The music played was as much of a hodgepodge as the event itself.
Prior to Dixie Fest 2K15’s start, a hip-hop remix of Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” blared through speakers out onto the Encampment Mall, this year’s concert location. Later, disc jockeys competing in the inaugural DJ Battle mashed up classic rock, disco and techno. And finally, rap duo OCD: Moosh & Twist took the stage to headline the concert Dixie State University students said included enough differing aspects that there was probably something for everyone.
Laura Alley, a senior music major from Bountiful, said she attended Dixie Fest mostly to hear final DSU Student Association election results, but two words summed up her experience on Friday night.
“Very random — I can tell that student government put in a lot of effort, and I think that what they have created is really great,” she said.
Students and community members filed into the venue, and the DJ Battle ushered in the night. A panel of judges listened to the six contestants’ 10-minute sets, the DJs’ performances ranging from ‘70s and ‘80s-inspired to infused with EDM motifs popular on radio today.
Dallin Keil, performing as DJK, took first, winning $1,000 and a chance to DJ the post-concert dance.
Keil said he came into the contest expecting tight production and sound, and those qualities — put together by Utah DJ Marcus Wing — didn’t disappoint.
As for his battle-winning setlist, Keil said it reflected the music he’s listened to since his youth.
“I just took what I grew up listening to,” he said. “I know a lot of kids like [newer hits], but I put a West Coast feel to it. I’m not really into techno.”
DSUSA also utilized Dixie Fest 2K15 to announce this year’s election results. Jill Wulfenstein, a senior integrated studies major from Pahrump, Nevada, and DSUSA vice president of student life, said students casted more than 2,000 votes, and she called the winners up to the stage.
Warren Anderson, VP of academics elect, and Tim Long, VP of clubs elect, were called first. Then Wulfenstein announced Matt Devore as 2015-16’s student body president, and after chants from the crowd, Devore addressed DSU students for the first time.
“I’d just like to thank you for all the support,” said Devore, a junior integrated studies major from Mesquite, Nevada. “I had a lot of people on my side … I just want to give a huge shout out to them; without them it’s not possible. We have a great team up here, and we’re going to do some big things next year.”
OCD: Moosh and Twist ended the night with an hour of rapping both older tracks that have helped them garner a modest online following and also a few new songs. The two MCs stood on risers on the Dixie Fest stage, backed by their drummer, and encouraged the crowd to participate throughout.
“We all have [tough stuff] going on at home and in our lives,” Moosh said to the crowd. “Tonight, though, none of that matters at Dixie State no matter what you’re going through at home.”
But one critique of Dixie Fest was that it sent students home a bit too early.
Before performing their final tracks, Moosh and Twist said that because of ordinances, their performance had to end promptly at 9:30 p.m. — in time for the post-dance that Keil hosted.
Attendees booed, and Caleb Jones, a freshman biology major from Monroe, said his main complaint about Dixie Fest was its early end.
Wulfenstein planned the event because of her position on DSUSA and said exhaustive preparation helped prevent obstacles like sound issues that plagued last year’s Dixie Fest.
With no apparent hitches, Dixie Fest 2K15 allowed her and others who put time into the event to spend a minute or two Friday night to observe their efforts come to fruition.
“There’s a moment that you have: The field was empty, and then you get to see everything come together,” she said. “… I took a moment, and this time when everyone was in place, sound was going, OCD was going, I walked to the Gardner where I could see everything and just kind of stood there for a moment and took it all in.”