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Springfest 2023 has officially come and gone, and it has certainly left its audience with mixed feelings. On Sunday, April 30, a smattering of Brandeis students braved the rain and 50-degree weather to shiver on Chapel’s Field, enjoy some free food trucks, and listen to live music. Unfortunately, what typically is the last big celebration of the spring semester before exam season officially begins ended up being a slightly disappointing concert series, mostly because of the horrible weather — thanks, Massachusetts. However, while this year’s Springfest may not have been quite as crowded or popular as previous years, there were some great moments despite the freezing rain and swamp-like conditions on Chapel’s Field. 

The lineup this year received mixed reviews and commentary from students when it was announced on Brandeis Campus Activities Board’s Instagram. Chucky73, a rapper from the Dominican Republic whose music has hip hop, Latin, and trap influences, and Nardo Wick, a rapper whose song “Who Want Smoke?” earned platinum status, were announced as the two openers along with a student band called Nectar, who were the winners of Brandeis Got Talent. Doechii, a rapper who has collaborated with SZA and Kodak Black, was the headliner for this year’s Springfest. 

As a senior experiencing my second and last ever Springfest, I definitely don’t regret going this year. However, I was disappointed that the artist lineup became mixed up as the event was happening, though it seemed like that was due to Nardo Wick being late more than anything else. The students running the event at CAB probably did their best to adjust the schedule as these unforeseen circumstances arose, but it was unfortunate that Doechii wasn’t officially the headliner in the end and that Nardo Wick was the final act of the day. I know a few people who planned to arrive just for Doechii, and ended up barely catching the last third of her performance. That being said, Doechii was certainly the highlight of Springfest. Despite the rain and the small crowd, Doechii brought her all – she engaged with the audience and even went into the crowd at one point. There were a few technical difficulties during her performance, but Doechii kept playing off the energy of the crowd and maintained an infectious stage presence. Even for people who weren’t familiar with her music coming into Springfest, Doechii was a stand-out performer and definitely the best artist at Springfest this year. 

Ultimately, compared to last year, Springfest 2023 fell a bit flat due to the weather and a slightly disappointing artist lineup. But, Brandeis’ spring concert series remains an entertaining, if chaotic, rite of passage for students, and the people who stayed the course on Chapel’s Field made the best of a dreary day and somewhat disorganized event. 

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