Thompson-Boling Arena played host Friday night to Volapalooza, UT’s annual celebration of the end of spring semester classes and the kickoff of commencement ceremonies. This year marks Volapalooza’s tenth anniversary.
”Students have a 100 percent say at what happens at Volapalooza, from the student survey that is sent out that specifies what sort of artists and genres they would like... to students working the event as you’ve seen tonight," said Brandi Panter, Volapalooza Coordinator for Outside Media and Executive Press Secretary for the Central Programming Council. "The event is created for students by students."
The event is created for students, by students. - Brandy Panter, Media Coordinator
A record five acts were featured this year that spanned multiple musical genres from rap to electronic to rock and roll.
The event began with spinning by local musician DJ Hailstorm, whose hip hop and house mashups also kept the crowd entertained between sets.
A large crowd had assembled by the time Knoxville’s own rock act The Black Cadillacs performed their opening number. The group played several selections from their upcoming album Run, which will be unveiled during an exclusive release party May 18 at The Square Room.
The collective energy of the crowd grew as Three 6 Mafia took the stage. Juicy J and DJ Paul performed numerous fan favorites including “Doe Boy Fresh,” “Sippin’ On Some Syrup,” “Poppin’ My Collar” and “Tear Da Club Up '97.”
Big Gigantic played the longest set of the night. The group comprised of members Dominic Lalli and Jeremy Salken blend electronic music with live saxophone and drum beats. Fans rushed to the arena floor as the crowd surged in unison to Big G’s heavy dub set.
The audience began chanting featured act Ziggy Marley’s name in anticipation before his band could finish setting up their equipment. Marley joked with fans about the number of items that had been thrown onstage throughout the night.
The reggae star radiated tranquility and relaxation as he performed a medley of songs including “Let Jah Will Be Done” and “Personal Revolution.”
The Ciderhouse hosted the official after party and featured artists DJ Slink, Ana Sia and Reid Speed.
Volapalooza is a collaborative event coordinated by the Campus Entertainment Board and the Cultural Attractions Committee. Both of these groups are part of the Central Program Council, which is a student-led organization supervised by the Office of Student Activities.
The show this year may be finished but planning has already begun for next year’s event according to Panter.