Erik DiGirolamo, ’20, is hoping Lehigh will win the Up & Up College Festival next year after successfully planning and bringing the DJ-producer duo Two Friends to the Sands Event Center in Bethlehem on Nov. 3.
The Up & Up College Festival is a yearly competition that gives one student from each participating university the opportunity to serve as a representative who promotes the concert. After a short period of promotion, students are given 48 hours to purchase tickets and the university that purchases the most tickets wins.
“(DiGirolamo) was very proactive about posting information on Facebook and spreading the word,” said Austin Pierce, ’20. “A lot of the Lehigh community showed up, which I thought was good.”
Although Lehigh placed third in this year’s competition, the process didn’t come without struggles.
Ticket sales occurred mostly through the Sands — with the exception of Ticketmaster. DiGirolamo was in charge of spreading the word so students knew when and how they could purchase tickets.
Many people ran into problems with their tickets and looked to DiGirolamo to help since he was the one promoting the show.
“A lot of people ended up running into issues with the Sands or Ticketmaster and I couldn’t help them,” DiGirolamo said. “I tried to connect them with the right people and give them the best help I could, but at the end of the day I couldn’t fully answer all their questions.”
Up & Up served as the overseer of the planning of the show. DiGirolamo said it helped organize the event and helped him find a venue that was large enough to fit the number of people who ordered tickets. Up & Up let DiGirolamo choose the openers for the show. Nick Romano, Island Residents and DiGirolamo — whose stage name is DJDG — and Deerock all performed as opening acts.
DiGirolamo said being up on the stage performing for all his friends was surreal.
“You feel the energy from all the people in the crowd,” he said. “You’re the one who’s bringing what they want to hear, so you have to perform your best and bring the energy to the event. At that moment, you’re the main attraction so everyone’s looking to you to make it a good time and you have to fulfill that.”
DiGirolamo said he spent hours organizing the show and spent time every day planning or talking to someone in preparation for the concert. Next year, if Lehigh should win, he wants to host the concert at a larger venue because people struggled to find tickets after the sale ended.
Students agreed that the venue should have been larger.
“The venue was the one thing I wish was different,” said Isabella La Rocca, ’20. “It was smaller than I expected, but overall it went well.”
DiGirolamo said he is nothing but excited about how the show turned out and is hoping to win the competition again in the future.
“Going forward next semester I’m going to enter us again and hopefully clean things up a little bit on the back end, like planning the event and the venue, but overall it was a success,” DiGirolamo said. “We won the concert, had a lot of people there and everyone had fun. At the end of the day, that’s the main goal.”
DiGirolamo said being one of the opening acts for Two Friends gave him a start on his career as a DJ. He hopes it will lead to more opportunities for future shows as this was his first real concert.