Mayfest a major success despite Vic Mensa cancellation

Review: Headliner Cheat Codes, opener Moxie Raia and last-minute act Tunji Ige made Mayfest 2017 one for the books.

It started with a concerned skepticism:

"There's no way he missed his flight that's just a rumor."

Then some worried, misguided ramblings:

"How did University Union f— this up again?"

Then, finally, the confused, manic outrage:

"What are we gonna do? How will they save Mayfest? I'm coming down!"

Despite the initial concerns that many Syracuse students had when they first discovered Chicago rapper Vic Mensa would not make an appearance at this year's Mayfest a la Fetty Wap, the highly intoxicated student population was blessed with a day so beautiful and so raucous that there wasn't anything that could ruin it.

Photo: Nathan Baldry
Moxie Raia kicked off Mayfest 2017 with a performance that made the college crowd jump and sing along to songs of all kinds.

Although the actual festival didn't start until 1 p.m., Mayfest begins for many Syracuse Students in the infant hours of the morning. By 9 a.m. there were already massive day-drinks taking shape all over campus. The back lots and porches up and down Euclid were filled to capacity with reveling Mayfesters hell-bent on keeping their all-day drunk going. The University was happy to oblige the students in their pursuit of this endeavor; all students above the age of consumption were afforded three free beers courtesy of SU.

"These tuition beers are great," said one student who asked his name not be included in this article, "I've almost forgotten that Vic Mensa wont be performing," the student said.

It was even easier to forget that Mensa wouldn't be performing when the other acts started playing. Little-known New Jersey singer Moxie Raia kicked off the afternoon's entertainment with a short, but surprisingly good, set of original songs of varying subject matter. Although her performance may not have been exceptional, it was at the very least par for the course as far as Mayfest opening acts go.

After Moxie Raia's set, auxiliary headlining act Cheat Codes performed the most entertaining act of the afternoon. Hailing from Los Angeles, the trio performed remixes of popular songs by Blink 182 and Earth Wind & Fire among others. The crowd love Cheat Codes, and the trio stole the show despite technical difficulties that led to no music for a few minutes.

Following Cheat Codes, rapper Tunji Ige took the stage. As a replacement for Vic Mensa, he performed admirably, but by that time of day, most of the crowd was too drunk or tired to really care about his performance. Despite his best efforts, the Philadelphia-raised rapper was unable to capture the attention of the crowd the way that Cheat Codes did.

Despite the disappointing cancellation of Vic Mensa, which sources indicate is the result of a cancelled connecting flight, it would be tremendously unfair to call the day anything but a success. The weather was beautiful, the university was just the right level of drunk and the food was everyone's favorite kind: free.

Mayfest, as it turns out, isn't really about the music. It's about the energy. After a long semester, there's nothing the student population of Syracuse University wants to do more than party together. It's not often that the entire campus gets together to collectively rage, but sometimes when it does happen, it can be pretty amazing.

Mayfest 2017 was one of those times.

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