Sun God Sells Out with More than 20,000 Attending Music Festival
Christine Clark and Kristin Luciani | May 17, 2010
For 28 years in a row, the Sun God Festival has proven to be one of UC San Diego's most enduring traditions. The all-day music festival was celebrated Friday with more than 20,000 students, alumni and friends attending the sold-out event.
For the third year in a row, Sun God was held on the RIMAC Field, allowing the festival to provide 12 hours of continuous programming at a centralized location, according to Alex Bramwell, associate vice president of concerts and events. “We work to improve the setup every year to make Sun God as fun as it can be for students,” he said. “This year, we have streamlined our box office, improved sound and lighting, and I think, aesthetically, we're stronger than ever.”
New this year was “Sun God: The Alumni Experience,” a sold-out event for alumni that included admission to the festival, reserved parking, a private concert entrance, a commemorative VIP pass and admission to an exclusive party at the new Home Plate Café in the RIMAC Annex.
Students could enjoy more than 12 hours of performances and fun.
“This is the inaugural year for Sun God: The Alumni Experience, and we are so grateful to Associated Students for partnering with us so that we can offer alumni an opportunity to experience the festival again, but in a way that’s appropriate to their life stage,” Armin Afsahi, ’90, executive director of the UC San Diego Alumni Association said. “Alumni always share with us that the festival was a fundamental part of their student experience, and now they can come back to see how the tradition has grown and enjoy the music and festivities with their alumni peers.”
At 5 p.m., alumni gathered at the Home Plate Café for the exclusive Alumni Experience Party, where they mingled, reminisced about their Sun God experience and enjoyed a sampling of the cafés menu.
Popular hip-hop artists such as Drake and B.O.B headlined the show along with the punk rock band Thrice and pop singer Michele Branch. Although, DJs and hip hop acts dominated the lineup, up-and-coming rock bands, such as Crash Kings and the Parson Red Heads also entertained attendees.
However, some students, such as fourth year sociology major, Stephanie Usry, see the event as more than just a music festival.
“Sun God is a day of the year when all students—from different colleges, majors and backgrounds—come together and really feel like a part of the UCSD community,” Usry said. “I think it will be one of my most memorable experiences as a student here.”
The festival kicked off at noon, and similar to last year’s Sun God, it included the dance and midway tents, comedic acts, performances by Cirque Berzerk, and a rock climbing wall.
Students enjoyed the evening's concerts.
Organizers worked to include an increased student organization presence. Fourteen student organization information booths lined the west side of the field and 11 student food booths held fundraisers in the center of Hopkins Drive.
The festival also was more sustainable this year, Bramwell said. "Our redesigned water distribution further improved our sustainability from last year by utilizing on-campus water sources rather than purchasing large quantities in 5 gallon jugs from an outside source," Bramwell said. "We also tried to work with the Student Sustainability Committee to help them utilize the on-campus composting center."
This year's Sun God also introduced the Music Saves Lives blood drive, an event sponsored by the Red Cross that gave some 150 donors a chance to have a meet and greet with the band Thrice before the band performed on the main stage.
Also popular was the dance tent which featured DJs, such as Robbed by Robots, JSharp and BARons of BASS.