MICHELLE XU/THE HOYA Peter Fanone (COL ’15) performs at Kickback, a music festival sponsored by The Corp and Welcome Week on Sept. 1. The groups have not yet decided whether they will hold the festival next year.
MICHELLE XU/THE HOYA
Peter Fanone (COL ’15) performs at Kickback, a music festival sponsored by The Corp and Welcome Week on Sept. 1. The groups have not yet decided whether they will hold the festival next year.

This Labor Day saw the debut of Kickback, a music festival featuring professional and student acts, sponsored by Students of Georgetown, Inc. and Welcome Week.

Although a final ticket sale count is still being calculated — finalized information will not be made available to the public — the number of attendees fell well within the range of students the planners of the event were hoping to attract, and exceeded the number of tickets sold for events such as the more expensive Corp Gala, which ranges between 800 to 950.

“It looks like we sold to about a quarter of the population, so somewhere between 1,400 and 1,600 tickets,” Corp CEO Sam Rodman (MSB ’15) said. COO Patrick Moore (MSB ’15) estimated that projected sales were between 1,000 to 2,000.

Kickback may not be a regular Labor Day installation on campus, however.

“There’s a lot to look at,” Rodman said. “We still have to look at where we broke down from a financial perspective. We left the event really happy with how things went, and we think we did a good job of making people happy with the day, but in the end it comes back to the finances of it, as well as just the operations, finding people to do it next year.”

Moore believes that if the event does continue, it will most likely return in a different form.

“Maybe it will be more of a campus-wide committee versus a Corp and Welcome committee,” Moore said, citing turnover as a main issue concerning Kickback becoming an annual event. “Welcome [Week] coordinators will be completely different next year. Corp leadership will be completely different next year.”

During the day, however, the festival took on a tone much more reminiscent of the Georgetown community as a whole, rather than just The Corp, a shift that gave Rodman confidence in Kickback’s potential longevity.

“The event became enriched when it began to have more a campus-wide feel to it — for example, when Art Aficionados brought in their installations, or when Blue and Gray had a table and kiddie pool there,” Rodman said. “People brought cornhole. I think that was when the event really started to take off. Not only is it enriched by the people participating, but it has a broader appeal to everybody who’s on campus.”

Rain delayed the show for 20 minutes during the middle of a set by COIN, a professional act, but the inclement weather had relatively little impact on the rest of the festival.

“It worked out as well as it could. We had talked to the emergency preparedness group at the university and worked out a plan,” Rodman said. “As soon as the rain storms passed 20 minutes later, we brought everybody back in. I think just because the sun was so hot, it was almost the break everybody needed, because people poured back into the venue.”

Despite the growing pains of a first-year festival, attendees enjoyed the event.

“Even through the almost unbearable heat, the performers maintained a great energy level which in turn upped the Kickbackers’ energy as well,” Eliza McCurdy (COL ’17), who attended Kickback, said.

Regardless of whether or not Kickback will return next fall in some capacity, the festival provided a model for similar events in the future.

“It was a total test run this year, a total experiment,” Moore said. “We have a model now, which is really exciting to see if this is something that people are into going forward, how they make it better, how they do it different. What it looks like. Basically we built the model, we know now what the workload is for this type of event.”

Have a reaction to this article? Write a letter to the editor.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*