A Non-Traditional Capital Fest

Students enjoying time with friends during Capital Fest. Courtesy of Program Board.

By Abby Anderko

Over 800 Catholic University students attended Program Board’s Capitol Fest 2018, this past Saturday night. This is the first year Program Board has broken from tradition of having a live performance for Capital Fest. Instead they opted to Glow Campus, an event host company for a concert like experience.

This glow concert event took over the Przybyla Center Great Rooms, transforming the space into a club like setting complete with strobe lights, a DJ, and dancing human disco-ball. This “non-traditional” Capital Fest was more tuned for what the students would be interested and had been in the works for about two years.

In the past, Capital Fest has been more of a concert experience, with live bands such as Walk the Moon and MisterWives performing in the McMahon Parking Lot with varying levels of attendance. This year, program board decided to change it up not only for the entertainment of the student body, but also for cost efficiency.

Megan Reilly, the Vice President of Programming for Program Board said “an advantage of holding a DJ centered event is the cost, this year’s Capital Fest was less expensive than Capital Fests of the past. Because of this, we were able to roll over some funds to be used for next year’s Capital Fest, so maybe they’ll be able to secure a pricier headline than we’ve had in the past.”

Capital Fest takes about six months to plan, with the beginning stages taking place in the Spring semester. The event is reviewed by Program Board as well as Treasury Board which is a branch of the Student Government Association (SGA) that allocates funding to all student organizations. Once funded Program Board book can book the group or artist, and market for the event.  

What is different this year than in years past, is Program Board had control of their own budget. Last year’s SGA gave them control over their budget for the entire year, giving them the ability to control funds and save them for future events.

Reilly assured however, that just because Program Board changed things up this year does not mean that they will not go back to the more “traditional” format in the future. “We just wanted to try something different,” Reilly said.

Students had mixed reactions to this non-traditional Capital Fest. Maddie Fortier, a senior nursing major wishes it could have been more of an interactive concert experience. She wanted it to be more targeted to upperclassmen saying, “a concert is something we can all enjoy because it is not something that we can go to a bar and do.”    

“I think that good music with people who interact with the audience is so important to the success of an event like that,” Fortier said.

However, Katie Wethli, a Vocal Performance and Media student enjoyed Capital Fest. “I liked Capital Fest because dancing like an idiot for three hours with my friends was entertaining, the face painting was fun, and the lasers, robot, and woman on stilts were bizarrely incredible.”


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