40 Acres Fest blends live music, entertainment and various activities for the student body


Guillermo Hernandez

Sophomore theater and dance major Kenny Chilton, journalism sophomore Shannon Price and senior RTF major Whitney Davenport get covered in bubbles during 40 Acres Fest on Saturday afternoon.

Jeremy Thomas

When live musical performances, inflatable games and activity booths from student organization overrun the Main, South and West malls during the spring semester, students get a break from the busy end of the semester.

The 21st Annual Forty Acres Fest presented students an opportunity to have fun near the end of the spring semester. Each year, the event draws an estimated 10,000 people throughout the day, according to the Forty Acres Fest committee.

Musical group Chiddy Bang headlined this year’s festival, which also featured performances by Akina Adderley & the Vintage Playboys, Blue Bear, Jonathas, The Followthrough, Ben Baxter Band and Suite 709.

Nicole Ferraro, event chairperson and Plan II and management information systems senior, said the festival is one of the best unifying events the University has, as it provides many benefits to students.

“There are a lot of events that try to get a lot of people, but I don’t think anyone has done it as well as Forty Acres Fest,” Ferraro said. “Especially for students that might not be that involved on campus, it’s one of the best opportunities to figure out what’s going on with student life, who all is out there and all the different opportunities.”

Samantha Tedford, English and linguistics Liberal Arts Honors sophomore, said she attended Forty Acres Fest to support the Madrigal Theatre Committee but participated in several activities.

“I watched the Ben Baxter Band perform for a while and then I watched the Texas Madrigal Theatre Committee do their performance,” Tedford said. “Then I went to the Texas Photography Club and Texas Performance Arts and got photographs there, Harry Potter Alliance and quidditch club and got pictures there, got painted on, bungee jumped and hula hooped. I had a lot of fun today.”

Electrical engineering freshman Jeremiah Bartlett said he only attended the night show because he has an upcoming exam to study for, but he had already seen both Chiddy Bang and Suite 709 in concert before Saturday.

“Suite 709 is always good in concert and this was no exception,” Bartlett said. “Chiddy Bang on the other hand did not perform to the caliber I expected. He did his freestyle which was really cool — he did the same thing at ACL 2011 — but toward the end of the performance, he began to slur his words and have trouble keeping his breath which impacted my experience. I am glad I got to experience the shows, and I will definitely go next year to experience everything.”  

Ferraro said she hopes students see Forty Acres Fest as a way to have activities and attractions that everyone can enjoy and are of high quality.

“It shows how the University supports its students because it’s giving them the opportunity to show their diversity in a fun way,” Ferraro said. “It appeals to everybody, so because it is appealing to all of these people it’s going to have a positive reflection on our University and in turn give the students a positive impression of what our University does for them.”