Victoria’s Secret invades campus with music, prizes

Over 10,000 University students trekked through the muddy grass across from Memorial Stadium last night and battled the 34 degree temperature to attend the Fighting Illini Fest.

Sam Schaller, senior in LAS, had stood in line since 1 p.m. but considered the wait to be a chance to end her University career on a high note.

“It’s exciting … a big bang is how I’ll be going out,” she said.

Especially for students who actively campaigned for the PINK Party vote, the Fighting Illini Fest was a chance to see their efforts pay off.

“We were the kids in class last semester getting kids to not pay attention so they could vote,” said Nicole Fremarek, sophomore in AHS.

After winning the party, the campus buzzed with rumors about who the special guests would be. When Kid Cudi and Girl Talk were announced, some students, like Fremarek, felt mixed emotions, expecting a female musician like Katy Perry or Nicki Minaj.

Regardless of the performers, dedicated PINK fans pressed up against the gate as the opening time came closer. Tents surrounded the entire parking lot and featured PINK clothing for sale and games like darts and bags; the prizes included PINK products like PINK stuffed dogs, perfume, tote bags and mugs.

Once security moved the fences away, students flocked to the tents for free products and some even brought toiletries for local charities in exchange for a free pair of sunglasses.

Though the theme was PINK, the event recruited heavily from the Orange and Blue. Campus organizations like the Assembly Hall staff, Joe’s Brewery, Star Course and the Illinettes all came out to support the University and the long-anticipated event.

Illinettes Missy Lewis, senior in AHS, and Janny Kanellis, senior in Media, said their chance to perform on the PINK stage was a privilege and an opportunity to experience something different from their traditional dance routines at athletic events.

After the Illinettes danced across the stage, Kid Cudi made his grand entrance. After what some students called a below-average performance at the Assembly Hall last October, students like Nadine Robinson, junior in AHS, expected him to redeem himself — and they were not disappointed.

“It’s a lot better than last year cause I know all the songs now … thumbs up!” said Curtis Nunnery, sophomore in AHS.

For others, the music performances seemed a bit repetitive, especially because it was also round two for Girl Talk, who performed at Canopy Club last April.

“If they got different people it might have been nice, but they just repeated the same thing over again,” said Ben Yanaga, sophomore in Engineering.

Whether it was the repetition of artists or the less-than-tropical temperature, students were surprised by the low attendance.

“Especially since it’s free … it’s weird that more people didn’t come,” said Bahareh Javadi, senior in FAA.

Another surprise came from two students dressed in full lion and wolf suits who meandered throughout the crowd, dancing with random crowd members and attracting a lot of attention, including a shout-out from Kid Cudi.

“We just make guest appearances around campus and we decided this was the next appearance we were going make … since we knew a lot of people were going to be here cause it’s free. We love dancing and apparently people like our costumes,” said the lion and the wolf, also known as James Pommier, senior in Business, and Grant Snyder, sophomore in LAS.

They continued their wild antics throughout Girl Talk’s performance, though nearly half of the crowd left after Cudi exited the stage. Those who did stick around were flooded with handfuls of glow sticks and the ammunition from toilet paper guns. They were impressed by Girl Talk but remained distracted by the face-numbing cold.

“I’ve always liked (Girl Talk) but I’ve never been to (his) show,” said Kristen Eschbach, freshman in AHS. “I’d really like to see him inside, though, when it’s not cold.”

With a few PINK products in their arms and the music of Kid Cudi and Girl Talk pounding in their ears, students were able to end their week of schoolwork and stress with some out-of-the-ordinary entertainment.

As Victoria’s Secret Model Chanel Iman said, “It’s always good to experience work and a little fun with everyone our age.”