Kickback Festival Cancelled as Weeks of Welcome Return

ISABEL BINAMIRA/The Hoya Students of Georgetown, Inc. and the Georgetown Program Board cancelled the annual Kickback music festival after two years due to lackluster turnout in previous years and a desire to focus on expanding and improving other events.

ISABEL BINAMIRA/The Hoya
Students of Georgetown, Inc. and the Georgetown Program Board cancelled the annual Kickback music festival after two years due to lackluster turnout in previous years and a desire to focus on expanding and improving other events.

This year’s Georgetown Weeks of Welcome, held from Aug. 30 to Oct. 8, will not include the annual Kickback concert as coordinators focus efforts on expanding and improving other events amid low student turnout in past years.

According to the Vice President of the Georgetown Program Board Andrew Minkovitz (SFS ’17), GPB and Students of Georgetown, Inc. both agreed not to host the concert this year. Minkovitz said it is possible the Kickback concert will be brought back in subsequent years.

“GPB made the decision together with The Corp not to host Kickback this year as we both wanted to focus our efforts on other events this fall,” Minkovitz wrote in an email to The Hoya. “We expect in the near future to look into the possibility of bringing back the festival next fall.”

GWOW Coordinator Emily Ma (SFS ’19) said the organizations responsible for hosting the Kickback concert last year collectively decided to cancel this year’s concert due to low student participation and the large effort required to host it.

“I think just as a whole GPB, GWOW and The Corp just decided not to host kickback,” Ma said. “Kickback was probably just harder to get off the ground because it was only around for a few years, and it is difficult to kind of guarantee success or a huge turnout.”

Ma said last year’s Kickback concert was not very successful due to rainy weather that lowered turnout.

“I know last year there were complications with the weather and the turnout and how that was impacted because of the rain,” Ma said.

The Corp confirmed in an email to The Hoya that it would not be hosting Kickback this year.
Ma said there would be no musical replacement for the Kickback concert, but instead the Big Hunt program — a city-wide scavenger hunt that takes a day and allows students to win prizes and explore more of the city outside Georgetown — would be expanded.

GPB President Nick Bailey (MSB ’17), who also works for The Hoya, said the six weeks of GWOW are a collaboration between several campus student organizations to allow all students to enjoy events on campus and socialize with each other.

“Georgetown Program Board partners with [New Student Orientation] and Georgetown Weeks of Welcome to provide fun and low-cost entertainment to all students during the first few weeks of school,” Bailey wrote in an email to The Hoya.

Ma said a variety of signature events are planned for GWOW, aiming to raise student engagement and community involvement.

“We have signature programs like the Welcome Back Jack Barbecue, Taste of the Hilltop, Hoya Tees, Help-a-Hoya,” Ma said.

Another highlight of the Weeks of Welcome is the 5K Charity run. GPB Special Events Chair Stephanie Lu (COL ’18) said the run provides an opportunity for students to raise money for Garfield Elementary, a local school.

“Taking place on campus, the 5K allows Georgetown students to raise money for Garfield Elementary, a local DC school, without having to even leave the front gates,” Lu wrote in an email to The Hoya.

The GPB is also planning the annual Mr. Georgetown pageant, which will be hosted Friday, Sept. 23. It will include individuals from various clubs being judged by Vice President of Student Affairs Todd Olson.

This year will also feature the return of Taste of the Hilltop, in which various food trucks from around the area come to campus and allow students the opportunity to try out new foods.

According to Bailey, GBP is planning on expanding its advertising of its program this year with banners in Red Square and increased social media outreach.

“This year, GPB is taking a refreshed approach to our marketing strategy on campus,” Bailey said. “We are increasing our visibility and awareness in many ways, such as our banner in Red Square.”
Bailey said GPB hopes GWOW creates an inviting environment for students.

“We are excited to welcome new students to Georgetown and to get them involved in the programming we do around campus,” Bailey said.

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