One of the biggest and most diverse event produced by students is almost here. The Black Student Assembly, Concerts Committee and Program Board have worked alongside each other for months for the combined BSA Gearfest and Springfest event this Saturday, an event that will provide a musically and culturally diverse environment for USC to enjoy.
“Collaborating with Springfest has allowed both of our executive teams to create something bigger than us,” said Brittany Jenkins, one of the producers of this year’s Gearfest and a junior majoring in business administration. “Combining these events definitely has the potential to create a staple event at USC that will be internationally recognized, and I am glad to just be a part of it.”
With new ideas and extensive student involvement, the director and producers of both events are able to maximize the potential for their respective events.
“Lamar [Gary], the BSA director, and I actually wanted to do this from the very beginning, since October,” said Bryan Leong, the director of Concerts Committee and a senior majoring in business administration. “One of the big benefits of Springfest, they get to bring out of a lot of people in the day time. … This year, we are expecting up to 1,000. … The main benefit of Springfest is the increase in daytime attendance, and for Gearfest is that they can get much bigger talent than they have ever had in the past.”
Gearfest is a one-day festival that showcases emerging designers and musicians from the Los Angeles area. This year’s theme “Dreamin’ of Destiny” was envisioned by Gearfest Creative Director Alanah Joseph, a senior majoring in communication.
“This season reinvents our classic childhood fairy tales by shedding light on the heroine, a woman that is powerful, beautiful and adventure-seeking,” Joseph said. “Taking inspiration from women movements in the 16th century and Gothic novels, female bodies are adorned with designs that show that elegance and sex appeal are not mutually exclusive.”
To demonstrate this, designers have created pieces that are dangerously elegant. However, the story of reinvention expressed by more than just the pieces. “Dreamin’ of Destiny” focuses on the broader theme of fulfilling goals.
“What we have created now is a fashion-music culture where, on the professional side, students can place themselves in a professional setting and grow from the experience of planning Gearfest. On the social and spectator side, Gearfest is a culture that brings everyone together, and it showcases what we are capable of doing as a people,” Jenkin said.
Springfest, a one-day event, but it focuses more on musical talent. This year looks to also bring the USC community together while highlighting diversity in the music industry.
Leong highlights the diversity students and guests will have to look forward to this year.
“Typically, in past Springfests, we have only focused on one very big headliner. … This year, we wanted to make it more festival-like. We wanted to show that we have a more diverse range of music to show,” Leong said.
Springfest is centered on four genres: hip hop, electronic dance music, rock music and indie music.
“This year we want to focus on all genres of music. We want the indie lovers to appreciate and see what hip-hop concerts are all about and vise versa. We want the USC community to experience the different types of music and that’s the main focus. … We have special events at USC, BSA, Trojan Pride, the Academic Cultural Assembly and a lot more other organizations that will make this a bigger event,” said Leong.
For Gearfest, it’s ultimately about fashion, music and culture. But one concept stands out among the others.
“This is more than a fashion show and concert,” Jenkin said. “Gearfest serves as a platform for African-American students to show the community we are more than athletes and scholars. We are bosses, executives, creators, innovators, visionaries, originators and leaders.”
One of the main goals behind both events was to further student involvement. Both showcases will not only feature student performers but also incorporate students from various departments at USC.
Together, Springfest and Gearfest strive to give the USC community a sense of diversity and unity and create a tradition that will continue for years to come.