#Fest — 17 and Done?

Photos taken by Kevin Ming Pan

As I sit here and try to reflect on my past three years at Ohio University, there is one predominant memory that comes to mind: #Fest. The Number Fest has always been held right before finals week, indicating the end of “Fest Season” and yet another year at one of the biggest party schools in America. 

Ohio University students have always taken pride in their rebellious party school reputation, and #Fest has always been one event to thank for that honor. What other university holds an annual music festival with names such as Kendrick Lamar, Wiz Khalifa, Diplo, Schoolboy Q, GRiZ, Louis the Child, Migos, 21 Savage, Young Thug, Marshmello, G-Eazy, Lil Uzi Vert, and others with a list that can go on and on? Not only that, but what university holds such acclamation that these notable entertainers will travel to the middle of nowhere (literally) to perform in front of such group of individuals? Not many. So, over the past few years, both the students of Ohio University, and Prime Social Group, the production and promotions company that put on #Fest, have obviously been doing something right.

According to one of the #Fest last Instagram stories, the post mentioned “#17 and done,” and there has been no said plan on continuing the festival, as of now.

So, as of now, we can sit here and try to pinpoint the reasons of why the #Fest is probably coming to an end, whether that be finances, result of lineup changes, separate projects, or of the dying party reputation of OU, or we can look back at the great memories #Fest has brought to all different parties involved. If you have gone to or visited Ohio University in the past 17 years, I am sure that this supreme music festival and celebration will be one reminisced on and talked about for a while. It is very unfortunate to see the event leave, but it will be exciting to see what is to come. And if #Fest were to end in any way, it has been ended the right way, with the authenticity that it started with and was ever so deserving to conclude with: a pure, genuine, and ever-loving OU crowd and the restoring of BYOB.

This year’s #Fest marked the return of BYOB, a praised component of the inaugural event, and something that came to a halt after festivities got out of hand (thank you former OU students). But Prime Social Group did something quite right by bringing it back, and it along with it brought back the original feel and excitement that #Fest was supposed to contain.

When you looked out in the crowd, you could see beer pong tables set up, cases lining the fence, students smashing beer cans on their heads, or throwing them up in celebration of the day. Although that may seem wild and out of hand, the crowd was the perfect size to let it happen, and what better way to end the school year, partying with all your graduating friends, under the beautiful, bright sun, listening to beloved names of the music industry.

The 17th edition of #Fest was headlined by Rae Sremmurd, Boombox Cartel, DJ Pauly D, Flipp Dinero, Shaun Frank, Mitch James (and not Rich the Kid due to having a kid and going to Coachella), and they concluded the festival with great charisma and energy, reminding the attendees of why the #Fest has been around for so long in the first place. Because of the passionate and hardworking group behind the festival, the lively and compelling performers, and the loyal and zealous students who continue to come back every year, that is why 17 years of the renowned #Fest has continued for so long. And sadly, as of now, the word is that it has come to an end. But what is ahead is better than what has past — and knowing that, it will be very exciting to see what is in store for Ohio University, the venue of Athens, and the future projects of Prime Social Group.

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