hot weather, many attendees showed up in their best attire for ASPB’s event of the year. As a result, bright or muted pastel colors were the go-to color scheme this year. From bathing suit tops, to jorts and classic button downs slays were commonly seen throughout the event. For more on the best Spring Splash fits, check out “What the fit (WTF),” on page 22. 

Attractions and Amenities

76 degrees never felt so hot, and Spring Splash’s water station did well to remedy this. From the beginning, students headed towards it to combat the heat.

As with ASPB’s other concerts, the venue offered a wide range of food trucks and vendors to peruse for food and drinks. Spring Splash 2024 featured popular food trucks and vendors like “Red’s Pizza,” “Q’s Tacos” and “Burning Buns.”

This year’s Spring Splash concerts were sponsored by many organizations, and the two that had their own booths were Raising Cane’s and Innisfree. Raising Cane’s booth handed out branded guitar picks, lip gloss, car fresheners, lanyards and keychains. The Innisfree booth was especially popular with the products they were handing out as well. Other organizations that were at the event were The Well’s program, Golden ARCHES and End Overdose at UCR which had their own manned tables.

The most popular attraction by far for Spring Splash was the caricature drawings with its consistently large line. Other attractions included the staple ASPB photobooth, a station that airbrushed tattoos and a Meta Quest Virtual Reality (VR) station. 

Artists Performance

Keeping the vibes alive between sets was the host and DJ for Spring Splash 2024, Clubaction. “I graduated in 2020…and I didn’t think I would ever come back and play for [the students],” Clubaction said as she gushed over her return to campus. Her mixing skills helped to keep the crowd hype as they danced or sang along to the beats and lyrics. It prevented any dull moments from arising between sets. The music was a mix of great beats, including Metro Boomin’s “BBL Drizzy” beat and “Crank That (Soulja Boy)” by Soulja Boy. 

First up on the lineup was Isabella Lovestory and she did not disappoint in opening Spring Splash. Dressed in a bright purple wig, matching pants and black high-heeled boots, the Latin Pop artist had great energy from the get-go. Her stage presence is one of the main highlights of her set as she would sway her hips to the music and interact with the crowd, even asking “where my b*tches at?” Lovestory performed bops such as “Botoxxx,” “Cherry Bomb” and “Sexo Amor Dinero.” Typically, the first artist gets overshadowed by students barely trickling in and touring the venue first. However, Lovestory completely shined, as her performance had audiences interested in looking further into her music. Her sultry music and fun beats brought the crowd in and got them ready for the rest of Spring Splash. 

Next on the lineup was Trivecta, an electronic dance music (EDM) artist, who was perfect for “UC Raverside.” He instantly brought up the energy on his set filled with electric beats and synths. From the well-timed beat drops and seamless transitions, the crowd was jumping around, head banging and waving their hands in the air, similar to a real rave. He mixed in popular beats and songs such as “The Loop (TYNAN Remix)” “Let Go (feat. Jessy Covets) and his new song, ”Feel The Vibe.” In one particular highlight of Trivecta’s set, he stepped out to the front of the stage with an electric guitar and incorporated his electric riffs into the mix. The whole crowd was feeling the set that made any bystander want to be in the crowd and jam out to Trivecta. The set was tame but also very reminiscent of typical EDM music, making it a perfect middle ground for fans of EDM and those who don’t listen to the genre as much. 

Many students were especially eager to see d4vd perform at the live concert. The R&B artist became popular when his songs were used for TikTok edits, which gained him a lot of traction. He had a strong start to his set as he mixed in both the slower serenading-type music and the bass heavy, high-energy songs. d4vd was also accompanied by a guitarist and drummer who amped up his set even more. His music got the crowd waving their hands in the air and swaying along to songs like “Romantic Homicide,” “Sleep Well” and his most well-known song, “Feel It.” He shined the most on his slower songs that he is known for as he showed off his vocal range with high notes and prolonging a key. The mix between the soft lyrics and bass heavy songs was a perfect balance that fit well with the Spring Splash vibes. At this point of the night, the crowd had built up to fill up the lawn and was filled with energy as they eagerly awaited Lil Tecca. 

Reception

The students interviewed for their opinions during the event were generally positive. 

When asked about his experience, first-year anthropology major Carmelo Rodriguez said he enjoyed the music and stated “I think the food vendors are nice and there [are] lines but they [aren’t] really that big.” For the next Spring Splash, he says that he would like to see more food trucks.

Second-year biology major Michael Bhasin and third-year biology major Luke Dawes feel that this has been the best Spring Splash so far in their experience. They also credit the food as a great part of Spring Splash and Bhasin hopes to see rapper Lil’ Baby in the 2025 lineup.

Second-year bioengineering majors Manishi Jayasuriya and Anaruag Peedikayil thought last year’s lineup and performances were a bit better, however, stated that this year’s event in its entirety was more enjoyable. They loved the people and the vibes and when asked what they would like to see next year they exclaimed, “More bikinis and summer wear!”

Lil Tecca Incident

In the moments before the final artist, Lil Tecca, the crowd was repeatedly asked to “raise your hand and take five steps back.” The crowd at this point was the largest for the New York rapper and the excitement was at an all time high, prompting the response from many members of the security team to enter the pit between the stage and the audience to caution the many listeners to keep a safe distance between themselves. The situation was reminiscent of Block Party’s final artist performance, Ski Mask the Slump God, as the fervent crowd was also pushing into issue. However, security’s response then was milder and the show continued. 

Although this prolonged the process of getting Lil Tecca on stage, he eventually got on, getting the crowd instantly hype with his intro inspired by “The Purge,” calling out for the crowd to “prepare to lose your f*cking mind.” Lil Tecca went on to perform “HVN ON EARTH,” “Gist” and “500lbs.” However, before he could continue on, the set was paused which gave security more time to call on the crowd to step back and distance themselves from one another.

Security’s attempt to calm the crowd and push them back lasted for about five minutes, until the screen eventually signaled for people to look for the emergency exits. This led to confusion as some people started to leave, and others stood in bewilderment. Eventually, everyone got the memo that Spring Splash was canceled and were being ordered to leave.  As people left, their disappointment was very evident at the unexpected mishap. Third-year psychology major, Jillia Lacbain expressed her frustration saying, “it was disappointing. Everyone came for Lil Tecca but all we got was three songs and yelled at.” When reached out to ASPB for a statement on the event’s cancellation, The Highlander was redirected to the Instagram post the Board made on the night of the event. In the post addressing the abrupt cancellation, ASPB said “unfortunately, due to increasing safety concerns for our attendees, ASPB and UCR professional staff came to the difficult decision to end tonight’s festival early. Moving forward, we hope we can come together as a community to support key values of respect and compassion so we can all enjoy a safe and enjoyable concert experience.”

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