by Zoey Ross
The University of Guelph Central Student Association (CSA) in collaboration with a range of partners put on the best show in years and and almost no one knew about it in advance. Waiting until the day of the concert to post about the show on public mediums was a calculated move on the part of the CSA that paid off and likely kept what could have been a chaotic event relatively safe.
While move-in day was coming to a close and likely the majority of the crowd was incoming first-years, there were many folks gathered among the 4000+ on Johnston Green at U of G that were not entering their first year. This number could have easily swelled to 10000 if word got out any further. In covering the story, Exhibitionist Magazine agreed to keep the secret off social media.
The entire show was an absolute spectacle that no one will forget anytime soon. From the first act, Last Armada, to the thunderous applause preceding a legendary set from Snotty Nose Rez Kids (SNRK) the energy on and off stage was felt across the green. The line up which, full disclosure, was in part influenced by me as a former manager of SHEBAD, associate of MOONBEAN, and former colleague of Jack Fisher, was absolutely banging. The moment that made our hearts swell, is when the call came out from the mic for all Indigenous students to come on the stage and party with SNRK. I think they could hear the chant F**k Western all the way in London, ON. Also, someone please sign the Indigenous woman that was invited on stage and perfectly rapped the near entirety of the SNRK song Bougie Natives. If you know them, get them to reach out to @exhibitionistmagazine as we have a gift for them from SNRK.
SNRK proved to be a gracious green room host as we had a chat and crushed some sodas in War Memorial Hall. They were also kind enough, as was MOONBEAN, SHEBAD and Excuse Me. to allow us to make one of a kind bootlegs cassette tapes for an upcoming fundraiser. There will also be a video released covering this story at launch.
It has to be said, while the event had some epic festival energy, when it comes to accessibility and safety, it was no Hillside or Fierce on the Farm. As Jack mentioned in a follow up email there was no security after the event outside of regular campus security. As we were there for quite a while after the show, we saw fights break out in front of Johnston hall, and an Exhibitionist Magazine reporter in the throes of the crowd reported that there was much to be desired when it came to crowd control throughout the event. From out view, we saw security only at the front of the stage, but the crowd stretched more than halfway across Johnston Green from the portico to nearly Massey Hall.
Having covered many shows, I can’t recall so many people successfully rushing the stage in an evening, or have ever seen that many beers get tossed on stage at a U of G show (but I’m sure there are some alumni with tales to tell). SNRK did thrive on the chaos and encouraged when they called for a mosh pit, hopped off the stage and mixed with a swirling crowd. This brought the energy to a wild peak you had to feel to be there. SNRK has a show in Toronto on December 10 at Velvet Underground. Let’s be real though, we’re hoping to see them back here headlining Hillside next year for the 40th anniversary celebration.