March 19, 2023 marked UC Riverside’s first ever Blossom Fest. The indie and rock festival, aimed at showcasing new up and coming artists from across California featured the artistic talents of BEL, Sir, Please and DWLLRS. Along with food, merch, performances from UCR’s dance clubs, and of course, flowers, the festival is a great opportunity to enjoy a break from school and listen to good music. With so much to offer, Blossom Fest is set to become a treasured annual event.
The first musical act was BEL, aka Isabel Whelan from Clovis, California, whose music bridges “the intersection of indie, pop, and folk” (@aspb_ucr). BEL performed her two singles “Are You Okay?” and “Woman on Fire.” She was the perfect start to an indie music festival with slow and almost moody music key to the indie music genre. While BEL lamented the fact that she only had an acoustic guitar to play her music, this instrument perfectly set the mood for her music and crooning performance. BEL led the crowd in a mini along by asking the audience to help her sing the chorus and put the audience in the mood to continue enjoying the concert.
Sir, Please describe themselves as a band of four best friends from Agoura Hills, California. Sir, Please captured the attention of all by an intriguing introduction to their band before beginning to play, citing that the origins of their band are a mystery that all have tried and failed to uncover, and that their band is dedicated to making funk history and getting their revenge. Kicking off their set with their song “Different,” they showcased their talent at creating music with a distinct beachy vibe and almost dreamlike quality. During a brief technical difficulty, Sir, Please entertained the crowd with the familiar and well loved “Here Comes the Sun,” delivering a delightful tribute to the Beatles. Sir, Please played other songs including “Holding You Like You’re Mine” and “Win Me Over,” their newest single. Towards the end of their set, Sir, Please led the audience into a dance with their aptly named song “Dance With Me.” With incredible charisma and stage presence between the four best best friends, Sir, Please definitely lived up to the funkadelic pop group they labeled themselves as.
DWLLRS, a musical duo consisting of Bren Eissman and Joey Spurgeon are from San Clemente, California, and have been greatly inspired by artists such as Frank Ocean, Brockhampton and Tame Impala, and their music consists of themes such as “existentialism, nostalgia and heartbreak” with an undercurrent of hope. Like Sir, Please, DWLLRS had an underlying element of surf rock to their music which paired excellently with the slight rapping in their music. DWLLRS kept up the upbeat tempo that Sir, Please had left with and the audience was dancing and singing along to all of their songs.
Blossom Fest was an incredible music festival hosted by UCR to support up and coming artists. If you did not have a chance to make it to Blossom Fest this year, make sure to go next year. And if you liked Blossom Fest, make sure to tell ASPB UCR so that a festival like that can continue to occur.