Western students will be graced with an international name in hip-hop at this year’s Purple Fest, with Lil Uzi Vert performing as the headliner. The catch: it’s during Western’s third annual “fake Homecoming.”
Western’s University Students' Council announced through a Facebook event page on Friday that the Philadelphia-based emo rap icon will be performing at the event, which will take place on Sep. 29 between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. at Elgin Lot.
Uzi, best known for his chart topping singles "XO TOUR Llif3," “Money Longer” and “Sauce It Up,” was nominated in 2018 for Best New Artist and Best Rap Performance for his feature on “Bad and Boujee” with Atlanta rap-trio Migos. His album, Luv Is Rage 2, was certified gold last year.
“We really wanted to focus on how we could prioritize student spirit while also emphasizing safety,” says USC President Mitchell Pratt. “We recognize the existing culture of the date.”
According to Pratt, USC officials wanted to create a cultural shift around FOCO weekend, which usually sees thousands of partygoers crowding Broughdale Avenue.
Last year alone, approximately 11,000 students turned out to celebrate FOCO. Further, paramedics received 33 calls from around campus, but upon arrival, they had little to no access to Broughdale Avenue.
“It causes a strain on the local community,” says Pratt. “We’ve factored all of these things into our considerations and conversations and … recognize the potential that Purple Fest has to be the largest university concert in Canada.”
While O-Week events are mainly directed towards first-years, Purple Fest is open to all Mustangs.
The event will be hosted by the USC, as well as PremierLife, a London-based promotion company.
The Facebook event page states more artist announcements for the show will be coming soon.
In past years, Purple Fest has been packed with internationally acclaimed artists, including performances by Arkells, The Strumbellas and Down With Webster. However, none of these performers have had as much international acclaim as Uzi, making it a highly anticipated show.
Because the event will take place at Elgin Lot, University Drive will be closed between Elgin Hall and Medway-Sydenham Hall so students crossing the street are safe, according to Pratt.
Tickets went on sale online and at The Purple Store Monday, Sept. 10 for a 48-hour flash sale, priced at $29.95. After the sale, students can purchase tickets at full price from the same outlets.
Students must use their student cards to get tickets to the show, and each student can buy a maximum of three tickets, two of which can be used by non-Western students.
“It personally means a lot to me because I think that as the University Students’ Council we should be trying to host events of this magnitude that are truly reflective of what Western's student experience is,” says Pratt.
So the question stands: where will you be on September 29?
Follow the USC’s Facebook page for more information.