Mayfest 2014: #Cusechella comes to Walnut Park

Joywave, Pierce Fulton and A$AP Ferg bring music and excitement to this year's installment of SU's year-end extravaganza.

Amid the frolicking hippies and laid-back hipsters, the highly anticipated party of the year hosted thousands of students and was a feel-good time for most - even if they can’t remember it. 

The major concert in Walnut Park opened up with the indie-friendly band Joywave, comprised of Daniel, Paul, Sean, Travis, and Joseph. The eclectic group aren’t strangers to playing alongside major rap artists having played at South by Southwest, near Wiz Khalifa. They feel the “modern music listener isn’t stuck within the walls of one genre, it's normal for them to hear a hip-hop song and then a Zedd song” said bandmate Sean Donnelly, obviously referring to the Block Party immediately following Mayfest. 

Photo: Luke Rafferty & Zach Lowry

Check out more photos and our Mayfest video from the partying along Euclid to Walnut Park.

The band played to a small crowd gathered at the foot of the stage. Although the crowd was thin, festival goers chilling by the trees or sitting Indian style in circles seemed to enjoy the chill vibes as they swayed their heads to the beat. Lead singer Daniel Armbustrer said “playing outside is always weird for me, but we had fun.”

So where was everyone else? Concentrated at the two furthest ends of Walnut Avenue at the official and unofficial drinking quarters: the Mayfest beer garden for the chill and Castle Court for the crazy. The debaucherous day at Castle Court was nothing short of wild, with students dancing on the roofs and waving their hands out of upstairs windows.

But students say they deserve to let loose.  

“I’d name my first child Mayfest,” exclaimed senior information management and technology student Chelsea Memet. 

She said it’s the best time of the year because students have worked so hard leading up to graduation. “Cheers to the end of the years,” Memet said.

AraabMUZIK wasn’t able to perform due to “unforeseen scheduling conflicts” but that didn’t hamper any of the good times to be had by Syracuse University students. University Union brought in EDM producer Pierce Fulton. University Union staff said Fulton Pierce was a great addition to the Mayfest set, as his music is fit for the college atmosphere.

The Red Bull DJ filled the gaps between performances with popular dance and hip-hop tracks -  building the energy up as more concertgoers started to get down to the crowd-pleasing music. 

As more people filed into Walnut Park for the Harlem headliner, A$AP Ferg, the smell of beer and marijuana seemed to file in with them. By the time A$AP Ferg made his way to the stage a haze hung over the the crowd, which had grown in numbers and crazy costumes.

A purple teletubby, a banana, flower children, hipsters, and everyone in between were out and about Walnut Park to welcome the New York native rapper A$AP Ferg to Orange Nation. The rapper said he enjoyed pizza, the Cheesecake Factory, and even explored Destiny USA before getting ready for the high-energy performance. 

The #TrapLord, as he’s going by these days, produced a performance level similar to that of Coachella and SXSW, demanding the crowd turn it up “from nine and a half to one thousand!” The rapper truly is about entertaining and engaging his fans. Between calls and answers with the audience he called “Lordians,” as well as crowd surfing, A$AP Ferg brought an energetic and interactive performance to Walnut Park. 

He also paid homage to his brother and A$AP Rocky, telling concertgoers he’s got to thank the “Pretty Mother F*cker.” The familiar rhymes and rhythms of “Goldie” and “Wild for The Night” got the crowd even more hyped. 

A$AP Ferg said he wants his music “to move people spiritually…and not just turn up… but move them and connect to the music.” And the high-energy lyricist did when he called out Syracuse looking for the best rapper to represent us on stage. “You never know who the next A$AP Ferg Is” he yelled.  

Maybe it’s freshman Khalil Kearney.  He said he knew A$AP Ferg was calling him to the stage. Kearney looks up to A$AP Ferg and said people have even told him he looks a bit like him. Two bars into his freestyle Kearney’s classmates were going berserk. The exercise science major didn’t stumble or miss a beat. A$AP Ferg and the audience were impressed. Kearney said after the performance he’d want Ferg to know how much of an inspiration he is. “I’ve been listening to him for years. You don’t even know…this is crazy!”

From that point on the energy remained at a high, especially when A$AP Ferg dropped the trap synths to the popular track “Work.” Upon closing his dynamic performance with another fan favorite, “Shabba,” the rhapsodic rapper leapt off the stage into the middle of the crowd, creating a mosh pit, and turning the crowd up another thousand percent. Attendees climbed trees to catch a glimpse of the rapper.  One student even lost his shoe in the hoopla of the performance, but didn’t look too bothered by the loss. 

“Mayfest was another major success,” said Mayfest co-director Austin Thomas. “The caliber of talent continues to rise and hopefully next year we can keep this trend going while providing quality entertainment for the students.”

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