Alex Fredkin, Managing Editor
This past weekend Oneonta held its ninth annual OH-Fest celebration, with rapper Sammy Adams headlining the concert. The day’s festivities started with a carnival on Main Street, which was closed off for the event. Afterwards the concert was held in Neahwa Park.
OH-Fest is a one-of-a-kind event that brings together both of the local colleges as well as the community. SUNY Oneonta’s Student Association Activities Council (SAAC) and Hartwick College’s Campus Activities Board (HCAB) present the event, which are both funded by their respective student governments. The city of Oneonta also supports the event. Students, faculty and townspeople of all ages congregated downtown during the carnival and the concert. There were games to play, food vendors and music as well.
A “Battle of the Bands” was held earlier in the year to decide who would play on Main Street and later that night at Neahwa Park. Student bands KLOZAPIN, Naughty and rapper Darkecy all performed. Student band Somewhere Up There’s performance was cancelled due to weather. The rain did affect attendance during the day. Senior Kevin Coleman said “The main reason I didn’t go was because of the weather, if it was nice out I probably would have.”
Despite the rain, attendees still enjoyed the bands, and the performers were appreciative. The drummer of Naughty, freshman Justin Babbino, said of the show “We felt like the crowd was really enjoying it. The concert was very special for us and we loved that people stayed through the rain to see the show.”
The weather improved for the night time performance, and attendees flocked to Neahwa Park to continue enjoying the festivities. While some chose to hang out by the food stands, chatting and catching up with friends, others crowded the stage to enjoy the show up-close. The main concert had a much higher attendance this year than last year’s OH-Fest. Part of this was due to the fact that this year students all voted for who they wanted to perform. The process was much more transparent than in the past, and rapper Sammy Adams was the highest voted artist for SUNY Oneonta.To start off the main concert, student reggae band Baked Potatoes opened up, setting the stage for a fun night. Michael Jackson cover band Who’s Bad? returned to OH-Fest this year, and student DJ Aire Atlantica performed his own songs as well as music in between sets.
The headliner Sammy Adams came on to the stage to raucous applause. Concert-goers pushed and shoved to get to the front to see him perform. Adams played his popular song “Driving Me Crazy” early on. The catchy tune was upbeat and had people jumping up and down and singing along. The Boston-born rapper plays a very poppy brand of hip-hop and uses electronic sounds in his music as well, allowing him to bridge many genres with his cross-over appeal.
He is known as being a “remix rapper,” taking popular songs and writing raps to them. While some may see this as an easy way to make hits, Adams is not an artist for the hip hop purist, and definitely appeals to a mainstream college crowd. He remixed Baauer’s “Harlem Shake,” which went viral last year with millions of YouTube views.Other popular remixes of the night were to Taylor Swift’s “Trouble” and Ke$ha’s “Timber.” Senior Julie Hirsh said of the performance, “I thought the show was fun, I enjoyed dancing and singing along to all of his familiar songs.” Although many enjoyed the show, others still wished he didn’t do as many remixes. Hirsh went on to add that “I would’ve liked to hear more of his original music than the covers he did.”
Adams’ most popular song and biggest hit of the night was undoubtedly his single “All Night Longer.” The party song is an ode to college drinking and was a perfect end to the night for all of the students present. Many crowd surfed and joined in on the chorus. It was electrifying to hear hundreds of people all yelling the same words, and definitely reflected the attitude of the event and spirit of bringing everyone together.
All in all OH-Fest was a success. While some enjoyed the carnival but not the concert, some went to both, and others simply partied with friends, the day had something for everyone. OH-Fest 9 was a perfect celebration to end the year, and people are no doubt looking forward to what’s in store for the 10th anniversary in 2015.