Occidental College’s Programming Board hosted Fall Fest virtually Oct. 23 featuring artist Dani Leigh. According to Programming Board manager Hannah Wakefield (senior), there were challenges in the planning process due to COVID-19 but the performance itself went smoothly. Wakefield said the entire production staff and performance team was tested for COVID-19 prior to the performance.
According to Wakefield, students could buy tickets for free and stream the performance through the platform Stellar.
“When we do large in-person concerts there’s many more technical things we have to figure out such as crowd control and monitoring,” Wakefield said. “But without that it was easier.”
Wakefield said choosing a performer was more difficult this year because of this semester’s virtual format and since Programming Board usually takes a lot of input from the student body.
“We had some virtual suggestions but we wanted to pick an artist that was up and coming but also well-known who obviously had good music,” Wakefield said. “We cycled through a few options and ultimately landed on Dani Leigh because her music is so good and she has had huge collaborations.”
Bella Gallegos (sophomore) said Programming Board made a great decision picking Dani Leigh to headline Fall Fest because of her engaging energy.
“The virtual format definitely felt weird, it didn’t really feel like a performance as much as a music video which is why it was so cool because we knew it was intended for us,” Gallegos said. “It was special to see her on campus and her performance was really engaging because she kept calling the viewers out.”
Gallegos said her favorite part of the performance was the encore, but she also enjoyed watching Dani Leigh’s backup dancers.
Owen Dexter-Meldrum (first year) said the highlight of his night was talking to Dani Leigh at the virtual meet-and-greet prior to the performance. Dexter-Meldrum said he previously saw Dani Leigh perform at Rolling Loud in 2019 so he was excited to find out she was headlining Fall Fest.
“I think it is really cool to meet people that you idolize because a lot of the time you just realize they are normal people,” Dexter-Meldrum said. “It is definitely inspiring to talk with someone like that.”