The University Productions crew never stopped moving during Thursday’s Brillz and Flosstradamus concert, an event collectively known as QUEST. The event was held at the ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks.
A revamped version of Sundaze, Lehigh’s traditional spring concert event, QUEST has had University Productions hard at work with planning since last semester.
“Sundaze has been losing steam, and we decided to revamp and put more energy into it,” said Isaac Wellish, ’17, of University Productions. “ArtsQuest has been trying to get us to use their venues. This is the first time we’ve actually collaborated and made it happen.”
Bass beats rattled the ArtsQuest center from within as cheers, laughter and muffled music flowed out the venue’s door. The lights illuminating SteelStacks changed colors in the background.
Minni Kim, ’16, one of the coordinators of large events for University Productions, was one of two student deejays who opened for Brillz and Flosstradamus. Ross Camiel, ’16, the second student DJ, also played a large role in coordinating QUEST.
Kim also performed with two sophomore rappers, Miles Davis and Kevin Stripling, the latter of which goes by the stage name Samuraimayyne.
Kim spins under the name “Minnit,” while Camiel is known as “Cola.”
“We considered various popular genres at the time (planning began) and tried to head in a new direction,” Kim said. “Lehigh-Laf was a success, and we wanted to see more electronic artists because of the potential the genre brings for various production ideas. We also went with Brillz and Flosstradamus because of their integration of hip-hop in their music, which would appeal to fans of varying genres.”
Kim added that the move to ArtsQuest as a venue opened up many more planning options.
“We were looking at artists that complemented each other and brought a lot of energy to the stage,” he said. “Ross Camiel really took charge on production and envisioning what the event would look like.”
After Brillz’s hour-long set, Wellish spoke about the success of the performance, noting that there were already over a thousand students at the event. Three and a half hours into the event, Wellish said the venue would soon reach its capacity.
“All the parties, all the music, all the hype combined into one event is QUEST,” Wellish said. “If you go inside that room, there’s everything you could possibly imagine. We have lasers, CO2 jets, fog machines and LED walls.”
Inside the venue, the partygoers were enveloped in deafening trap — the term for the genre of music Brillz and Flosstradmus perform.
A thick fog filled the entire room, and students jostled and bumped to get from one end to
the crowded room to the other.
“The atmosphere? Rave,” Seamus Cullinane, ’17, said. “I like (how), on top of the music, they’ve got the laser show going.”
“It’s sweaty. It is just vivacious,” Luis Castaneda, ’16, said of the event’s atmosphere.
Adorned in bright clothes and flashing necklaces and headgear, the crowd jumped and swayed as one unit, powered by the music that permeated the room.
During his performance, Brillz started an anti-Lafayette chant that further energized the room.
As the night raged on, the energy of the room continued to heighten, and the crowd crammed as close to the DJs as possible. Those who were interested in having more space in which to dance than the floor occupied the sides of the stage and the balcony.
The evening ended somewhat abruptly with the venue’s fire alarm going off.
“The music basically stopped, and everyone headed to the door faster than normal,” Julianne Kerwood, ’17, said. “The staff was confused but motioning people to the door, and everyone was yelling.”
Despite the mishap, University Productions called the night a grand success.
Wellish said he looks forward to many other events like this one, as well as a bright future for University Productions.
“We’re going to totally make a 180-degree turn,” he said. “We’re going to start having ticketed shows and bigger artists. I’m not going to throw any names out yet, but we’ve started to put some offers in. There’s a lot in store for UP.”
Kim echoed Wellish’s sentiments.
“We would like QUEST to keep being innovative,” he said. “As of now, we are focusing on our fall events. We are eager to have more of an impact on Lehigh’s music scene by bringing relevant but new artists from all different genres.
“We hope to make sure the experience is tailor-made to the Lehigh community so that for one night a year, everyone can come out and enjoy music.”