O-Week's coming to an end, but that doesn’t mean the festivities are over. The University Students' Council's third annual Purple Fest is taking place this Sunday, with Canadian act the Strumbellas headlining.
The idea for the annual event started three years ago when Down With Webster’s O-Week show was rained out. To make up for the missed show, the band returned the following year to perform at the inaugural Purple Fest.
Following the success of the first Purple Fest, the Arkells performed in front of 5,000 students in 2016.
The free concert is largely subsidized in the programming budget, but a large part of the funding comes from sponsors like Greyhound Lines, according to Mac McIntosh, the USC's student programs officer.
“I want to say around 80 per cent of the cost this year is covered by sponsorship,” said McIntosh.
Unlike O-Week, which is solely for first-year students, Purple Fest is open to all students.
“We do so much during O-Week for first-year students and exchange students, but it’s a really nice event to say this is your welcome back concert,” McIntosh said.
In deciding the performers, the USC tries to appeal to as many students as possible, choosing rock-oriented acts rather than more polarizing genres like country or EDM.
This year's headliners, the Strumbellas, are a six-piece, alt-country band from Lindsay, Ont. Their song Spirits recently won the 2017 Juno award for Single of the Year. They’ve continued on a long tour, including stops at this year's Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival and Governor’s Ball.
The opening act is Fat Chance, an indie-rock group who won last year’s USC Battle of the Bands.
“They did a great set last year for the battle, and now they get to perform on probably their biggest stage yet,” said McIntosh. “The Strumbellas also loved the fact that we’re promoting student talent.”
Folk singer-songwriter Terra Lightfoot from Hamilton, Ont., will also perform. In tandem with her electric guitar, she is best known for her bluesy power ballads.
The 2017 edition of Purple Fest is poised to deliver a wealth of games and varied music from some incredibly talented Canadians.
Purple Fest takes place this Sunday, Sept. 10 from 5 to 11 p.m. on University College Hill.