Early in the afternoon, students across campus prepared for UCR’s annual Spring Splash event that hosts some of the best hip-hop and EDM of all the Riverside concerts. This year’s event focused on spreading awareness about the dangers of high amounts of intoxication and an online module was required. The event was under much scrutiny due to the changes made to their entrance requirements. Coupled with better security, many students were turned away at the gates to ensure the safety of others. Despite these changes, there were still the usual attendees who took their pregame festivities too far and ended up inebriated before getting through the gate. Moving past the various controversies of this year’s Spring Splash, the event still holds up on its own and is some of the best of UCR’s concert experience.
Starting with Niki, she began her set with some nice, chill beats to warm up to. She definitely succeeded in entertaining the crowd, starting the concert off strong. Although the crowd started small, it slowly grew over time as she continued to bring energy and life to the event. Niki’s distinct lo-fi hip-hop style really shined on the stage and drew in the fans with her interactions with the crowd. Despite a pleasant aura, Niki simply didn’t match up to the other headliners but her start to kick off Spring Splash was a very welcome addition to the stacked performances, even if it was on the weaker side of them.
The EDM was definitely brought with San Holo’s electrifying performance as he played some of his best beats that definitely satisfied the crowd’s need for a high-energy performer. His set started strong at the beginning with much of the crowd rushing in to see him perform. His remixes of various Snoop Dogg tracks lifted the crowd off their feet. San Holo’s heavy use of sound effects to enhance his remixes really showed here as he brought some of the best beats of Spring Splash. Rounding out his set at the end with “Light” was a great end to an already amazing set that really filled out the crowd and showed some of his best EDM and remixes.
Mixing good beats with some amazingly-written lyrics, Amine brought the crowd the high-paced beats down to the more emotional moments the crowd thoroughly chilled to. While the high points of their sets were satisfying and exciting, I felt the energy lower over time. The performance was hindered by being a little later in the lineup. With the exception of some fan-favourite mixes, Amine wasn’t able to capture some of the better heights that other artists were able to attain.
Rae Sremmurd delivered on being the headliner by bringing the energy to the crowd. The group was able to carry a great performance with their stellar crowd interaction. Their charismatic attitude coupled the hype hip-hop blend helped to reinvigorate the crowd to be fully engaged with the earbusting performance. They brought the full hip-hop experience with some really great bangers that got the crowd moving with full force. Their deserved fit as being the headliner is a change of pace compared to past Spring Splash headliners.
Taking a break from the music during some of the lulls in between performances was a necessity. Looking at all that Spring Splash has to offer this year, the food truck selection was pretty disappointing. With some campus favorites like Boku Bowls and Chronic Tacos making an appearance, there were only six other trucks to choose from. Whilst the food is majorly overpriced, the added 40 percent discount provided by Apple Pay is appealing to those who can take advantage and get a meal for something on the cheap side. While the food is really nothing to write home about, they’re filling enough for those who are looking for a quick bite. Returning again from Bonfire and Winter Soulstice, the Rockstar booth returns alongside a Yerba Mate tent.
Other attractions at Spring Splash were less than desirable as most failed to capture an audience outside of those who were in need of a serious distraction from the rest of the event. The side attractions feel very last minute as a place setting and overall were underwhelming at best. The mechanical shark and giant spinning swings were less desirable than what other events Spring Splash had to offer. With the added waiver system, these attractions lost a lustre that they may have had to a certain audience.
This years Spring Splash held up as being one of the greater concerts that ASPB puts on for the year. While the added module and security feels like a detriment, I overall still felt that the performances were able to reach the standards of previous concerts that have come before it.