Live band, DJ and mechanical bull: Rider’s Rock Fest

By Amethyst Martinez

Rider hosted ‘Rock Fest’ on Sept. 10, one of the first large-scale in-person events to be held since the start of the coronavirus pandemic It featured a live band, DJ and many activities for students to participate in throughout the night.

Kayla Wagner, a junior digital marketing major and student entertainment traditions chair, was one of the students who helped put together the event.

“COVID-19 has definitely presented an added challenge to planning events, but the goal of bringing the Rider community together through these events has always remained the same,” Wagner said in an email to The Rider News.

With COVID-19 rules on campus always evolving through new information and studies on the virus from health experts, it was uncertain how the event would turn out.

“Planning for Rock Fest began months ago, so there was always a looming sense of uncertainty about what the event would actually look like, given the fact that our world with COVID-19 is changing on a daily basis,” said Wagner.

Rider hosted Rock Fest outside to alleviate some COVID-19 restrictions, paired with the fact that masks are no longer required outdoors on campus.

Wagner said, “By taking advantage of the outside space, the Rider community was able to experience the event exactly as they would pre-COVID, which I think was definitely an experience we’ve all been needing this past year and a half.”

Rock Fest hosted a wide range of activities for all students to participate in.

“Activities at Rock Fest included a mechanical bull, dunk tank, inflatable ax throwing, an obstacle course, a rock wall and spin art. We had live music and a DJ. Students were able to eat at food trucks from NOMAD Pizza, Empanada Guy, and Ben & Jerry’s,” said Wagner. Rock Fest also included a bonfire, also known as the ‘Broncfire’.

Rock Fest was planned to bring the Rider community together because of the difficult past year it has been due to COVID-19, with many students opting to stay home the previous fall semester.

“Events like Rock Fest are exactly what makes Rider the community that it is. From my perspective, as someone who worked to plan the event behind the scenes, it was an incredible feeling to finally see the campus community unite together at Rock Fest after being apart for so long,” said Wagner.

The event held many social activities for students to get to know each other. Emily Siegel, a freshman acting major, was one of the attendees.

“I think people really just stick to who they’ve made friends with at times like these. It’s nice to say hi and talk to people that I don’t usually see,” said Siegel.

Hundreds of students attended the event, and it concluded with a fireworks display.

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